Have you ever needed inspiring? How about after you’ve dealt your last deck as far as you’re concerned? You’ve heard your last “inspirational” message and came to realize that they’re all garbage? I’m here to help.

Perseverance is what you’re looking for, not inspiration. That’ll help for starters. Furthermore, so will real stories of perseverance.

Let’s start with some bad examples of perseverance:

  1. The man/woman who finishes the race after an injury. So what? Did they win? Did doing that cause them to get picked up by an incredible sponsor and go on to fulfill their dream? No? All it did was get them a standing ovation, a news article, and then they had to quit the sport because of the injury, or tried again the next year or more only to never be as good as they once were? Yeah. Bad example.
  2. J.K. Rowling. This example is used more than any other presently, and misrepresented/misunderstood more than any other as well… presently. Rowling was living on benefits as a single mom with a baby. She either couldn’t get a job or didn’t try to, that part was never really touched upon (to my knowledge, at least until she did get a job after completing her first book). She had nothing better to do than write before working, and so she did. She wrote in the 90’s when yes, MG books were rarer, but so were authors. There wasn’t half the competition then as there is now, and new authors were actually fought for by agents, not against. She “got rejected numerous times”, you know, like every other author on earth. Oh, and unless she submitted other books that she’s not telling us about (which given certain facts about her submission process I highly doubt), this is not about perseverance. She wasn’t rejected by a single publisher; her agent was, and she was only rejected by one agent (of course these facts vary depending on who you get them from.) Agents do not tell you when you have been rejected. They only tell you when you have been accepted, or they’re giving up on you. So she would have had no knowledge of being rejected by a single publisher until well after the money came in (if I remember correctly, she even mentioned in an interview how she had no idea until some reporter asked her about it or something similar). I have a disabled husband, homeschooled my child, worked, and still wrote, so her sob story sounds like a dream to me. And compared to other authors I know, my sob story is a dream come true to them. This is a terrible example of perseverance.
  3. Some guy/gal who went to Princeton, got rejected by their school’s newspaper staff and went on to become some famous editor/owner of a magazine. There are a billion stories like this. Let me break it down why they’re bad examples of perseverance. Being rejected one time by your school and not real life means nothing. If you can’t get up from that and pursue you’re dream, it was never a serious dream. The person went to Princeton/Harvard/etc. In other words, they came from money which means more than just having financial backing for their work/dreams. People with money know people. They have connections. Connections + money = success. Period.

Now let’s look at some good examples.

  1. Chester Calton spent 10 years searching for a company to develop his idea, later to be Xerox. He tried and failed multiple times and finally became successful. It wasn’t over night. It took years. But he never gave up. This is a good example of perseverance and what should inspire us to do the same.
  2. R.H Macy failed numerous times over 15 years until he was finally successful. But. Those past failures, and the jobs he did in between to pay for those failures, gave him the experience he needed to become successful. By utilizing the experiences he didn’t want (aka failures and in-between jobs), he was able to finally achieve his dream.
  3. John Creasey supposedly received over 700 rejections.  This in and of itself is not remarkable. What is remarkable is that even in the 30’s when writers were paid far better than now, and making a good living as a full time one was not unheard of, he continued to work for 5 years after his first book was published. I guarantee it was because he had to. So even though he was a published author in 1930, he had to work. That had to take its toll on him, and these jobs were clerical, sales, factory, in other words, anything he could find. Truly an inspiration story!

So please, when you’re feeling down, about to give up, remember the good examples, the real examples. The example where people took years of hard work outside of their desired profession in order to pay for said profession until they were finally successful.

Don’t. Give. Up.

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