A Lesson in Perseverance
Have you ever known someone who was extraordinary? Steve Jobs is getting a lot of press because of his fantastic accomplishments. Sometimes, when we see successful people, we don't realize what it took for them to overcome great adversity. Here's a story that demonstrates tenacity and perseverance.
Dave lost his adoptive mother to death before he entered first grade. By age 12, he lost two jobs within a month--one of them due to a disagreement with his boss.
Later, he parted ways with his single adoptive father and decided to drop out of high school and work full-time to support himself. At one point, he owned four unprofitable businesses at the same time. Some people in his life (including his father) thought Dave was never going to succeed in life and told him so repeatedly.
Within five years, Dave turned those businesses around and sold them for $1.5 million. Instead of retiring, a year after that, he would start and lead his own successful company for 20 more years.
As a senior citizen, Dave finally earned his GED. Then Dave founded a school to help others earn their GEDs. Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's Restaurants, would end his life as one of the wealthiest, most recognizable people in America, and a strong vocal and financial advocate for both adoptive children and education.
Dave's story is not only about what he achieved and who he was at the end, but also how he persevered along the way: it's the journey of life.
I've had the pleasure meeting many successful people. The one characteristic that they all have is in common, is that they are always learning. For them, it's not about the mountain top, it's about 'The Climb,' as Mylie sings. Learning improves your chances of success in life's journey.
If we don't fail, we cannot learn from mistakes. When things get hard, successful people don't look for something to blame. They keep moving forward. This is not a journey of perfection.
If you're not learning, you're not growing. You can't overcome obstacles without growing beyond what you were before the obstacles. The people in this 1 minute video (below) were willing to keep learning and growing, and the world is a better place as a result.
Our ability to continuously learn and improve differentiates who we are from who we can be.