Life is often seen as one linear journey. It starts at the time of our birth and ends when we pass away. However, in this seemingly straight experience, there are a lot of twists and turns. Sometimes, we come across circumstances that turn into roadblocks, allowing us no way out. To never give up in such times, to pick up the pieces and start all over again, requires great courage and determination. Here are a few quotes from some inspiring personalities of our time, and the past, who made a comeback when the going got tough.
Amitabh Bachchan, Indian actor
“I’d like to believe that tomorrow is another challenge for me. I’m sure there is lots more for me to do because there is lots and lots of stuff still to be explored.”
Before he became the mega-star he is today, Amitabh Bachchan had his share of failures. In the sixties, when Amitabh approached All India Radio with a dream of becoming a radio presenter, he was not even given a chance to meet the studio producers. But this did not deter him. He started afresh by turning his focus towards films, which helped him scale the great heights of fame and success that he enjoys today.
Mark Cuban, American businessman
“I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all.”
Although Mark Cuban is a symbol of success today, there was a time when he did not have enough money to even pay his electricity bills. A tenacious go-getter, Mark proved his deal-making prowess pretty early – as young as the age of 12 in fact. Though he had his fair share of setbacks, including being fired from a salesman job at a software company, Mark has emerged victorious and silenced his critics. The owner of the NBA team Dallas Mavericks and investor in tech giants like Amazon and Netflix, Mark says these experiences greatly motivated him to start all over again and win.
Richard Branson, English business magnate
“Don’t be embarrassed by your failures. Learn from them and start all over again.”
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
Failures have always been a stepping stone for Richard Branson. His courage to explore new territories, both in his professional and personal life, is an inspiration to everyone dealing with a rough patch. His venture Virgin Atlantic had a disastrous start. A flock of birds flew into an engine of the test flight aircraft and caused extensive damage. This incident created further hurdles in obtaining the necessary licenses for beginning operations. Also, the new airlines did not have enough money to repair the damaged aircraft. But Branson did not give up until he managed to put Virgin back up in the skies.
Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company
“Failure is the opportunity to start over again, more intelligently.”
Henry Ford’s very first invention – the quadricycle – died before it could see the light of day. In the 1900s, getting a second chance in the bureaucratic automotive industry was next to impossible. The tarnished reputation earned from his first attempt left him with no financial backers. When he did get the backing, it ended prematurely as investors lost trust in his Detroit Automobile Company, and the project was dissolved in 1901.
Yet, Henry Ford didn’t allow these unforeseen hurdles to sidetrack or get his project off the road. He persevered, and by 1908, the revolutionary Model T changed the favours of both Ford Motors and Henry Ford. His dreams may have taken some time and effort, but Henry Ford did ensure his dream came true.
Sylvester Stallone, American actor
“Every time I’ve failed, people had me out for the count, but I always come back.”
In the seventies, before his mega-blockbuster film Rocky, Sylvester Stallone was unheard of. Before the Oscar-winning success, Stallone’s first onscreen role was in pornographic films, and other roles were mostly limited to blink-and-miss ones. He did all of these to stay afloat and be noticed.
The story behind Rocky is in itself a plot for another super hit. During the time he wrote the script for Rocky, Stallone was completely broke and had to sell his dog to make ends meet. His story tells the tale of how not giving up on your dreams and being dogged in your pursuit will get you to the pinnacle.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In fact, without challenges, life would indeed be dull and boring. The trick to weathering the storm of life is to take inspiration from those who have done so themselves. It would also do us a lot of good to look at each day as a new beginning and to start afresh every single morning.