ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Five Tales of Disappointment

Updated on January 25, 2010

Failure before success is not an unusual occurrence. Here are five stories of people that turned the tables on disappointment and went on to make history.

1. A lousy treasure hunter

Did you know that If Samuel Clemens had been successful at silver prospecting; we would never have had some classic literature. Works like the Tom Sawyer novels, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, would have never come about.

No one would have read the “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. The pen name of Mark Twain would mean nothing. And we would not be privy to some very memorable quotes like:

  1. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
  2. Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
  3. A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.”
  4. Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

2. A very dejected man

Do you know who once wrote this? "I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.”

That was Abraham Lincoln writing a letter to law partner John Stuart in 1841. His depression could be traced to numerous failures in his past. And he would have many more before becoming President.

Lincoln had already failed in business and went bankrupt. His fiancée, Ann Rutledge had died. He had a nervous breakdown. He lost his bid for state legislator. He failed to become an elector.

After he wrote that letter, he lost two out of three Congressional elections. He lost his senatorial election. And he failed in his bid to become Vice President. All of this happened before he became President.

3. Not a grade school scholar

Then there was a man who did poorly during his early education. In fact, he failed the sixth grade. He claimed that it took him many years to overcome a speech impediment.

He lost election after election and the only one he won was to be elected Prime Minister of Great Britain. However, Winston Churchill went on to make a major impact on world history in the twentieth century.

4. Not a good farmer

In the late 19th century, his father gave him 40 acres to start his own farm. Within a few years, he was a complete agricultural flop.

His first business venture after the farm met with disappointment. The same happened with his second endeavor. But on his third attempt, this man did pretty well.

In fact I have a vehicle outside, with his name on it (over a hundred years later). It is a “Ford” pickup truck.

5. His future had much in store for him

In 1843 this man opened a dry goods store in Massachusetts. It failed, so he tried again. His second store did not make it either. In fact, between 1843 and 1855, this happened four times.

Then in 1858 he finally got it right. He opened a new store in New York City. After that R.H. Macy, did pretty well for himself.

Ford truck

32 years old and still running strong!
32 years old and still running strong!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Greg, a great motivational hub reminding us of the value of never quitting ... grave depression isn't the end ... when one door closes another opens. I loved this hub! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 

      8 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

      Oh this is so true!!

      This was a great hub!! Thanks! Many things that I had no idea! I learn many new things each day!! Is this your 32 year old vehicle that is still running?? WOWZIE Greg!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)