May 19, 2019

How Perseverance Pays off: 3 Examples

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”-- Romans 8:17-18 (KJV)

Every one of us is used to hearing “No.” The word might not always be spoken aloud. It’s still easy to recognize when difficult situations don’t improve. Luckily, immediate denials can have many implications, such as these (Ideas taken from Devon Franklin, producer of quite a few faith-promoting movies):
  • “No” can mean “Not yet,” or, “You aren’t ready.”
  • “No” can signify protection.
  • “No” is because there’s a better “Yes” out there.

Thomas Edison

The famous inventor “failed” around 10,000 times before he manufactured a long-lasting filament for the lightbulb. Edison tried various glass designs and plants. This quote highlights Edison’s attitude of never giving up:

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison” --from

Mary Poppins  (Information taken from the 2013 movie, Saving Mr. Banks and Wikipedia.)

She is the main character in a series of books written from 1934-1988. P.L. (Pamela Lyndon) Travers is the author. In the early 1960’s, Travers was about to go bankrupt. Walt Disney became aware of her autobiographical work (Mary Poppins) and flew her to Hollywood to discuss it.  

The classic 1964 musical we know and love is completely different from the author’s vision. This table shows how Travers fought everything about the musical. The left side signifies concepts she didn’t like. The right side highlights aspects of the main characters she fought:

About the Characters…
Mary Poppins shouldn’t be pretty.
Color red
Mary Poppins should be practical.
Mary Poppins shouldn’t fly.
Sir Laurence Olivier should play Bert, the chimney sweep, not Dick Van Dyke.
Mrs. Banks shouldn’t fight for women’s rights.

According to the movie, the Australian/English author was hard to get along with. She belittled people. Her personality was reserved. She also didn’t embrace the concept of her heart-breaking autobiography being made into a sunny Disney musical appropriate for all ages. She even threw the script out a window.

Disney wasn’t willing to accept the author’s denial. He pushed, prodded, and cajoled Travers until she finally agreed to move forward with the musical.

The Texas Prison Rodeo (Information taken from the documentary series, Mysteries at the Museum.)

Marshall Lee Simmons was over the entire, notoriously tough, Texas Prison System in 1931. The U.S. was still in the middle of the Great Depression. The state of Texas had no money to improve the prisoners’ lives. The governor couldn’t give any more money to the prison system.

Simmons decided to take matters into his own hands. He planned to start a rodeo in which the prisoners would be the performers.

The initial feedback he received from the public wasn’t promising. Most people thought his idea was crazy. Still, Simmons initiated his plan. In Huntsville, Texas, he staged his first Sunday afternoon rodeo on October 4, 1931. Only a few people attended.

Word spread quickly. Within two years, the event attracted 15,000 paying customers from all over the country. Beginning in 1931 until the last show in 1986, all proceeds were used to rehabilitate the Texas prison system.

My Conclusion

Risks, failures, and successes are all a normal part of life. If we risk nothing, we gain nothing. The only way to overcome denials is to push beyond them.

How are you turning “No”s into “Yes"s?

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