Persistence and the fear of failure

Threadless--Chicken-DanceThe design above was declined by Threadless for one of their competitions. You can guess my initial reaction (disappointment and no way am I going to submit another design) but then I thought about failure a bit more.

“There is no failure except in no longer trying”  Elbert Hubbard
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A Edison

I have a fascination with reading up about geniuses and great thought leaders past and present of the world like Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs.  How much of their success is due to genetics, environment, personality, mindset? One observation I have made is that they share a common work ethic of persistence and practice, never giving up, and seeing failure as opportunity. Curiosity about life and a commitment to new learning seems to be another shared attribute. Two of my favourite quotes of all time include Albert Einstein’s “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” and Michelangelo’s quote “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”  All this makes me very hopeful in fulfilling my dreams of being a successful illustrator and creative. If I don’t ever give up, keep practicing every day and try to learn from every mistake/blunder and failure, then anything is possible.


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