By: James Goetz
For some reason a sprinkle of fear is added and success ceases to materialize.
To this very day, I have a "No Fear" poster affixed to the back of my bedroom door. It has been on every bedroom door back I have had since high school. It depicts an ocean wave and reads, "Face Your Fears, Live Your Dreams". What is it many of us fear? Is it better to be satisfied with dreaming of success and happiness or to realize your dream?
Babe Ruth, Herschel Walker, Henry Ford, Ludwig von Beethoven, Walt Disney, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, George Lucas, Louis Pasteur, Richard Bach, Fred Astaire, General Mac Arthur, Dr. Seuss, Elvis Presley, and Bob Proctor are all names of highly successful people. Many aspire to accomplish the feats they did. What we read about them though are only partial stories. We rarely read about the realities of life they too endure. Success is not pretty. Getting there and achieving success is a nasty, rough and ugly process.
The famed sculptor, Rodin's father stated, "I have an idiot for a son". His uncle described him as, "uneducatable". Rodin was rejected three times by the school of art. Yet due to his persistence and learning from failure, ignoring naysayers apathetic in their current life's position, his artwork such as the famed sculpture, The Thinker, will be enjoyed by millions for the rest of time.
General Douglass Mac Arthur was rejected by West Point Military Academy twice. He persisted and on his third attempt was accepted, marching into the history books.
This is just the very short list of people who have found great success in life. This short list proves that everyday people become extraordinary through persistence in their passion and not letting their fears stand in the way of their dreams. Each one of these individuals could have just as easily listened to the naysayers. They could have accepted defeat and lived an unfulfilling life of mediocrity and apathy. With only one life to live though, who has time for that?
You are Not Alone
In general, people fear failure. Some believe the effort required to accomplish great deeds is too great in itself. Some are dissuaded from even beginning their journey or stop just short of the finish line not realizing how close they truly were, simply because of fear of how they will be perceived or spoken about by others. It's often those who are losers themselves or those who have never even tried who are the naysayers. The winners in life are too busy winning to speak negative about you. Misery breeds company and losers love company. Apathy and mediocrity flourish in this country because we allow it. Those who go through life accepting mediocrity and apathy are not going where you want. Why allow them to dictate your path? Current San Francisco 49ers head coach, Chip Kelly said, "I'm not governed by the fear of what other people say. You have to have belief and conviction in what you're doing". Have that belief. Have that conviction. Identify your passion. Identify the steps necessary to complete this goal and do it! Cut lose those holding you back and surround yourself with those who will help you on your journey. You can put your energy into not accomplishing your goals or you can put your energy into accomplishing your goals. This is your choice and your choice alone.
Herschel Walker was told by his high school football coach he was too small to play football. He outworked his competition to win the Heisman Trophy, the most admired award in all of college football, before he went on to a Pro Bowl NFL career.
Henry Ford failed by going broke five times before he succeeded with Ford Motor Company.
Ludwig von Beethoven was called hopeless as a composer by this teacher. He persisted to succeed and is considered one of the greatest composers of all time.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of creativity. He also went bankrupt before he built Disneyland.
Charles Darwin was considered by his father as, "ordinary" and "rather below the common standard in intellect". Identifying evolution was a big deal and obviously took a high intellect to understand.Louis Pasteur ranked number fifteen in his class of twenty two in chemistry during his tenure as an undergraduate student. He did not let that stop him from pursuing a subject he loved. Pasteurization has certainly helped in many aspects keep food born illness to a minimum.
Albert Einstein was mute until he was four. He was illiterate until he was seven. A school teacher described him as, "mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams". He was expelled and refused admission to Zurich Polytechnic School. The University of Bern turned down his PhD dissertation as being irrelevant and fanciful. The Theory of Relativity is hardly irrelevant and fanciful. Had Einstein accepted failure, he would not have developed what is arguably the most important research of our time.
Richard Bach's, Johnathan Livingston Seagull was rejected by eighteen publishers before MacMillon published it in 1970. By 1975 it had sold more than seven million copies in the United States alone!
Dr. Seuss initially failed to publish his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, as it was rejected by twenty seven publishers. His persistence of 29 sold six million copies of this book, launching a long string of very popular children's stories.
Bob Proctor, author of the original, Chicken Soup for the Soul, failed in publishing his book at first. He was rejected by thirty three publishers in New York alone. He was also rejected by another ninety publishers at the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California. He followed his belief and conviction and eventually Health Communications Inc. agreed to publish Chicken Soup for the Soul. Since then, this original copy has sold more than eight million copies. The series has grown to thirty two titles in thirty one separate languages, selling over fifty three million copies.
George Lucas' Star Wars was rejected by every movie studio in Hollywood until 20th Century Fox agreed to produce it. It has of course gone on to be one of the largest grossing movies in film history.
Fred Astaire's first screen test was commented on by MGM Studios (1933) stating, "can't act! slightly bald! can dance a little!" Astaire acted and danced his way into movie history.
Elvis Presley was told after a performance after being fired by Jimmy Denny, manager of The Grand Ole Opry, "You ought to go back to drivin a truck". Elvis paid no particular attention to the naysayer and persisted in following his passion to become the most popular singer in the US.
Go For It!
The chance is now yours. What will you choose to do with your passion? Will your name be added to this list of success stories or will you fade away into the abyss of not mattering? Is your energy going to be spent in a positive manner to accomplish your goals or will it be directed negatively to guide you away from your goals or worse yet, both your and someone else away from theirs? It's gut check time. Will your fears keep you from your dreams or will you face your fears, realize fear is nothing but a word and live your dreams? It's go time!
James "Jim" Goetz, affectionately referred to as, "Dr. Daddy", is a leading global expert in the field of health, fitness and wellness having spent many years as a strength and conditioning coach, completing his national chiropractic board exams and authoring numerous articles on the subject. He currently explores the unknown in advancing human performance through scientific research.
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