Jack London’s mother shot herself when she was pregnant with him, suffered temporary insanity, and gave London away for a time to an ex-slave. He became a writer and received more than 600 rejection notices when he submitted his short-story ideas to magazines. Within a decade, he was a best-selling author.
Thomas Edison withdrew from public school after 3 months. His teacher called him stupid and unteachable. He went deaf at an early age and struggled with communication. In time, he taught himself to think with a critical mind and became a prolific inventor, renowned scientist, and a founder of many companies including General Electric.
Milton Hershey dropped out of school in the 4th grade and was fired from a series of jobs. He founded 2 candy-making businesses; each failed. Years later, he founded the company that became famous around the world as the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Isaac Newton was born to a widow and was raised in part by his grandmother. He struggled in school and his teachers abandoned their efforts to teach him. He was considered hopeless as a learner, and he left school to become a farmer. He failed in his task, returned to school, and became one of the most influential thinkers in history, with accomplishments in all branches of science and philosophy.
Winston Churchill flunked 6th grade. He had a speech impediment and struggled with social and academic tasks. He suffered many defeats and disappointments in his early military and political careers. He became a statesman who led Britain as their Prime Minister during World War II and was known for his fiery, inspirational speaking ability. He was the first person ever given an honorary U.S. citizenship.
Albert Einsten did not speak a word until he was almost 4-years-old. His parents were distraught and thought he was learning disabled. Some speculate that he suffered from mild autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Regardless, he became one of the most influential thinkers and scientists in history and is synonymous with the word genius.
A man of greatness does not allow his past to be indicative of his future. He perseveres during hardship and refuses to acknowledge failure. A man of greatness finds the path to success, no matter how long it takes or how treacherous the journey becomes. Failure means nothing more than a temporary delay of your greatness.
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com