At times we will be tasked with doing something which doesn’t look possible.
Whenever I feel like this, I take inspiration from people who have achieved remarkable things and have overcome all the odds.
Thomas Edison was an American inventor, and many people believe he is America’s greatest inventor.
He is best known for inventing the electric light bulb but he was such a prolific inventor that he held over 1,000 patents in the USA in his name.
He also had patents in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
In addition to his inventions he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
He spent a lot of time concentrating on his goal of inventing the light bulb and, at one stage, he was asked how he felt about failing 10,000 times.
He famously replied:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
This has to be one of the greatest examples of persistence that we have ever witnessed.
Sir Roger is a former middle-distant runner who ran in the 1952 Olympics but was disappointed to finish 4th in the 1500 metre final. For a while after this he contemplated his future, but eventually he set himself a new goal:
To become the first athlete to run the mile in under 4 minutes.
This was hugely controversial at the time as many doctors suggested it was impossible, and some went as far to suggest that anybody attempting this would possibly die.
He had set out his goal, was undeterred by those who suggested it was not possible and intensified his training.
Eventually the day arrived and on 6th May 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first sub 4-minute mile in a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.
Interestingly, in the year after that record-breaking day, 24 athletes went onto record the mile in under 4 minutes. Nowadays, that goal that was considered impossible has been shattered as the world record for the mile is 3 minutes 43.13 seconds.
Jesse Owens was a remarkable athlete who completed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany.
Along with his teammates they sailed on the SS Manhattan.
In addition, Adolf Hitler and other government officials had high hopes that German athletes would dominate the games with victories.
After such a long journey and faced with such adversity, it is remarkable that he won 4 Olympic gold medals in the 100 metres,200 metres, long jump and 4 x 100 metres relay.
Carl Lewis was an outstanding athlete.
Not only did he plan winning 4 Olympic gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles games, but in total he won 9 Olympic gold medals and 1 silver medal.
No other athlete has retained the Olympic long jump title, but Lewis went on to win 4 consecutive Olympic long jump medals from 1984 until 1996, which is a remarkable achievement.
His accomplishments have led to numerous accolades, including being voted
“World Athlete of the Century” by the IAAF
“Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee,
“Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Athlete of the Year” by Track & Field News in 1982, 1983, and 1984.
A remarkable athlete who spent time planning his success.
For many people this may seem a strange addition as Billy Joel is a very successful singer. However, that was not always the case.
He dropped out of high school because he had a dream of becoming a famous musician. However, it did not go to plan and at the age of 22 he was flat broke and he no longer had a home.
His girlfriend left him, which tipped him over the edge, and he decided to take his own life. Before taking that drastic action, he decided to check into a mental institution. It was here that he realised what real problems were.
Since releasing his first hit song, “Piano Man” in 1973, he has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.
This shows that with the right determination, success can follow.
If I feel, at any time, that things are difficult I take inspiration from such individuals.