February 25, 2018

Never say "Never!"--4 Reasons

“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.”—Psalm 37:24 (KJV)

In my last article, I gave two solutions for dealing with setbacks: chip away at challenges little by little, and wait it out. Today I am presenting four sterling examples of fighting stereotypes to become trailblazers. These people didn’t just rise above their labels; they tore them off.

You’ll recognize all the names, I’m sure. One was born a slave in biblical times. Two of the well-known modern figures began as simple martial artists; one started out as a body builder.


In the beginning: He was born a Hebrew slave in Egypt. When Moses was a baby, his mother and sister conspired to get him taken into Pharaoh’s house. He was raised as royalty. When Moses killed an Egyptian, he fled Egypt.

In the middle: For 40 years, he lived in the wilderness.

The glorious end: The prophet was brought back to lead the Israelites out of 400 years of bondage. He had many setbacks, including a lack of confidence (possible depression) and the disobedience of those he was with.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (a.k.a. Arnie [You know you’re really famous when people define you by only your first name, or a nickname] b. 1947)

In the beginning: He was born in Austria. He was a famous body builder. Some individuals told him his accent was so thick, he’d never go beyond body building.

In the middle:  He expanded into acting.  Arnold starred in the Terminator and Conan the Barbarian movie series. In 1987, he expanded into romance and comedy with Kindergarten Cop.

More recently: Mr. Schwarzenegger showed his comedic talent in the film, Around the World in 80 Days.  He is a savvy businessman with a hefty financial portfolio. He’s an owner of the restaurant, Planet Hollywood. Arnie may best be known as the former governor of California.

Jackie Chan (b. 1954)

In the beginning: Mr. Chan was born in Hong Kong. He became well known there for his martial arts films.

In the middle: His career enlarged beyond Asia. He did the Rush Hour movie series with Chris Tucker. He became known for his comedic timing, stunts, and improvised weapons.

More recently: He added depth to his cinematic credits with remakes of The Karate Kid and Around the World in 80 Days. His latest films delve into mystery and break all molds. 2016’s highest paid actor in the world is also a philanthropist and an operatically-trained singer. He even sings the theme songs for some of his movies.

Bruce Lee (1940-1973)

In the beginning: This icon of martial arts was also born in Hong Kong. He, too, was successful there before he was able to break out of the Asian film market. Lee’s early movies were predictable and thematic. They were solely about martial arts. The simple plots involved the martial arts master helping the good guys win against ridiculous odds. His voice was dubbed. 

In the middle:  His films became more complicated.  He landed the stereotypical role of Cato in the television show, “The Green Hornet”.  Lee also expected to land the lead role of Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series, “Kung Fu”, but it went to David Carradine. He married a white American lady, which was uncommon at that time. They encountered tremendous opposition.

In the end: Lee has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His personal style of martial arts and philosophy of life have been passed down through the generations.

Quotes on Never Admitting Defeat from Bruce Lee

 “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
“Don’t fear failure.—Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
“Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”

My Conclusion

People may not have always believed in you. Naysayers may have spoken discouraging words, such as:
  • “Seriously? You can’t do this.”
  • “You don’t have enough of that.”
  • “Accept your limitations.”

Don’t listen to them! Some of the most influential individuals in the world have torn off hundreds of labels to rise out of obscurity.

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