Never, Never, Never, Never…

EVER FELT LIKE just quitting? Cashing it in? Throwing in the towel? Flying the white flag? Flat giving up?

  • Abraham Lincoln was defeated in his first try for the state legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.”
  • Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He was subsequently defeated in every election for public office until he became Prime Minister at the age of 62. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up.”
  • Thomas Edison‘s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
  • Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “sub-normal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He did eventually learn to speak and read. Even to do a little math.
  • An expert said of Vince Lombardi: “He possesses minimal football knowledge and lacks motivation.” Lombardi would later write, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
  • Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Jimmy Johnson accounted for 11 of the 19 Super Bowl victories from 1974 to 1993. They also share the distinction of having the worst records of first-season head coaches in NFL history—they didn’t win a single game.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.
  • Charles Schultz of “Peanuts” fame had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Oh, and Walt Disney wouldn’t hire him.
  • The first time Jerry Seinfeld walked on-stage at a comedy club as a professional comic, he looked out at the audience, froze, and forgot the English language. He stumbled through “a minute-and a half” of material and was jeered offstage. He returned the following night and closed his set to wild applause.
  • After Harrison Ford‘s first performance, the studio vice president called him in to his office. “Sit down kid,” the studio head said, “I want to tell you a story. The first time Tony Curtis was ever in a movie he delivered a bag of groceries. We took one look at him and knew he was a movie star.” Ford replied, “I thought you were s’posed to think that he was a grocery delivery boy.” The vice president dismissed Ford with “You ain’t got it kid, you ain’t got it…now get out of here.”
  • Enrico Caruso‘s music teacher said he had no voice at all and could not sing. His parents wanted him to become an engineer.
  • Decca Records turned down a recording contract with the Beatles with the unprophetic evaluation, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.” After Decca rejected the Beatles, Columbia records followed suit.
  • In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after one performance. He told Presley, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
  • 18 publishers turned down Richard Bach‘s story about a “soaring eagle.” Macmillan finally published Jonathan Livingston Seagull in 1970. By 1975 it had sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone [total sales to date: 40 million].*
  • Finally, Jesus never gave up on the rebellious, doomed human race. He has never given up on you—and He never will. So never give up on your hopes and dreams of what you can do or become. Never give up on yourself—or anybody else!

*Above items from this Emory University website.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Oh thank you for sharing this. It’s such an inspiration and a great reminder that quitters never win and winners never quit. I needed this.

    Reply

  2. Thanks, n’Drea….for commenting from over there in Jamaica!

    Reply

  3. This is very useful as I’m reading “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill and these stories compliment the motto from one of the chapters: “a winner never quits.”

    Thank you also for taking time to leave a comment on a recent post of mine. If you have the time, I’ve resonded to your comments in that post.

    God bless.

    Reply

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