Károly Takács, at 28, was Hungary’s top pistol shooter. He was the favourite to win gold at the 1940 Tokyo Olympic Games. But a grenade accidentally exploded and blew away his right hand – the shooting hand. He wallowed in self-pity, right? Nope, not Károly! He just focused on training his left hand instead! He went on to win golds in the next two Olympics, shooting with his left. Unbelievable? Yes, but true. Imagine how hard it would have been to be in his shoes.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma was rejected by Harvard University 10 times, and also by several jobs including KFC. Stephen King’s first novel Carrie was rejected by 30 publishers before being picked up. Wilma Rudolph – the ‘fastest woman on earth’ in her time – wore a leg brace, suffered infantile paralysis but later won 3 Olympic golds. Edison failed 3000 times before making the first light bulb.
And us? No, we are too scared to fail, and even more scared to try! We feel we bear the burden of the earth on our heads. That a single misstep would cause everyone to take notice, and curse us into oblivion. We are so focused on ourselves and our shortcomings that we never realise one thing. That everyone is so immersed in themselves that they do not really care about us!
Give this a thought – do you remember what clothes your friends and families wore 2 weeks ago? 1 week ago? 3 days ago? Or what kind of bags they were carrying? Or what they said? Hardly! The world has moved on, but we stay rooted to that one insult someone threw at us…way back in kindergarten!
Oprah Winfrey said “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” There is even a book called Attitude is Everything! We would still be in darkness if Edison had stopped after the first try, or even the 2,999th. We can never give up – because we each might be the creators of a lasting legacy for future generations to come. It is the least we can do to repay our ancestors – for giving us the tools and technologies we are blessed with today.
It is human nature to be condescending to others, and so others will continue to sneer and laugh. But we need to concern ourselves with only our own attitude – the right attitude. Because even the impossible then becomes possible.