New dreams form every day — so many that if we could count them and put just a penny value on each one, we would be among the richest people in the world.
On the way to making dreams a reality, we all face obstacles, setbacks and painful experiences. Here are five examples of famous “failures” who refused to give up and continued pursuing their dreams in life. If you don’t know the rest of their stories, you should see what steps they took to become dream makers.
Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4, failed his entrance to a major school and was considered by his father to be a failure, even as an insurance salesman.
Colonel Sanders’ father died when he was 6. The colonel dropped out of school in seventh grade, was fired from a railway company for fighting with a coworker and got fired from a life insurance company for insubordination.
Adrian Peterson, a professional football player,was 7 years old when he saw his own brother die after being hit by a drunk driver. Six years later, his father was sent to prison for money laundering. Adrian also overcame a terrible ACL injury and kept playing despite the tragic murder of his baby boy.
Oprah Winfrey was born to single mother living on welfare. Oprah was physically, mentally and sexually abused during her childhood, ran away at 13 and got pregnant at 14. She lost her baby shortly after birth. Oprah was also fired from her first job for being unfit for television.
Serena and Venus Williams grew up in an economically depressed area and faced challenges in their chosen sport as Black women. They also broke the glass ceiling for African American females to become a dominant winning force in women’s pro tennis.
No, I don’t think every child should get a trophy for being on the team. Yes, I think every child should have responsibilities that they perform every day around the house as chores. No, they should not get paid for this. Yes, they need to be disciplined for poor behavior or performance.
My father was from the farmland in Bulloch County. He brought the heat when it came to discipline. Yet whenever my siblings and I performed our best — left it all on the field, did our reading at night, studied days for the next test — we knew they supported our efforts.
A common thread among these stories of famous people is that their paths were not necessarily easy. They faced challenges that could have caused them to stop before they achieved their dreams. I hope they had what I did: someone I respected, loved and had a relationship with for guidance to let me fail at my attempt to accomplish a goal. That taught me how to get back up when I was knocked down so that I didn’t get knocked out of the game.