Great People are Forged in Fire

Beethoven wrote most of his most revered music while deaf. It would have been completely justifiable for Columbus to turn back to Spain and very few would have blamed him. Abraham Lincoln achieved a great deal of success despite personal depression, political hardship and the Civil War. Martin Luther translated the Bible while imprisoned at the Castle of Wartburg. Carnegie, Ford, and the Wright Brothers were mocked and doubted at every turn. Disney, Gates, and Macy all failed in their first attempts to create new businesses. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Make Yourself

Adversity finds great people at times, such as going deaf or losing a loved one, but sometimes they seek it out, like sailing off the end of the world or being the first person in flight. Hardship and the people the world admires go hand in hand. You may be asking yourself, “What if I didn’t lose a brother at an early age? or my hearing? or my wife?”. The good news is you don’t have to go through the trials of Job to develop the resilience of Malala.

Creating Challenges

Toughness is thrust upon a lot of men and women, but most seek it out. In order to create a thicker hide you need to challenge yourself. That means going outside your comfort zone and doing something that carries with it considerable risk of failure; such as ascending a mountain or to finish writing the first six chapters of your book .

Learn to Persevere

Most people crumble under the weight of challenges like this because they see failure as the end of any endeavour. That is why we don’t see more Amelia Earhart’s. Women like Earhart know that the first failure is only the start of the journey. However monumental your crash, the key is starting to move towards your goal again even if that means you are only crawling.

Failure is the Process

If you follow the mountaineering scene you know that most first attempts at summit result in failure. These people are the best at what they do in the world. They have summited the most difficult mountains in the world yet fail when they attempt to summit; they fail more than they succeed. No one writes stories about failure unless its catastrophic because it doesn’t sell copies. What we see are heros on the covers of magazines and because of that we think they must be superior, demigods, but in truth these people are simply more resilient. The only difference between you and someone as legendary as Teddy Roosevelt is that he got up off his kester one more time.

Push until Success

Winston Churchill likely suffered from a speech impediment, bipolar disorder and alcoholism yet is arguably the greatest war time leader in modern times. He failed his entrance exam to the Royal Military College three times. He was finally accepted and commissioned in 1895. He sought out active campaigns in order to earn notoriety through war correspondence and was under fire over fifty times in his life. He then took to a life of politics in 1910. In 1930 he was completely ostracized from the political scene because of his continued fight for free trade with British colonies. For ten years he sought reappointment and the prime minister’s chair and was finally elected in 1940 and that is probably the only reason you know his name.

You may have an ailment, but never use it as an excuse. You may have experienced hardship, but never allow it to stop you completely. You will experience failure but keep pushing, it’s the only way you have a chance at success.

Originally published at