November 30, 2014

6 Examples of Persistent People who Beat the Odds

The above quote is probably taken from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Outliers. This eye-opening work gives numerous examples of how success doesn’t usually happen “overnight”. Triumph is often based largely on heredity and environment. However, the message that really stood out to me was that achievement can be based on sheer persistence. 

Gladwell puts forth the simple truth that we can become skilled at almost anything, as long as we’re willing to practice our craft for at least 10,000 hours. In the same way, my book, Accept No Trash Talk cites many cases of prominent figures that rose to the top through hard work. These people refused to allow their naysayers to stop the flow of creativity.


Lindsey Stirling--is a young American musician and dancer who enjoys worldwide success. She didn’t allow poor critiques from some of the America’s Got Talent judges to stop her from practicing her art.

The Rat Pack--was a group of male entertainers popular in America during the mid-20th century. The core members were Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin. This troupe of performers had to fight public prejudice against their African-American colleague, Sammy Davis, Jr., constantly. They moved through the barrier of prejudice and kept performing their musical and variety act. 

Dolly Parton and Naomi Judd--are American Country music legends. These ladies have been performing for decades. Their perseverance has raised them both from a childhood of poverty.

Writers Who I Don’t Mention in my Book

Tom Clancy--is a prolific American novelist of techno-thrillers such as The Hunt for Red October. In the beginning of his career, Clancy still kept his day job at an insurance office. Decades later, He doesn’t need a “day job”. 

Dan Brown--is an American novelist of such books as The Da Vinci Code. He kept writing through rejection from publishers. Two of his books have become blockbuster movies. 

Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)--was an American author and illustrator. He wrote approximately 40 children’s books, including the iconic The Cat in the Hat. However, Seuss was ridiculed by some publishers at first. At least one publisher stated that his books would never sell because they looked like cartoons.

What I Have Practiced

Piano Playing--I have not had many official piano lessons in my lifetime. Yet, I have put in more than my “10,000 hours” through practice at home and being a volunteer pianist at my church...(Here is a 3-minute video of me playing a Christmas song:

Writing--I am obsessed with writing. I can’t seem to keep away from my keyboard. I have been writing for most of my life. My skill level is improving daily. 

Reading--My second obsession is reading. If I am not typing, I am reading. I read when I eat, when I go to bed, when I have to wait in offices, or at stores. My comprehension level is high because I have enjoyed reading since I was a child.

What Can Famous Examples of Persistence Teach Us?

People who become successful through endurance teach us that we, too, can become skilled at any endeavor if we are willing to work hard. It’s an uplifting message: fame is not always about being in the right place at the right time. Fame can often be achieved through a determined self-control and a stellar work ethic.

What talent have you learned through persistence?

No comments:

Post a Comment