Submitted by Life Columnist Sarah Hudson Pierce
In keeping with the political chaos that captures my attention, I am reminded of quotes from some of the masters who put things in perspective for me.
Grantland Rice, author and American sports writer said “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.”
Coach Vince Lombardi said “it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
When I get discouraged I like to think about Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking. The book was first thrown into the thrash can by the author, Norman Vincent Peale, who was told by a publisher that his book wasn’t worth publishing. Being discouraged, he told his wife not to retrieve it in the can.
Instead she carried the manuscript, still in the basket, to another publisher, who immediately published it.
The rest is history.
The Power of Positive Thinking has sold a record number of copies but also influenced me when our speech teacher read it aloud to our class in 1965.
Peale also founded Guidepost Magazine in 1945.
Etched in my memory are the tears of joy I shed, in late March 1994, when I received a certified letter telling me I had sold a story to Guideposts which inspired me to keep on trying.
Later I received an email saying I had sold another story to Guidepost that appeared in the Mysterious Ways magazine twenty-two years later — which affirms my belief that persistence is the key!!
Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States said “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded-genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
I read some time ago that Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Noel Coward and Charles Dickens had at least one thing in common. None of them ever finished grade school.
Such tidbits make me even prouder of the fact that I didn’t graduate from college.
For so long I was ashamed to admit that I performed very badly as a student at Harding University in 1966-67. I was traumatized by fear, because we lost our beds, at the orphanage where I grew up as a child when we graduated from high school.
After publishing my first book, In 1987, I made a trip into Shreveport with some LSUS graduate students. One of the ladies innocently asked me where I graduated from college to which I replied that I had less than one year of college to which she quipped “well I guess if someone is going to write you really can’t stop them.”
Though a little late in life I’ve learned that persistence is the key to success in any endeavor that we undertake. We may never make a lot of money writing but if we know what we want and doggedly pursue that goal, success will one day come.
I gain inspiration from people like Thomas Edison, with less than three months of public education, invented the incandescent light bulb along with over 10,000 other inventions . He also founded General Electric.
This leads me back to the Bible that says “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong but time and chance happens to them all.”
Dreams are worth so much!
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