Copyright © 2012 Ed Bagley
Thomas Edison said it and I believe it: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
There are more losers than winners in the game of life because losers many times are people who tried something with all their effort and failed. Because they failed rather than succeeded, they became reluctant to try again. Thomas Edison was not one of those people.
One of the first lessons athletes are taught in competition is that when you give your full effort and are knocked down, you must get up and try again, and again, and again until you succeed. Once you are successful one time, you can hone your talents and use your skills to succeed again and again.
One of the critical areas of life where people fail at an amazing rate is in their relationships. Once involved in a relationship, when faced with challenges and hardships, many more people decide to move on to another partner rather than work through the problems and hardships with the partner they have. There are reasons why marriages fail and giving up too soon is one of them.
Thomas Edison is arguably one of the greatest inventors in the history of the world. He is certainly one of the most prolific, holding 1,093 United States patents in his name as well as patents in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
Edison would be dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” for the impact of his inventions, which included originating the concept and implementation of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses and factories, a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. He would create the first industrial research laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ.
Edison, who was home schooled by his mother, spent only 3 months in formal schooling before his teacher declared him “addled” and unfit for learning. His schoolteacher would go on to no great acclaim.
Edison would patent the stock ticker, phonograph, fluoroscope (x-ray machine), and the first commercially practical incandescent light (light bulb) among his 1,093 patents, and form 14 companies (including General Electric, one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world). Edison virtually created the electric industry.
One account claims that Edison and his associates tried 5,000+ different elements before using a lower current electricity, a small carbonized filament and an improved vacuum inside a globe to produce the light bulb, the first reliable, long-lasting source of light that would literally light up the world.
The business world is littered with entrepreneurs who started and bankrupted 1, 2 and even 3 companies before starting a 4th company and succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. These entrepreneurs got knocked down, got back up, did not repeat their mistakes and moved on.
Thomas Edison also said this: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Consistent, persistent effort combined with learning from mistakes is a big factor in overcoming failure. To Edison’s credit, failure was not a word used in his vocabulary.
As Mark Twain said, Edison “never allowed schooling to interfere with his education.”
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