A study was recently published by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management that reminds us what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
The study looked at scientists who were applying for research grants for their papers. They followed those who just made the cut and those who just missed it.
Ten years later, the scientists who just missed the cut were 6.1% more likely to have published a hit paper.
Which means the scientists who were rejected by the process were more likely to succeed.
This was the group that was turned down and did not get the grant money to continue their research but never stopped their quest to find answers and share them.
What didn’t kill them made them stronger.
By embracing failure, taking the lesson and persevering, they were more likely to succeed.
As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
What is something we can continue to work on even though we’ve been rejected? What can we learn from the process and how can that help us grow?
Rejection is redirection. Now that we know the new path we should be following we must start walking.
After hearing author David Epstein speak on a radio show, I have added his book to my reading list. Epstein wrote Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. It piqued my interest because I’ve always seen value in spending your time in multiple lanes as that way you don’t know which rules you’re not allowed to break. Creativity comes from connecting dots from far flung places and it’s hard to see those dots when you’re specializing in just one area. This, along with the fact that our young people will be working one day in jobs that don’t even exist yet. So how can you prepare? You can be a creative, critical thinker. Epstein talks about embracing trial and error in life in order to triangulate (almost like finding a given cell phone by comparing the pings off a number of towers) and figure out which signal suits you most. You find out where you belong by finding out where you don’t belong. Continue reading
I was speaking with a music teacher who I met last week and she told me an incredible story. She’s been teaching a certain instrument to children for decades. A few years back, two different seven-year-olds started lessons around the same time. One of them was gifted. She picked up everything immediately. She had the rhythm, grasped the melodies and never had to practice. The other one was the most challenged student she had ever seen. She couldn’t pick up the songs, she had no rhythm, and she struggled to play. But she practiced every day and she loved coming to class to learn more. Numerous times over the years the teacher thought of mentioning to her parents that maybe this instrument wasn’t for her. Maybe she should try something else. But she always held back as the girl seemed to enjoy the process so much. Continue reading
Tim Ferriss was an early investor in Twitter, Uber, Facebook and others. He has written many best-selling books including The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and Tools of Titans. He has a successful podcast where he interviews chess prodigies, actors, athletes, hedge fund managers, military leaders and entrepreneurs to dissect excellence and give listeners the inspiration to dream big and make things happen in their own lives. Continue reading
When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sang the Oscar-nominated, original song Shallow at the Oscars last night, it was arguably the highlight of the evening. It went on to win the coveted award and in her acceptance speech, Lady Gaga (whose stage name was created after the Queen song Radio Ga Ga which is a funny twist of fate as the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was also up for multiple awards last night) said, “This is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time. It’s not about winning — what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion, and it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or get beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and keep going.” Continue reading
Two people who made a big impression on me celebrated their birthdays today. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born 144 years ago on November 30th, 1874. The author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, was born on the same day in 1835, 183 years ago. Continue reading
This is the way it’s done. This is the way society says it should happen.
It starts when we’re young. Choose these courses. Take this degree. Start this job. Buy this property.
And then one day we realize that we weren’t really sure about any of those decisions and we’re not truly happy, but we’re stuck. With bills and commitments and things we started that we feel we need to finish. Continue reading
Forty-seven years ago, on October 1, 1971, Disney World opened in Orlando.
Walt Disney was turned down over 300 times for financing when he was trying to build Walt Disney World. But he was used to rejection. Continue reading
I am currently reading Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. So interesting.
He always wanted to make the first animated movie. And although he loved drawing as a young person, there weren’t really any courses he could take in that field so he took physics. He went on to help create the first computer animation applications and one day he was summoned to an interview with a guy who was interested in special effects named George Lucas. This was post the first Star Wars so it was a big deal. The first question Lucas asked Catmull was who else he should be interviewing for this job. And without hesitation Catmull rhymed off a list of others who were also leaders in the field. Continue reading
One year ago today I was told that my book was live and available at Indigo and Amazon. I grabbed a copy, ran outside and got my son to take my picture. Then I shared my story and never looked back. What a whirlwind year. I’ve done book signings, spoken to students and executives, and been honoured each time someone decided to purchase a copy of The Treasure You Seek. Continue reading