Defying Gravity
Caring for Tomatoes and Life

Lessons in Persistence from a Second Grader


This morning while eating a mango, I came across a story on The Today Show about a seconder grader, Dylan Hoffman, who won Google's:  "Doodle 4 Google" national contest.  Through his doodle he won a $30,000 college scholarship, $50,000 in technology for his school, his drawing above on the box of Crayola, and along with a whole host of other privledges.  

What surprised me the most about this win was his persistence in drawing.  His mom said he made well over 1,000 drafts before creating this piece.  He didn't draw just a few drafts that he wasn't satisfied with.  He didn't stop at 10, 50, 100, 500, 999 but well over 1,000 before he found one worth submitting.  I don't know what this means to you but to me this is a lesson in persistence and going after you want.  

I have so many clients who come to me in hopes of figuring out their dream job or to help them reach some big goals.  It's so amazing to me how easily discouraged they get after a few failed attempts at something they want.  If you're going to let a few tries get you down, you may want to ask yourself if you really want it.  If you really want to go after something, you'd make it happen.  

Success normally doesn't just happen after a few tries.  It takes a lot of work and effort.  The most successful people in the world have become successful from failing fast and holding fast to their dreams.  Thomas Edison had 1,093 patents in lifetime for different inventions with over 10,000 attempted inventions. He had a few successful inventions we know of including the light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera but most of his inventions didn't take flight.  When asked in an interview, "Mr. Edison, how do you feel about the fact that you've made over 10,000 failed inventions?" Edison replied, "I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work."  

In Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, he says it takes 10 years or 10,000 hours to gain mastery in a certain field.  "The people at the very top don't just work harder or even much harder than everyone else," Gladwell writes.  "They work much, much harder."  Achievement comes from persistent effort.  

Michelangelo is quoted as saying, "If people knew how hard I had to work to gain mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all."  

What few failed attempts have you let hold you back in life?  Have you REALLY given it your best shot? 

For the elevator to success, fail fast and fail often.  Are you willing to sketch over 1,000 rough drafts to get the winning picture?   What is your winning picture?  Are you willing to do what it takes now that you know what it REALLY takes?  Will you let go of perfection for progress?  We can learn a lot from a Second Grader.  

Thank you Dylan for today's inspiration!  








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