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Don’t underestimate the value of persistence

Bernie Hughes I believe that persistence -- don't give up -- is a great factor in the success of people. Following are some examples: Albert Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak and 7 before he could read. Winston Churchill failed the e...

Bernie Hughes

I believe that persistence - don’t give up - is a great factor in the success of people. Following are some examples:

Albert Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak and 7 before he could read.

Winston Churchill failed the equivalent of sixth grade in school.

A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had "no good ideas."

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Louis Pasteur was rated "mediocre" when he attended Royal College.

Fred Waring was rejected from high school chorus.

The above were among a long list of "failures" I’ve kept on file since my teaching days when some student was thinking about giving up. There were a few times that I understood and agreed why an individual decided to change goals. Many finally had the good fortune of selecting a goal they were successful in obtaining.

Giving up is not the answer and there are many examples. My favorite is President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln entered the Black Hawk War as a captain and came out a private. But there were many other failures on the way to emancipating slaves, including business failures in 1831 and 1832, lost legislative races in 1832, 1848 and 1855, the death of his sweetheart in 1835 and a nervous breakdown the following year. While he was elected to the Legislature in 1834, he was defeated for speaker of the house in 1838 and as an elector in 1840. He was elected to Congress in 1846. In the 1850s, Lincoln was defeated twice for the Senate and once for vice president before he was elected U.S. president in 1860.

Talent won’t always take the place of persistence. Too many talented people do not fully utilize that talent. Genius won’t do it. Unrewarded genius occurs too often - even once is sad. Education alone will not replace persistence. There are many educated derelicts.

Persistence conquers almost every roadblock.

Maybe when you have a child or friend ready to give up. If you do, you could share this with them.

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Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at bernie3024@gmail.com .

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