Consider This

Consider This

From A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Consider This

The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were not limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.

Helen Keller

Consider this:

• Ski instructor Pete Seibert was considered crazy when he first disclosed his dream to start a ski resort. Standing on the summit of a mountain in the Gore Range in Colorado, Seibert described a dream he had carried with him since age 12, and began the challenge of convincing others that it was possible. Seibert’s dream is now a reality called Vail.

• Young Dr. Ignatius Piazza, fresh out of chiropractic school, wanted to open a practice in the beautiful Monterey Bay area of California. He was told by the local chiropractic community that the area was already overrun with chiropractors and there were not enough potential patients to support another practice. For the next four months, Piazza spent 10 hours a day going door to door and introducing himself as a new chiropractic doctor in town. He knocked on 12,500 doors, spoke to 6,500 people and invited them to come to his future open house. As a result of his perseverance and commitment, during his first month in practice, he saw 233 new patients and earned a record income for that time of $72,000 in one month!

• During its first year of business, the Coca-Cola Company sold only 400 Cokes.

• Basketball superstar Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

• At age 17, Wayne Gretzky was an outstanding athlete intent on pursuing a career in either soccer or hockey. His first love was hockey, but when he tried out for the pros, he was told, “You don’t weigh enough. At 172 pounds, you’re over 50 pounds lighter than the average player. You won’t be able to survive on the rink.”

• Sheila Holzworth lost her sight when she was only 10 years old. The orthodontic headgear that was attached to her braces snapped and gouged her eyes. Despite her lack of sight, she went on to become an internationally known athlete whose accomplishments included climbing to the icy summit of Mount Rainier in 1981.

• Rafer Johnson, the decathlon champion, was born with a club foot.

• Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book, And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by 27 publishers. The 28th publisher, Vanguard Press, sold 6 million copies of the book.

• Richard Bach completed only one year of college, then trained to become an Air Force jet-fighter pilot. Twenty months after earning his wings, he resigned. Then he became an editor of an aviation magazine that went bankrupt. Life became one failure after another. Even when he wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, he couldn’t think of an ending. The manuscript lay dormant for eight years before he decided how to finish it—only to have 18 publishers reject it. However, once it was published, the book went on to sell 7 million copies in numerous languages and make Richard Bach an internationally known and respected author.

• The author William Kennedy had written several manuscripts, all of them rejected by numerous publishers, before his “sudden success” with his novel Iron weed , which was rejected by 13 publishers before it was finally accepted for publication.

• When we wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul, it was turned down by 33 publishers before Health Communications agreed to publish it. All the major New York publishers said, “It is too nicey-nice” and “Nobody wants to read a book of short little stories.” Since that time over 7 million copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul, A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul and the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook have been sold worldwide, with the books translated into 20 languages.

• In 1935, the New York Herald Tribune’s review of George Gershwin’s classic Porgy and Bess stated that it was “Surefire rubbish.”

• In 1902, the poetry editor of the Atlantic Monthly returned the poems of a 28-year-old poet with the following note: “Our magazine has no room for your vigorous verse.” The poet was Robert Frost.

• In 1889, Rudyard Kipling received the following rejection letter from the San Francisco Examiner: “I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”

• Alex Haley got a rejection letter once a week for four years as a budding writer. Later in his career, Alex was ready to give up on the book Roots and himself. After nine years on the project, he felt inadequate to the task and was ready to throw himself off a freighter in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As he was standing at the back of the freighter, looking at the wake and preparing to throw himself into the ocean, he heard the voices of all his ancestors saying, “You go do what you got to do because they are all up there watching. Don’t give up. You can do it. We’re counting on you!” In the subsequent weeks the final draft of Roots poured out of him.

• John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress while confined to a Bedford prison cell for his views on religion; Sir Walter Raleigh wrote the History of the World during a 13-year imprisonment; and Martin Luther translated the Bible while confined in the Castle of Wartburg.

One of the secrets of success is to refuse to let temporary setbacks defeat us.

Mary Kay

• After Thomas Carlyle lent the manuscript of The French Revolution to a friend whose servant carelessly used it to kindle a fire, he calmly went to work and rewrote it.

• In 1962, four young women wanted to start a professional singing career. They began performing in their church and doing small concerts. Then came their time to cut a record. It was a flop. Later, another record was recorded. The sales were a fiasco. The third, fourth, fifth and on through their ninth recordings were all failures. Early in 1964, they were booked for The Dick Clark Show. He barely paid enough to meet expenses, and no great contracts resulted from their national exposure. Later that summer, they recorded “Where Did Our Love Go?” This song raced to the top of the charts, and Diana Ross and the Supremes gained national recognition and prominence as a musical sensation.

• Winston Churchill was unable to gain admittance to the prestigious Oxford or Cambridge universities because he “was weak in the classics.”

• James Whistler, one of America’s greatest painters, was expelled from West Point for failing chemistry.

• In 1905, the University of Bern turned down a doctoral dissertation as being irrelevant and fanciful. The young physics student who wrote the dissertation was Albert Einstein, who was disappointed but not defeated.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

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