When you think of your failures, do you cringe with regret? Do you squeal with glee? Do you hide your head in shame?
Failures often give us an inferiority complex. They make us think we’re less than, a loser, or finished. Failures bring us down.
But should they? Should failure make you feel horrible?
I think not.
The Failures Of Famous People
I was thinking about my personal failures. There’s many. Just ask my wife.
Yet, I want to think about the failures of famous people. These are people you may have heard of before. You may also be shocked to hear that they’ve experienced failures too. Some of their failures have been extremely frustrating or challenging. Maybe even more than yours!
Let’s take a look at the failures of 4 famous people.
1. Stephen King:
Stephen King is the author of Carrie, a horror story and movie. He submitted Carrie to 30 publishers. They all rejected his submissions. After the 30th rejection, King threw his manuscript into the circular file.
Thankfully, King’s wife took the manuscript out of the garbage and convinced him to submit Carrie one final time. This time, his 31st attempt, was accepted.
Persistence pays off. Don’t let rejection or failure stop you from trying again.
2. Milton Hershey:
Who doesn’t love chocolate? If you raised your hand, put it down! Everyone loves chocolate. Or should…
One of the most famous chocolate companies may not exist if they gave into failure.
Milton Hershey, the founder of the famous Hershey Company, had tried to start three candy companies. All three failed. He attempted a fourth company called the Lancaster Caramel Company. This company saw success. Then, he founded the Hershey Company and the rest is history.
3. George Lucas:
With my love of film and the leadership lessons film can teach, I couldn’t leave George Lucas off of the list of famous people who failed. We know of Star Wars as an ever-growing movie, television, book, and comic book universe. It almost wasn’t so.
Lucas was rejected by three of the major studios of the time. United Artists, Universal, and, funnily enough, Disney rejected Lucas’ vision for Star Wars.
Finally, Fox supported Star Wars. We’ve now seen over 9 Star Wars movies and more to come.
4. Robert Downey, Jr.:
Another famous person in the movie industry is Robert Downey, Jr. You know him from his role as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Before he became Tony Stark and donned the Iron Man armor, Downey was a lost cause. Multiple arrests, drug and alcohol abuse, and more, no one wanted to touch Downey with a 10-foot pole.
Now, Downey is a beloved actor. He grossed over $2 billion from the Iron Man films. His personal failures turned around and he is now seeing success.
What Are Your Failures?
I want to ask you “What are your failures?” What things in your life have not gone as planned? What have you done that you are ashamed of?
The famous people I mentioned, they all had failures or things they were ashamed of. However, they didn’t live there. They moved on from their failures and created the success they achieved.
Think about your failures today. What are they? What can they lead to? Do you need to keep trying? What needs to change?
Don’t dismiss your failures. They’re there to teach you a lesson, propel you forward, or to help others learn from you.