if you’re going through hell, keep going


A university. A company. A woman or a man.

We’ve all experienced being turned down at one time in our lives. I still remember getting a letter from Claremont McKenna College back when I was 17. “We’re sorry to inform…” I believe were the words at the top of the page. Thankfully, it all turned out ok.

For anyone who’s ever been in sales. Rejection is almost a daily thing, but the successful sales people don’t let it faze them.

Even Jesus knew when to call it a day.

If you’ve read any personal development book, you’re bound to have come across Lincoln’s quote which goes, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

It makes little difference how good you are, there are just some people who won’t buy what you’re selling.

I was reminded of this while reading an article on Todd McFarlane, one of the cofounders of Image comics, creator of Spawn (a comic I used to read) and one of the top names in comics.

Amazingly, despite his incredible talent, he actually got rejected, 350 times!!!!

It took him about 700 sample submissions before someone finally caved in and offered him a job.

The problem is that most people aren’t willing to stick around that long.

We often hear of people talking about wanting to be something, and yet, give up within a few short months, if that. Some people don’t even make a week.

Perseverance is one critical skill every successful person talks about.

Jon Bon Jovi worked as a janitor in a music studio in order to record his first tracks. Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job because she “was not fit for television.” Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas.” Albert Einstein’s teachers said he’d “never amount to anything.” And even the Beatles got turned down by Decca Recording Studios saying, “They have no future in show business.”

These are just some of the many success stories of people who chose not to give up the first hot day. They all looked rejection directly in the face and chose to keep going.

The rest is history as they say.

Rejection can be taken in one of two ways, motivation to work harder or a reason to give up.

I suppose I could have closed down this site a year ago and said to myself, “At least I tried,” but that’s not what I want to tell my son. I want to be able to tell him that I gave it all I got. I went for it. Win or lose, I’m not someone to back away from a fight or when the going gets tough.

Children are impressionable. We all know that. And what we as parents do speaks volumes even if we don’t realize it.

I want to instill in my son an attitude of never giving up. It’s something that will take him far.

We all have to face those days when we don’t quite make the cut, just weren’t good enough, aren’t what someone is looking for, lost to a better person. That’s part of life, but the truly successful people know that failure is just an event, and tomorrow really is “a new day.”

Winston Churchill is famous for saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I can’t begin to imagine what life must have been like back then. A time when humankind was at its darkest.

And yet, his resolve never waived and somehow, good prevailed.

Dark times come and go, but we control how we react to them. Either we give in, or we fight.

Me, I prefer to fight.

Adrian Shepherd

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