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Never too old, young, or broken to succeed
You are never too old, too young, too rich, too poor, or too broken, to succeed. Contrary to the nay-sayer notions, there is no age requirement for starting or developing new ideas, starting a business, or turning your dreams into reality. The only requirement is in knowing what you want and going after it. Take a look at how just some of the ten notable people below did not let age, physical challenge, economic, or social status be the reason for not going after what they wanted. They all used both their natural and acquired talents to succeed and gave us all a model to follow.
“Love what you want and want what you love.”
Success Under Twenty
Helen Keller was both deaf and blind from the age of 19 months. Against all odds, she became the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her success story is also the story of another person’s success: Anne Sullivan. Anne used her gifts and talents as a teacher to propel Helen into a lifetime of inspiration that moved the world. True success comes not from life’s challenges but from overcoming them.
“Success comes not from life’s challenges but from overcoming them.”
At the age of 12, Anne Frank wrote her wartime diary, “The Diary of a Young Girl” which was her account of her hiding out during the Holocaust and about its victims. Anne’s work has become a historical record and since then, has been the basis of plays, books, and movies, and has been translated into many languages. Anne and her sister were captured two years after her writings and placed into a concentration camp where they both later died. Her success continues to this day. True Success, lives beyond death.
“True Success lives beyond death”
At the age of 13, Magnus Carlsen became recognized as the Chess Grandmaster in both 2013 and 2014. He studied three to four hours a day playing chess, many times alone, and outwitted his opponents with his own style of aggressive strategies that perplexed many experts. His success came from both focused study and executing his strategy.
“Success comes from studying and executing a strategy”
The history behind the success of gymnast Nadia Comăneci is more than the story of how at the age of 14 she acclaimed seven perfect 10.0 scores and won three gold medals at the Olympics. Her story began during recess at school when she was spotted simply loving to do what she loved to do. From there, she was groomed by others who saw her potential but it was Nadia herself who believed in the people who believed in her. Success followed her not only through her Olympic career, but her determination also served to inspire a multitude.
“Success follows doing what you love to do.”
Born poor and labeled as average with “no musical aptitude” and an introvert as a young child, Elvis transformed into a superstar by the age of 19. During his early childhood he was often dissuaded because his choice and style of music and the way in which he presented it was not “proper”. It did not take long, however, for Elvis to discover that the audience that did approve was the very people most like him or people who wanted to express their disagreement with the naysayers. Later in life, as his success lied to him, he lost the value of his youth.
“Success can not be measured by wealth.”
The passion to make a good difference was trademarked by Dr. Seuss. Throughout his career he spoke outwardly against social wrongs and inadequate education. He left his mark everywhere he went. At age 54, he created a children’s book combating his frustration with the approach educators of the time were using. His book, “The Cat in the Hat”, has become a staple of all children’s reading. Dr Seuss did not pursue success, it pursued him.
“Success pursues those who pursue their dreams”
Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III
To look at the progressive experience that Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, 57, a person could conclude that his life was an example of purposeful successes one after another. In 2009 “Sully” calmly and precisely crash landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River with all 155 passengers and crew surviving. In his own words, he describes his successful: "One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I've been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal."
“When the sum of our experience leads to the saving of others, we have succeeded.”
Colonel Harland Sanders
Colonel Sanders of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant fame, created his franchise when he was 61 years old. However, it was not by design, and it was not by accident. His success was born from repeated environmental, social, economic battles that seemed to plague him throughout life. He was born poor, worked hard, failed repeatedly, but, in the end, became not just a world-renowned icon, but also created a charitable organization that grants millions of dollars every year.
“Overcoming the pain of failure is what fertilizes success.”
Jack Lalane lived his success on a daily basis and promoted the physical health of all. He treated failure as a building block for strength. Even at age 70, he continued to enjoy the opportunities to promote his steadfast belief by allowing himself to be handcuffed and shackled while towing 70 rowboats for 1 mile in frigid waters. His outspoken words continue to motivate the physical health industry today.
“Speaking the truth of your heart is success.”
There is no measure of success when one is willing to lay down their own life in the name of humanity. Nelson Mandela was one who, even after years of imprisonment and political injustice persevered and brought freedom and opportunity to millions. At age 76 he became president of not just a nation, but the healer of hearts paving the way for the success of others.
“The measure of a man’s success becomes evident by what lengths he is willing to go in paving the way for the success of others.”
The examples above show the power of being dedicated without compromise to following the dreams and passions placed in our hearts. Success happens every day and isn’t always recognized by the world as a whole. And perhaps, the success of an unselfish mother who nurtures her children and propels and prepares them into a positive and productive life, is by far, the biggest example of success.
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