As I was watching the Oscars the other night and looking at little Quvenzhane Wallis who is 9 years old and the youngest actress to ever be nominated for an Oscar, I thought for a moment if only someone had taken my passion for the arts seriously when I was younger I could be in such a different place right now. I often wonder about the people who are starting out on their dreams at such younger ages now and could it possibly be that it is just too late for mine to come true. Of course this moment was a slight lapse in sanity (lol) because I hardly believe it is ever too late for anyone who has a dream to make it come true.
I remembered a quote that I heard when I watched L.L. Cool J’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, “dreams don’t have deadlines.” Then I thought about all of those people who have reached their goals and have accomplished their dreams and who are now deemed successful by the rest of the world, but who didn’t get there quickly, or who didn’t get there without their own share of personal failures, and even some of who were told that they would never get there.
I wanted to share with you some names of some really influential and inspiring people throughout history. Maybe some of the names on this list will give you the hope that they give me that your dreams are not unattainable and that no matter how many people tell you that you can’t, there are people out there proving that you can.
- Bill Gates—He was a Harvard drop out whose first business failed. He didn’t give up and tried again and the rest was history.
- Steven Spielberg—He was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television three times. He attended school somewhere else only to drop out before finishing.
- J.K. Rowling—Before publishing her Harry Potter Series, she was homeless, virtually penniless, severely depressed, divorced and a single mom while attending school. She went from having to rely on welfare to being one of the richest women in the world in a five year span but her fairytale story did not come without its share of rock bottoms.
- Abraham Lincoln—While he may be considered to be one of the world’s greatest leaders to date, he did not have an easy life without failures. He went to the war as a Captain and came back a private which is the lowest rank in the military. He started several businesses that failed and had been defeated numerous times in running for public office. If he had let any of that stop him who knows how different the world might be right now.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder—This author of the famous “Little House series” which eventually led to the show Little House on the Prairie, along with several other well known young adult series, did not become a success at a young age. Her first book of her Little house series was not published until she was in her mid-sixties. She attributed the years of struggle and hardship to her eventual success.
- Albert Einstein—While he is now revered as a genius Einstein was thought to be mentally handicapped, slow , and anti-social by both his teachers and his parents because he did not speak until the age of 4 and could not read until he was 7. He was eventually expelled from one school and refused entrance to another. In the end he faired rather well winning the Nobel Prize and changing the world of physics.
- Lucille Ball—She was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Her drama instructors even told her that she would never make it and told her to try a different profession. It wasn’t until her staring role in I Love Lucy, at the age of 40, where she finally achieved the level of success that she was looking for and proved all of her drama instructors wrong.
- Sidney Poitier—Poitier was told by the casting director after his first audition that he should just stop wasting people’s time and go back to being a dishwasher. It took him four years from his first audition in 1943 to even begin getting roles in film and TV and it would take another 20 years from that first audition until he became the first African-American actor to win an academy award (Oscar) for best actor in 1963 for his role in Lilies of the Field.
- Steven King—Before his first book, Carrie, was published in 1973, he received 30 rejections and he actually threw the book in the trash. It was his wife who retrieved it out of the trash and nudged him to try again. His career has only skyrocketed from there but it didn’t come to him on the first try, or even the first dozen tries. But he eventually got there.
- Walt Disney—Was once fired by a newspaper editor due to the fact that he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Afterwards Disney started several businesses that did not last long and he ended up in bankruptcy and considered himself a failure. Obviously he didn’t stay knocked down for long because he came up with a brilliant world inside of his mind and thus we have Disney.
What if they had actually believed that there was an expiration date on when they got to achieve their success? Some of the most influential people in this world’s history and the most influential people of our present and our future did not start off having all of the answers and they did not get it right on the first, second, or even third tries. What would this world be like if any of them just threw in the towel and said “it didn’t happen by now, must not be meant to be”. I have been one to tell myself that this or that should’ve happened by now but that’s not really for me to say. Have you been putting a time limit on your success lately? Time is never up when it comes to accomplishing your dreams. Try and remember that. I will be trying right along with you.
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”
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