Never Give In, Never Give In, Never Give In
Winston Churchill wrote: Never Give In, Never Give In, Never Give In at a point in British history when all seemed lost. The Brits were up against the Germans, they were starving and loosing and the Americans were not yet in the war. Yet, his words gave the British the strength to fight on. His words had power and provided the impetus to continue the fight when all seemed lost. In the end, as we all know the Germans lost, the British were on the winning side and life went on. But, at the time that he said those words that outcome was but a hope, a wish and a prayer. When all is lost, the one thing that matters, the one thing that will make the difference between winning and losing is tenacity and hope.
How many people have given up right before the Yes answer, after a thousand No's, how many people would have seen the answer to their dreams if only they had tried one more time, waited one more month or explored one more avenue. There are countless examples of successful people who were rejected over and over and over again yet kept trying and prevailed.
- The first book that Dr. Seuss wrote was rejected by 27 publishers
- A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney declared bankruptcy several times before he built Disneyland, which was rejected by the City of Anaheim the first time he proposed it.
- After his first audition, the casting director told Sidney Poitier to “stop wasting people's time and go out and become a dishwasher or something." Poitier resolved at that moment to devote his life to acting.
- Thomas Edison: When a boy, his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. As a child he was gifted but was too disruptive for his school. As a result he was forced to leave school and his formal education ended at an early age. Those who knew him considered his crackpot ideas to be "crazy". He tried more than 2,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb. Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931) America's most prolific inventor was granted 1,093 patents by the U.S. Patent office, more than anyone else--yet they included such duds as a perpetual cigar, furniture made of cement and a way of using goldenrod for rubber.
- Abraham Lincoln had 12 major failures before he was elected president of the United States. When he was 22, he failed in business. When he was 23, he ran for the legislature and lost. When he was 24, he failed in business again. The following year he was elected to the legislature. When he was 26, his sweetheart died. At the age of 27, he had a nervous breakdown. When he was 29, he was defeated for the post of Speaker of the House in the State Legislature. When he was 31, he was defeated as Elector. When he was 34, he ran for Congress and lost. At the age of 37, he ran for Congress and finally won. Two years later, he ran again and lost his seat in Congress. At the age of 46, he ran for the U.S. Senate and lost. The following year he ran for Vice President and lost that, too. He ran for the Senate again, and again lost. Finally, at the age of 51, he was elected President of the United States.
- Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade. As a young man, his father concluded that Winston was “unfit for a career in law or politics” because he did so badly in school. Winston Churchill did not become prime minister of England until he was 62, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks. His greatest contributions came when he was a senior citizen.
- Woody Allen, Academy Award-winning writer/producer/director, flunked motion picture production at New York University and the City College of New York and failed English at N.Y.U.
- Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Chicken fame was 65 when he started selling chicken door to door. Prior to that he had tried and failed at a myriad of things, his personal life was in a shambles and he was on the brink of suicide. One thing he knew how to do was cooking chicken. Finally, he took his chicken to restaurant owners and was rejected 1009 times before he heard his first yes and the rest is history!
What if they had given up at any time up until that point? They say to the victor goes the spoils but I say to the tenacious goes the spoils. Those that never give up increase their odds of success just by trying more often. It doesn't mean that they are any more talented than you, or any more lucky than you, it just means that they've increased the odds that someone, somewhere out there will say yes. I say that if you want something badly enough you will try until you can't try any longer.
I have a favorite movie called "The Untouchables" in that movie Sean Connery asks Kevin Costner, "what are you prepared to do?" when it came to his war against organized crime. I often ask myself that when it comes to New York City. My desire is to stay in New York, right now the unemployment rate is at an all time high, my rent is almost $1,000 more than my U.I. check every month and I have gained 30 pounds in a city where everyone (and I mean everyone) is thin. I force myself to run, I hate every single second of it and when I am running I ask myself "What Are You Prepared To Do?" to stay in New York City. It is burned into my mind. And that's not to say that I'm prepared to commit crimes (even if I knew how!) or to do unethical things to stay here but outside of that I ask myself that question. It keeps me going, it's like Churchill's Never Give In to the British people.
Now, I can't say that anything has happened for me yet, because it hasn't. I'm still living from hand to mouth, I still don't know if I'll have the rent money for next month and I still have 0% security. But, every morning I think about what I can do to stay here. I try new things, some seem to have success, some do not. But, who knows whether an idea will come to me tomorrow that will change everything, or if I will meet someone and they will need a person like me in their life or a really great position will open up and I will just happen upon it. Who knows what is just around the corner. The key is to keep alert, keep trying and keep asking yourself "What Are YOU prepared to Do?" in order to make your dreams come true? What if the day you give up would have been the day that you would have met the love of your life or the last attempt you made at submitting your manuscript would have been the one that was accepted or that last job interview that you would have gone on if you hadn't given up would have been the job of a life-time. If you give up you'll never know. Never give in, never give in, never give in and see what life has in store for you.
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