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The Importance of Perseverance

You may not be aware but some of the most influential and powerful people in the world had to overcome massive adversities and challenges to get to where they are now. The road to success is not a straight line but like a wave, includes many rises and falls. Learning from and overcoming your failures is a key part of success. You learn what works and what doesn’t, and you learn a lot more about yourself and the importance of perseverance.

When you think of some of the smartest minds, most innovative leaders, and biggest influencers who comes to mind? Perhaps people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Oprah Winfrey? One thing they all have in common is that they failed before they succeeded, but they never gave up and each went on to accomplish great things in entirely different fields. For instance, did you know that before he created Microsoft, Bill Gates launched his first business called Traf-O-Data? Yes, like almost everyone you are saying to yourself “what the heck is Traf-O-data?”. It was a device that read data from traffic counters and created reports for traffic engineers. Sounds like a great idea right? Problem was that when Gates and his business partner tried to sell it, the product didn’t work properly. Sure, they could have given to frustration and the failure of their business deciding that being entrepreneurs just wasn’t in the cards for them, but they didn’t. They learned from the failure of Traf-O-Data and used that knowledge to create something better in their next company: Microsoft. As for Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey? Well Richard Branson struggled in school (in part due to his dyslexia) and dropped out when he was only 16. Now he’s famous for founding Virgin Records and the subsequent 400 companies under the Virgin umbrella. With Oprah, many know of her rise to success due to sharing her story on her 25 year run Oprah Winfrey show but for those who don’t, she had a very hard and tragic childhood but went on to excel in high school and college before breaking into news reporting and eventually getting her own show which was an enormous success. Today she has her own television network and a vast array of other projects and businesses. These are just a few examples but there are many, many more. In fact, I don’t think there is one successful person who hasn’t hit any major road blocks or failures.

As Leon Brown says, “Mistakes are the stepping stones to wisdom”. There isn’t one person who doesn’t make mistakes or experience failure. It’s part of being a human. The secret to success though is not to give up after a setback but continue onward, perhaps shifting gears and going on a new path, but never-the-less persevering towards their goals and dreams. No one likes to feel like a failure or make mistakes and when we are in that state it can be hard to see things clearly. Forgive yourself, move on, and focus on the future. If the most successful people in the world can overcome massive adversities and failures, hopefully it inspires you that you too can overcome your challenges and go on to accomplish and create great things.