Alexander Graham Bell would have celebrated his 169th birthday this week. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was always interested in finding solutions to problems. As a young boy, he noticed how hard it was to take the husks off of wheat. So he went home and created a device that could remove the husks easily.
His mother was hearing impaired, so he was always looking for ways to communicate with her and he also used a system his father had created to help teach deaf students to speak. Helen Keller’s parents even contacted him and he connected her with a teacher, too.
After many false trials, his biggest invention was the telephone. The beginning of global communication. Can any of us imagine our lives without the telephone?
And can we fathom how Bell came up with the idea in the first place? How does an inventor decide that a certain solution is possible and worth trying to figure out? I’m sure there are hundreds and even thousands of failures before getting it right. Are we willing to fail that many times to make our own dreams come true?
Bell said, “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
It’s so important to get up when we fall and to see that not getting what we want might be the best thing that ever happened to us.
He also said, “Concentrate all your thoughts on the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
What you focus on gets bigger. So should we focus on the background noise or should we focus on what makes our heart sing? Alexander Graham Bell decided he wanted to do something and he didn’t give up until he got it done.
As Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Are you on the road to finding out your why? And if not, what’s stopping you?