“When do you finally accept defeat?”

Time to give up – now, next, or never (your choice)

These people chose, never:

7  J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter after being sacked as a secretary for ‘day­dreaming’.   She then got rejected by not one, not two, but 12 publishers before Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone was finally accepted by Bloomsbury – and even then only at the insistence of the chairman’s eight-year-old daughter, Alice.

6  Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff. (By the way, Walt himself later rejected Charles Schultz).

5  The Bee. I know it’s not a person; however this insect is totally deluded, for bees actually believe they can fly! Bumble bees, according to the known laws of aerodynamics, should not be able to fly. Fortunately, bumble bees don’t read much about aerodynamics, so they don’t realise they are doing something they are not supposed to be able to do.

4  Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

3  After Harrison Ford’s first performance as a hotel bellhop in the film Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, the studio vice-president called him in to his office. “Sit down kid,” the studio head said, “I want to tell you a story. The first time Tony Curtis was ever in a movie he delivered a bag of groceries. We took one look at him and knew he was a movie star.” Ford replied, “I thought you were supposed to think that he was a grocery delivery boy.” The vice president dismissed Ford with “You ain’t got it kid , you ain’t got it … now get out of here.”

2  Cameron Mackintosh decided to produce a musical about felines at a venue (The New London) that had never had a hit. Most people thought him mad, and certainly deluded. Yet, Cats became one of the longest running musicals ever. A few years later, clearly not having learned his lesson, he produced another show, wait for it, set in pre-revolutionary France, featuring poverty, death and despair. How entertaining is that? It opened to very small audiences at The Barbican in London and almost every critic hated it.  Cameron would surely finally accept defeat, wouldn’t he?   I’m afraid not. Les Misérables is now the most successful musical in the world. The recently released film version has eight Oscar nominations.

1  You. Please, whatever you are doing right now, revisit what you most dream, desire and deserve. Perhaps it is new; perhaps it is an old wish, dusted off anew. It may be personal; it may be reconnecting with your partner or your children. It may be forgiving someone in your family, after many years. It may be to do with your organisation, work or career.  Whatever it is – please go for it, and if you want to know the first thing to do – ask here.

And as you do, always remember, it will be those people who tell you that you are deluded, that will be the first to tell you, when you achieve your dream, “I always knew you would be successful”

When do you finally accept defeat?

Whenever you so choose

Share your story, or favourite example of persistence below

With my love and best wishes



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