I remembered reading a book titled The 100: A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons in History back when I was still a child. Written in 1978 by Michael Hart, the book was controversial at that time and it was a wonder that it was even translated into Indonesian and found its way to my grandfather’s library.
Thomas Alva Edison was undoubtedly a genius. But it wasn’t
his brain that earned him the spot (35th to be exact) in the list.
It was his approach to solving the problems of his time and thus providing the
future a certain bright comfort, pun intended.
He once described his invention methods as involving a lot
of hard work and repeated trial and error until a method was successful. Rumor
had it that to finally get the first light bulb that changed the world work
took 1,000 tries.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 1,000 ways that won’t work.
– Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of light bulb and apparently master of positivity
His protégé, Nicola Tesla, shared the same view. Tesla’s namesake adopter, Elon Musk went through the same trials. Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, even Colonel Sanders go through failures and rejections in large numbers. But eventually, there’s only a limited number of failures and/or rejection you could experience. Eventually, the bulb would light up or someone would say yes. That’s when it all counted.
Too many people had become victims and witnesses of this
simple truth. The one truth we were afraid to acknowledge. Afraid that it would
tell us who we really were.
“If you really want it, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”
Once there was a boy who loved the game probably more than
anyone. But he was always told that he was too short to be anywhere on the
court. So he worked out when no one else was on the court. And he worked out
really hard like his life depended on it. And one day he got a shot. Literally
and figuratively. And guess what we know of him today?
“By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.”
– I didn’t say it. His biography on the official NBA website did.
What’s holding you back today? What’s your excuse?