Overcoming Obstacles

How Famous People Overcame Major Obstacles

By Rena Dictor LeBlanc

You'll never make it!

Has anyone ever told you that?

Some people will allow obstacles to stop them from accomplishing what they really want in life. Others doggedly will push forward in the face of even the most daunting adversity and they triumph.

Like all earthlings, I've been jousting with obstacles all my life. In my years as a newspaper reporter, columnist, freelance journalist, and author my specialty has been writing stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. I've interviewed men, women and even teenagers who succeeded despite all the odds against them.

It might surprise you to know about some of the famous people who were told they were not going to overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve success.

Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds

Actors Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were fired after co-starring in the "Riverboat" television series.

Burt, recalled, "They said I had no talent and Clint's Adam's apple was too big,"

Julio Igelsias

International singing star Julio Iglesias was discouraged from singing when he was a teenager. When he auditioned for the school choir in Madrid he was turned down. The teacher told him he couldn't carry a tune.

Lucille Ball

Even Lucille Ball got thumbs down when it came to acting. Just one month after she started attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts her mother received a letter from the school saying, "Don't put any more money into this. This girl will never make it."

Bob Hope

Sometimes it's not strangers who try to put the brakes on peoples' dreams. Bob Hope's older brother Ivor once invited the young fledgling comedian to perform at a party for workers at a steel plant where Ivor was an executive. When Bob got on stage the sound system was not working properly. You couldn't hear what he was saying.

"I laid the biggest bomb in history," Bob recalled. Ivor said of his little brother, "He'll never amount to anything."

All of these famous and successful people refused to let obstacles stop them. They just kept trying. And we know the rest of the story.

As for my own obstacles, I never thought I'd overcome the last one. I still was deeply emotionally wounded following the death of my husband. My son-in-law also had died. And my daughter Mia was hospitalized for four months when she was pregnant with twins. At one point the doctor told us, "Don't expect these babies to live." I visited Mia in the hospital almost every day trying to create a cheerful fa├žade.

It was at this time that the Reader's Digest assigned me to write a remarkable true human rights story I had proposed to the magazine. I had no idea how vastly complicated the story would be, with many legal documents from a nine-year court battle.

I was an emotional wreck, and this story was the most difficult one I'd ever tackled. I repeatedly felt too overwhelmed to continue writing. But, each day I just forced myself to push on. This article was especially important to me because of the heroic nature of the people I was writing about. I couldn't let them down.

In 2006 my story "Act Of Justice" was published by the Reader's Digest in eight countries. What's more, I'm now the grandmother of two (might I say beautiful) granddaughters Kerry and Skylar.

Exploring the lives of the valiant people who successfully have detoured around life's roadblocks, and learning from them, has been one of the most remarkable ongoing experiences of my life. This hub is my way of inviting you on the journey.

What obstacles have you overcome?

Previously published on the Eons website

Copyright Rena Dictor LeBlanc 2007

Do you want to learn how to earn money as a freelance writer or improve your writing skills? I'm a writing instructor and consultant who has received outstanding reviews from my students. You can contact me at loislane333@sbcglobal.net

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