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These 5 Famous Failures Will Inspire You To Keep Going

Famous Failures

These 5 Famous Failures Will Inspire You To Keep Going

“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” — Charlie Chaplin

Growing up, I’ve lived with the believe that failing isn’t an option. This believe stuck in me for years. I guess many individuals of my generation have lived with this same ‘insane’ thinking about failure. I call it insane because I have been able to outlive that line of thinking. Researching and reading about major famous failures have given me this new view about failure and have imbibed the concept of failing forward on a daily basis.

Let’s do some reflection. Shall we? Okay! Reflect back over your past years. Did you achieve everything you set out to do for your academics, health, business, family, spirtuality, finances and relationships? Believe it or not, there were failures and struggling along the line. But failure will make you better. 

In life there have been thousands of famous failures. Even before recorded history, people were battling with the push-and-pull created by the burning desire to succeed.

In a research by Market Wired, nearly half of all adults admits that fear of failure “is the biggest roadblock to either not achieving their goals at all, or discouraged them from revisiting their goals.”

Know that the most successful people in the world have recorded the most famous failures in life. They’ve failed often. They didn’t throw in that proverbial towel. They got up and kept going. And that’s just what it takes to succeed; “to fail forward”.

5 Famous failures that all failures around the world should consider

J.K. Rowling

famous failures

She is the author of the popular book, Harry Potter. Ask Rowling if she has ever failed and her answer will give you a shock of life. In fact, Rowling considers herself the “the biggest failure” because it was never all rosy for her. She never enjoyed her marriage, she didn’t have a job. She lived on government benefits.

During Harvard commencement speech, J.K Rowling pointed out the value of failure. In her speech, she said; “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

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Albert Einstein

famous failures

At the age of 16, Einstein failed the entrance examination into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic school located in Zurich. He didn’t speak until he was 4-years old. He struggled in school. Did very poorly during the course of his studies in the university.

But all of these failures never stopped him from winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Einstein believed that “success is failure in progress.” To this day, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art, etc.

Abraham Lincoln 

famous failures

Abraham Lincoln is another of the famous failures that ever lived. He was born into poverty and he struggled to overcome every setback in his life. His mother died while he was young. He accumulated debt and struggled to pay it back. Lincoln ran for office of the president of the United States and lost more than once. Still Lincoln did not give up. Lincoln failed numerous times but did not stay down in defeat.

In 1861 Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States of America. He is remembered as one of the best presidents in history. In his words: “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

Related:  Failing Forward: 3 Strategies to Help Young Leaders Handle Failure

Walt Disney

famous failures

Walt Disney is the creator of Mickey Mouse. And he was not a novice to failure. He attempted joining the army after he dropped out of school at a young age. He ran one of his earlier ventures into bankruptcy. He was fired from a Missouri newspaper reason being that he wasn’t creative enough. But today, we remember the genius behind Disney studios. A platform of childhood memories and dreams.

In his words, “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid. I’ve never had the feeling I couldn’t walk out and get a job doing something.”

Related:  The Dark Times in Every Entrepreneurs Career (Part 1)

Charlie Chaplin

famous failures

He was born in 1889 in London, England. Chaplin grew up in a broken home. His father abandoned them at the age of 2, leaving his mother with no real income.

According to Elizabeth Andal on Lifehack, Chaplin at the age of 7,worked in a workhouse, an institution in the UK where the destitute denizens of a parish are sent to work in exchange for room and board.

His mother suffered mental illness for several years until she was permanently committed to an asylum where she stayed until her death in 1928. Chaplin and his brother, Sydney, were on their own, oftentimes going without food for days while trying to survive and go past all their ordeal.

Charlie Chaplin rose to fame making silent film.

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Katy Perry

famous failures

Katy Perry is an American singer and songwriter best known for her hit song, “I Kissed a Girl”. Perry is not left out in the failure game as she experienced numerous heart-wrenching failures on her path to fame.

Growing up, her family faced severe struggles. At the age of 15, she dropped out of high school after completing her General Education Development in order to pursue a music career.

She first signed with Red Hill Records in and dropped a song entitled “Katy Hudson”. Then in 2004, she signed with another label called Java, which was associated with The Island Def Jam Music Group. Perry later signed with Columbia Records after Def Jam dropped Java.

After 9 years of dropping out of high school, her big break came in 2007 when she signed with Capitol Records in 2008 with her would-be-hit song, “I Kissed a Girl”.

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I am the Founder and President of Young Leaders Arena. Formerly I was the Chief Editor and program co-ordinator at Walktall. Author of the upcoming Book; Success Recipe: Start up Tool-kit for exceptional business growth. I have written numerous articles on both leadership, business start up, entrepreneurship. I have served as thought leader in many societies and organisations, including the Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I obtained my post graduate from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I also have a Bachelors from the Delta State University, Abraka. Twitter & Instagram: @Charlessholokwu

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