I’ve seen many people saying that they didn’t have sufficient resources, enough money, proper guidance, good luck (haha, it’s funny) otherwise they would have become someone very famous to be known as a successful person, they could have done something unforgettable. Common man, let me clear the air. The basic thing that matters is not the resources, money, guidance or good luck but your will to deliver the goods. Where there is a will, there is a way. The history is full of the examples where one has achieved success just because of their will power and voracious appetite for knowledge. Failure happens in everybody’s life, but the one who turns his failure into a step to success is the one who secures his success.
Today, I’ll tell you story of a boy who was born in Milan, Ohio as the last of the seven children of his parents. He was very influenced by his mother who was a school teacher. In his total schooling of 12 weeks, he, the hyperactive kid, was deemed ‘difficult’ by his teacher. He left the school and had been taught by his mother at home. (Here he set an example for those who keep complaining about their initial schooling).
The kid, at age 11, showed insatiable appetite for knowledge and started reading books on wide range of subjects. Thus he developed his own process of self and independent learning. He convinced his parents to allow him to sell newspapers so that he could be in touch with the news. At age 12, he started publishing his own small newspaper named ‘The Grand Trunk Herald’ and realized the need and opportunities in knowledge sharing.
In a train accident he lost his ability to hear.
At age 15, he learned enough to be employed as a telegraph operator. Initially, his partial deafness was not any problem for his job because early Morse code was inscribed on a piece of paper, but the technology advanced and telegraph receivers got a sounding key by that they could hear the message by the sound of some clicks. Deafness of him left him unemployed. This was an another failure point of his life but he didn’t give up.
At age 22, he invented the Universal Stock Printer, which synchronized several stock tickers’ transactions. The Gold and Stock Telegraph Company was so impressed, they paid him $40,000 for the rights. He advanced the technology more and got paid by Western Union, paying Edison more than $100,000 in cash, bonds and stock (Here he set an example for those who complain of their disabilities).
During 1890’s he built a magnetic iron-ore processing plant, that was a big commercial failure. he didn’t get disappointed and turned his failure into success by turning the process into a better method to produce cement. He showed the world that failure is not the full stop, it can be turned into success too by a little extra efforts.
He found the right material for the filament, the little wire inside the light bulb. In 1879, after testing more that 1600 materials for the right filament, including coconut fiber, fishing line, and even hairs from a friend’s beard, Edison and his workers finally figured out what to use for the filament–carbonized bamboo. Everytime when he failed in his experiments for the correct fiber, he didn’t think that he failed, he thought that now he knows one more fiber that will not work. On this regard, his famous statement was, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 things that won’t work“.
Yes, the boy was Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of phonograph, long lasting carbonized filament light bulb, motion picture and holds more a than 1000 patents for his inventions. He could have complained about his schooling, his deafness, less resources to learn but he didn’t. He prepared his own way to learn things. He learned from failures. He turned the circumstances in his favour by his will power and never say die attitude. Think on it. I’ll be right back with some other stories.