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Eyes that see the good in things: Jan. 13, 2020


January 13, 2020

“Although no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” Carl Bard

If you’ve read previous columns, you know that I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. The success rate statistics on New Year’s resolutions are abysmal. However, I am a fan of goal-setting and that’s why I liked this quotation from Carl Bard. It draws attention to one of the best things about a New Year’s resolution but reminds us that no matter what happened yesterday, we have the opportunity and ability to set a new course today.

While there is nothing we can do about the past, we have a great deal of power over what lies ahead of us. I think that people make ambitious New Year’s goals because it is a hope that they can take into the new year. I like Bard’s idea that we can start any day of the week to write the story of our life with a brand-new ending. No matter what has happened before, we have the ability to work toward an ending that is far better than where we are right now.

The key in the New Year’s resolution is not in the New Year part of the resolution. The key is in the resolution – resolving to make a new ending – and rather than being disillusioned by our failed resolutions, we can renew that resolve every day of the year.

Failure is not the alternative to success. It’s only a temporary setback on a bigger, more significant course. Everybody encounters failure at one point or another. What truly matters is how we react to and learn from that failure.

Consider these five entrepreneurs featured in “Entrepreneur” magazine whose stories end in massive success, despite being rooted in failure. They’re perfect examples of why failure should never stop us from following our vision.

1. Arianna Huffington got rejected by 36 publishers.

Huffington’s second book, which she tried to publish long before she created her “Huffington Post” empire, was rejected 36 times before it was eventually accepted for publication.

“Huffington Post” itself wasn’t an overnight success either. When it launched, there were plenty of highly negative reviews about its quality and its potential. Huffington overcame those initial bouts of failure and has become one of the most successful online outlets.

2. Bill Gates watched his first company crumble.

Bill Gates is now one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, but he didn’t earn his fortune in a straight line to success. Gates first entrepreneurial venture was with a company called Traf-O-Data, reportedly a complete disaster. However, the failure did not hold Gates back from exploring new opportunities, and a few years later, he created his first Microsoft product, and forged a new path to success.

3. George Steinbrenner bankrupted a team.

Before Steinbrenner made a name for himself when he acquired ownership of the New York Yankees, he owned a small basketball team called the Cleveland Pipers back in 1960. As a result of Steinbrenner’s direction, the entire franchise went bankrupt.

That failure seemed to follow Steinbrenner when he took over the Yankees in the 1970s as the team struggled with a number of setbacks and losses. However, he eventually led the team to an amazing comeback, with six World Series entries between 1996 and 2003, and a record as one of the most profitable teams in Major League Baseball.

4. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company.

Steve Jobs is an entrepreneur known for his innovations, but he is also well-known for his comeback from an almost irrecoverable failure. Jobs found success in his 20s when Apple became a massive empire. However, when he was still in his 30s, Apple’s board of directors decided to fire him.

Unwilling to let failure define him, Jobs founded a new company called NeXT, which was eventually acquired by Apple. Once back at Apple, Jobs proved his capacity for greatness, reinvented the company’s image and took the Apple brand to new heights.

5. Milton Hershey first three candy companies failed.

Everyone knows Hershey’s chocolate, but Milton Hershey first started his candy production career after being fired as a printer’s apprentice. He started three separate ventures and watched all of them fail.

In one last attempt, Hershey successfully founded the Lancaster Caramel Company. Believing in his milk chocolate, he eventually founded the Hershey Company and became one of the most well-known names in the industry.

We can draw inspiration from these stories the next time we experience failure. In the moment, failure seems like the end of the road, but there are countless successful men and women in the world today who are only enjoying success because they decided to push past the bleakness of failure.

We would do well to learn from our mistakes, reflect and accept the failure, but revisit our passion and keep pursuing our dreams and goals, no matter what. Let Bard’s quotation be a reminder that each day offers its own opportunities.

The power resides in our resolve, not in the New Year.We can resolve to make beneficial changes at any point in the year.

We can’t change the past, but we can impact the future. When things get hard, we are reminded not to abandon a worthy goal—just to renew our resolve.

The good news is that we don’t need to wait for a new year to begin making a new ending; we can start today.

We would love to share local stories about the good things your eyes are seeing.

Stop in to share your stories with us, give us a call at 947-2417 or e-mail us at [email protected] Or send a letter to Eyes That See the Good in Things, c/o Allison Lindgren, The Transcript 6 8th St N., New Rockford, ND 58356.


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