Consider This

Consider This

From A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Consider This

You never really lose until you quit trying.

Mike Ditka NFL Football Coach

Consider this:

• Most people have no idea of the amount of practice, discipline and effort that goes into becoming a superstar. For example, former U.S. Senator and former New York Knicks basketball star Bill Bradley practiced relentlessly. He had five spots on the basketball court from which he would shoot 25 times. If he didn’t hit 22 baskets out of 25 shots, he’d start over. He was determined to stay there and do it over and over until he could do it right almost every time.

• Novelist Carson McCullers endured three strokes before she was 29. While she was crippled, partially paralyzed and in constant pain, she suffered the profound shock of her husband’s suicide. Others may have surrendered to such afflictions, but she settled for writing no less than a page a day. On that unrelenting schedule she turned out many distinguished novels including Member of the Wedding, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and The He art Is a Lonely Hunter.

• When NFL running back Herschel Walker was in junior high school, he wanted to play football, but the coach told him he was too small. He advised young Herschel to go out for track instead. Undaunted by the lack of encouragement and support, he ignored the coach’s advice and began an intensive training program to build himself up. Only a few years later, Herschel Walker won the Heisman trophy.

• Having a learning disability doesn’t have to stop you. Consider the following people who did not let learning disabilities stop them from pursuing and achieving their dreams:

John Lennon, singer, musician and songwriter.

General George Patton, American general and tank commander.

Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Woodrow Wilson, 27th president of the United States.

Harry Belafonte, singer, actor, producer, civil rights activist.

George Burns, actor, comedian.

Cher, singer, actress.

Agatha Christie, British novelist.

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Tom Cruise, actor.

Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist.

Albert Einstein, scientist.

Whoopi Goldberg, actress and comedian.

• Physical disabilities do not have to stop you either. Consider these people with challenges and the tremendous levels of success they have achieved:

John Milton, the famous poet and author, was blind.

Itzhak Perlman, world-class concert violinist, is paralyzed from the waist down.

James Thurber, cartoonist and humorist, was visually impaired.

Heather Whitestone, 1994 Miss America, is deaf.

Jim Eisenrich, professional baseball player, has Tourette’s syndrome.

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

Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist and lecturer at Cambridge University and bestselling author of A Brie f History of Time , has Lou Gehrig’s disease.

James Earl Jones, world-renowned actor, stuttered from ages 6 to 14.

• Tom Dempsy was born without toes on his right foot. Although this might be considered a disability to some, he was born to a family who considered him quite capable and able-bodied. Because he focused on his vision of what he was capable of rather than his limitations, he eventually became a place kicker in the National Football League. While playing with the New Orleans Saints, he kicked one of the longest field goals—63 yards!—in NFL history. He achieved this feat with a kicking foot half the size of his other one.

If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

Thomas Edison

• Marathoner Joan Benoit underwent knee surgery only 17 days before the U.S. Olympic trials, but her determination enabled her not only to make the team, but also to win the first ever Olympic gold medal in her event.

• King Camp Gillette dreamed of a cockeyed invention that caused investors, metal engineers and experts at MIT to snicker. They all believed that there was noway a razor could be made sharp enough to provide a clean shave and yet be cheap enough that it could be thrown away when it was dull. Gillette labored four years to produce the first disposable razor and another six years to get it placed on store shelves. Although only 51 blades sold during the first year, 90,844 were purchased in the second year and Gillette’s risk-taking innovation was on its way to revolutionizing the shaving industry.

• Michelangelo endured seven long years of lying on his back on a scaffold to complete the painting of the Sistine Chapel.

• Eric Mohn has won numerous awards in local, national and even international art competitions for his watercolor paintings. Senator John Warner of Virginia and Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia are two people who have bought his paintings in recent years. Remarkably, Mohn is paralyzed in all four limbs and paints with a brush held in his mouth. Another remarkable fact about his accomplishments is that Mohn never even pursued art as a hobby or career until 1977, 13 years after a car accident left him paralyzed from the chest down.

The human spirit cannot be paralyzed. If you are breathing, you can dream.

Mike Brown

• Dennis Walters was a promising young golfer when a freak golf cart accident paralyzed both of his legs. He had no intention of watching golf from the sidelines. Dennis learned how to hit golf balls from a sitting position, designed a swivel seat for his golf cart and eventually drove the ball 250 yards from a sitting position. Walters went on to become a golf instructor and a popular golf exhibitionist.

• Beethoven was completely deaf when he composed his masterpiece, the Ninth Symphony.

• Tom Sullivan lost his sight at birth because the wrong solution was put into his eyes. He later decided that he could play every sport but baseball, basketball and tennis. Today he golfs, swims, runs, skis, rides horses and enjoys life to the fullest.

• David W. Hartman went blind at the age of eight. His dream to become a medical doctor was thwarted by Temple University Medical School, when he was told that no one without eyesight had ever completed medical school. He courageously faced the challenge of “reading” medical books by having 25 complete medical textbooks audio-recorded for him. At 27, David Hartman became the first blind student to ever complete medical school.

• Almost no one at 3M believed that the Post-It notes had a future, but Art Fry kept handing them out to people until they gave the product a chance. Even after the first marketing attempt failed, Art did not give up on the idea. He persisted until the idea became a colossal success.

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.

Albert Einstein

• Colonel Sanders had the construction of a new road put him out of business in 1967. He went to over 1,000 places trying to sell his chicken recipe before he found a buyer interested in his 11 herbs and spices. Seven

years later, at the age of 75, Colonel Sanders sold his fried chicken company for a finger-lick in’ $15 million!

• A young woman aspiring to land a permanent position in broadcasting found more failure than success. No United States radio station would give her an opportunity because “a woman wouldn’t be able to attract an audience.” She made her way to Puerto Rico and then, paying her own way, flew to the Dominican Republic to cover and sell her stories on the uprising there. Back in the States she valiantly pursued her passion, but after 18 firings, she wondered if a career in broadcasting was ever meant to be. Finally she persuaded an executive to hire her, but he wanted her to host a political talk show. She was familiar with the microphone but not politics. Using her comfortable conversational style, she talked about what the Fourth of July meant to her and invited callers to do the same. The program was a hit. Listeners loved it and the network realized it. Today, Sally Jesse Raphael is a two-time Emmy-Award-winning host of her own television talk show reaching eight million viewers daily throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

• Four-time Academy-Award-winning actress Katharine Hepburn was fired from several of her early stage roles. She was criticized for talking too fast, was considered ornery and difficult to work with, and was evaluated as too bony, thin and mannish to be on stage. Accompanied by her unwavering determination, she sought the assistance of a voice and drama coach who nurtured her through a variety of stage roles. Eventually, one of her performances drew great reviews and led to a movie contract.

Jack Canfield , Mark Victor Hansen,

Hanoch McCarty and Meladee McCarty

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