You can’t pick up a newspaper or surf your television channels without being told how tough times are today. We’re also told to expect it to get worse before it gets better. That’s always encouraging.
These tough times have happened before—many times throughout history. You can bet they’ll happen again and again in the future. Those who are wise learn from the past—others are destined to repeat the past until they do learn.
What are some of the basic lessons we’ve learned from past turbulent times? There are many to be sure and we must choose those which best meet our needs and circumstances.
History mentions many:
- Never give up
- Try, try again
- Take one step at a time
- Keep moving forward
- … and probably most important, Be persistent.
Here’s a perfect example. Theodore Geisel’s first book was turned down by 28 publishers before Vanguard finally accepted it. After that Geisel went on to write 46 other books including two you’re sure to recognize: The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. We know Theodore Geisel, of course, by his pen name: Dr. Seuss. His world-renowned stories inspired a line of clothing, television specials, movies, many toys, Halloween costumes, furniture, games, puzzles, a web site, etc. What if he hadn’t been persistent during any of those 28 rejections?
Geisel’s not the only author who learned the value of persistence. Each of the following famous novels was originally rejected by publishers. Most went on to be filmed for the big screen.
- The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
- The Good Earth (Pearl Buck)
- Moby-Dick (Herman Melville)
- The Naked and the Dead (Norman Mailer)
- Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
- A Time to Kill (John Grisham)
- The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John LeCarre)
- Animal Farm (George Orwell)
- Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
Examples abound from all walks of life. The common thread? Persistence.
Thomas Edison said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Robert Schuller said: “Tough times never last, but tough people do!”