February 19, 2009

Big ambitions and big achievements require a resilience honed by setbacks, new learning, and a commitment to your version of success. In his commencement address at San Francisco State University, Mayor Gavin Newsom highlighted setbacks navigated by some notable achievers:

  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team … because he wasn’t good enough.
  • Elvis Presley got an F in Music.
  • Winston Churchill finished last in his class … and later remarked that the secret to success was “going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

Another notable Churchill observation: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” What historical heavyweight do you think persevered through the following?

1831: failed in business.

1832: lost his bid for a legislative seat.

1834: failed again in business.

1835: sweetheart died.

1836: had a nervous breakdown.

1838: lost his second political race.

1843: defeated for Congress.

1846: defeated for Congress.

1848: defeated for Congress.

1855: defeated for US Senate.

1856: defeated for Vice President.

1858: defeated for US Senate.

1860: elected 16th President of the United States. Twice.

What types of challenges are worth pursuing even though you may fail? What was the best mistake you ever made? COMPIO means “I accomplish.” When you’re ready to accomplish more, we’re here to help.

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