My 8 favourite famous failures.
Thomas Edison was told by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a television reporter and told she was “unfit for tv.”
Walt Disney was fired from his first newspaper job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Henry Ford went broke 5 times before finally creating the Ford Model T when he was 45 years old.
While first writing Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling’s mother died, her marriage failed, she had no job, was on welfare, was diagnosed with clinical depression and described herself being as “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.” She kept writing anyway.
One of Elvis Presley’s first singing gigs was at the Grand Ole Opry, but he was fired after just one performance with the manager telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” He kept singing anyway.
Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime, and that was to a friend. He kept painting anyway.
Famous philosopher Socrates’s original ideas at the time led him to be named “an immoral corrupter of youth” and he was sentenced to death. He kept talking anyway.
Each of these 8 famous examples show the difference between mindful vs mindless failure.
Mindless failure is when you keep failing without growing skills and self awareness. Mindful failure is when each failure gets you clearer about who you are, why you’re here, and how to do it better next time.
The key to mindful failure? Set up a rhythm of commitment, action, failure, learning, repeat – and keep persevering to create your own virtuous cycle maximizing failures that steer you and minimizing failures that sink you.
“The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda