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What is it like to get accepted into Stanford as an undergrad?
For those of you who have never heard of Yogi Berra you should do a search. Aside from being one of the greatest athletes in the history of his sport, he is noted for saying things that at first glance don’t seem to make sense but upon reflection do make us think. When Yogi was asked about going to a popular nightspot in New York, here is what he said: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”I bring this up because there is something I hear today from many students, parents, pundits and educators when it comes to commenting on who gets in to highly selective colleges and universities: “Don’t even bother to apply. Nobody gets in.” If these words were ‘true’ then the schools would shut down. Paradoxically, these schools, because they are deemed in rankings as the 'best', experience huge increases in applications each year. After decisions go out, however, the chorus of “nobody gets in” starts making the rounds again in ever-louder shouts.What follows is an interview with someone who is anything but a nobody. Samantha is one of the more talented students in the world. Her insights into education and developing her talents and passions demonstrate that she is not only accomplished but also self-aware and globally fluent.***********************************************************************Could you tell us a little about your family and where you grew up?I’ve lived in Vancouver all my life. I’m half Asian on my mom’s side; my mom’s side of the family is part of the Huaqiao community in Manila. My paternal grandparents both grew up in England, but they and my father have lived in many locations since. I often feel that this unique mix of cultures and backgrounds has given me many interesting perspectives.You attend a wonderful school West Point Grey Academy. How long have you been going there and can you share what you think it special about it? What is the atmosphere like among students? Is it competitive, cooperative or some of both? How hard are the classes and how are the teachers?I’m a lifer at West Point Grey Academy, so I can say without a doubt that it’s the best school I’ve ever attended! In all seriousness though, my school’s community, support, and opportunities are absolutely incredible. One thing people always notice when entering West Point Grey Academy (affectionately called ‘dubpeeg’) is the energy that bounces around in the halls; it’s a school where we greet everyone in the hallways and get involved in all sorts of co- and extra-curricular activities. The relatively small grade size (about 70 kids) means we all know each other, and the culture is very much about ‘showing up’ to things, whether that’s club meetings, debate competitions, student council meetings, or even watching other students’ sports competitions. The atmosphere among students is very much cooperative; although we all are driven to achieve our best, I think that the motivation is internal. In terms of the classes, we have the flexibility to choose from many different kinds of courses with different course loads. The teachers are yet another component of the school community that makes it so supportive. They are always willing to stay after class or during lunch to answer questions or supervise make-up tests. This really helps students (like me!) catch up on work after returning from trips. I remember last year, before I went to Lithuania (for WIDPSC), I asked my math teacher what I would be missing. He wrote out his lesson plan for the entire month of April and gave me a copy!West Point Grey Academy has had a tremendous record of success in the area of debate. You have been involved with debate for many years and have been recognized internationally for your abilities. Can you talk first about why you decided to join debate and what the school does to prepare students so well for success?Debate, Model UN, and public speaking are a huge part of dubpeeg culture. Our coach was actually the coach of the Canadian National Debate team when they won in Qatar. We regularly have students on the National Team. Actually, my debate partner will be travelling to Singapore this summer to represent Canada at the World Schools Debate Competition for the second time. But more than that, because of the large volume and success of kids in higher grades who debate, I think it’s a trickle-down inspirational effect for students new to the senior school. We also run our own Model United Nations, which involves a large portion of the student population. So, a lot of people get involved! Personally, I got involved with debate because the year before (grade 7) I was giving a lot of speeches as school captain and I did quite well at a speech competition. I thought, why not? (Plus, I’m absolutely terrified of basketballs, so I knew I wasn’t going to have that take up my time!) The school prepares kids by having many intramural debate competitions where the seniors mentor the juniors (we often call them pizza debates because everyone gets pizza at the end). WPGA also offers a course called Persuasive Writing (in grade 8 and 9) that helps teach debate analytical skills. Also, the course AP Comparative Government gives a lot of spec knowledge that is quite impressive to pull out in a round!You have travelled all over the world to compete in debate. Can you talk about where you have gone and what kind of debate you specialized in and why and finally can you share some of your international accomplishments too?I’ve gone the most exotic places for public speaking. WIDPSC was in Brisbane, Australia, then Durban, South Africa, then Druskininkai, Lithuania, and finally Hong Kong. For debate, my international trips include Dallas (Old Parklands Debate Competition), Claremont (PanAmerican Debate Championship), Olomouc, Czech Republic (Heart of Europe Debate Championship), and Oxford and Durham (Oxford and Durham Cup). I’ve also been able to see quite a bit of Canada through various national competitions, which has been a blast! I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel so extensively; I’ve had so much fun learning about new cultures and meeting people all over the world. To me, it can be especially fascinating to realize that even when we live in different countries and have vastly different backgrounds, there’s still so much we have in common!I’ll just list a few of the highlightsWorld Individual Debate and Public Speaking Champion (2015)National Public Speaking Champion (2015)National Debate Champions (2014 and 2015); 4th place speaker and top BC speaker (2015)Oxford Cup Champion (Canadian qualifier for the Oxford Cup in England) (2014)Provincial Debate Champions (2015, 2013)Regional Debate Champions (2015)Canadian National Debate Team (2014-2015)International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition: 2nd place overall, top U-16 speaker (2012)2nd place team, PanAmerican Debate Championship (2015)2nd place team, Old Parklands Debate Competition (2015)There is a lot of talk in the media today about the need for students to develop a passion. Were you born as a passionate learner or did others help you find your passion for debate and academic success?I couldn’t agree more. Funnily enough, I actually gave a speech on that- the need for people to step up to the plate, be leaders, and inspire others with their passion. I think I’ve always been a highly motivated learner but my passion was inspired in different ways. My passion for creative writing was kindled by an excellent English teacher in grade 4; for speech, in various student leadership roles in grade 7; debate, through immersing myself in the school culture and going on some fantastic trips. I’ve also become really passionate about other areas. My teachers have inspired my passion in biology and languages. The fantastic people I’ve connected with via those activities inspired my passion for music and service.How much pressure do you put on yourself to be the best? How do you manage your time to do all the things you do so well? What are the skills that you have aside from just being smart that helps you stay focused and permit you to achieve your goals?I’m motivated to push myself to my own best. I’m not the kind of person who will do things halfway or half-heartedly; once I decide to do something I will throw all my passion behind it. That said, I understand that I can’t always push myself to the limit on everything! It’s always been a balance, but in the last couple years I’ve worked on prioritizing. Sometimes I get back from trips and things are crazy busy, and I just have to accept that I won’t be able to do as well on assessments that week than if I’d been around. So I’ll ask for help and I’ll study as much as I can, but not to the point that I’m overly stressed or not sleeping. Specifically, skills that help me manage my time are focus and looking ahead. I try to start my work first after I get home rather than watching TV, etc., so I can get it done as early as possible. As for looking ahead, I try to ask my teachers what’s coming up so I can bring study materials with me when I’m away or ask questions well in advance.Do you have any mentors who have been important to you in school, in your activities or in any other way? If so how did they help you?Obviously my debate coach, who has worked with me so much on developing my public speaking & debate abilities, but also my confidence and adaptability skills. A grade 4 English teacher who ignited my passion for creative writing, and so many of my current teachers who inspire me about my next step, including my chemistry teacher and physics teacher. Finally, my cello teacher who has taught me to value of meticulous work and a woman who runs an organization I volunteer with who is my role model for connecting with people.When it came time for you to look at where you wanted to go to university how did you decide which schools to apply to and why did you look at US Schools?I don’t have a perfectly clear idea of what major I want, so the US liberal arts education really appealed to me. I like the idea of exploring a variety of courses before I choose my path. I did a few university tours in summers, did some research online, and chatted with my school university counselor.How many schools did you apply to? You ended up getting accepted to Stanford, the most selective schools in the US. There are many people in the world that would love to know how you did this? What are the things you think made you a successful candidate for Stanford? Would you be wiling to talk about the things you wrote about in your application?I actually only applied to four, but that’s because I received my acceptance from Stanford early. I was heavily leaning towards that school so I didn’t submit most of my other applications. I’m sorry, I don’t know what makes me a successful candidate for Stanford! I’d love to know too! One of my essays was about basically being a crazy old cat lady so maybe they were missing that in their class of ‘19 demographics? I just tried to write about the things that were most essential to my character. I also wrote about connecting to my Chinese culture, and learning how to do impromptu speaking!Why did you end up choosing Stanford?Stanford stood out as the school with the ideal fit for me. First of all, I really like the quarter system. I like that I get to take more courses than the semester system, which is important because I really want to explore a lot of different interest areas. Also, it means that winter and spring breaks are real breaks, not exam cram time, which is important because I’m sure I’ll need a real rest! I also really like the residence program where I move around every year. Various other programs are also excellent; other than the academics, I’ve heard that the debate and study abroad programs are wonderful. Plus, location! I’m very close to home and on the same time zone as my family in Vancouver. I also have family living in California. I’m about an hour away from San Francisco, a city I visited a few years ago and LOVED. And it’s beautiful and warm and sunny all the time!Do you have a plan for what you hope to study at Stanford?The only course I 100% know I’m going to take (funnily enough) is Mandarin. I’ll take a lot of human biology courses, because that’s the area I’m most passionate in. I’d also love to explore other areas like history, literature, and communications. We’ll see, I guess!Do you have any long-term goals about what you want to do when you graduate?Not really! I have a few vague ideas but I’m sure those will change a lot once I go through university and find areas I’m passionate about.Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about activities, and universities and doing well in order to reach their dreams?Balance! There’s no point cramming your schedule so full that you’re burned out early. Along those lines, there’s no point doing things just to look good on a resume. Obviously it’s good to push yourself to try different things and immerse yourself in them, but at some point you need to make sure that the enjoyment is still there. On a bit of a different note, I’d say the most important personal quality is self-confidence. Self-confidence to speak up, get involved, and seize opportunities. An inspiring guest speaker once shared a saying something along the lines of “opportunities aren’t a chance- they’re a choice”. I believe that self-confidence is what lets people make that choice.***********************************************************************Samantha has shared some things that will, I think I can safely assume, intimidate some readers. After all, there are only so many people in the world who can say they have claimed the top award in the world for an activity of some sort.On the other hand, anyone reading her words should come away thinking that she as person is anything but intimidating. Her words do not have to try to impress. Her actions already do that. Instead her tone is open-mined, curious and warm. Her advice about how important self-confidence can be should be something everyone can learn from.So too is her advice about mentors and passion. Early on a teacher sparked her interest in writing and she had the opportunity to work with a coach who is clearly one of the best given the record of success of debaters at her school.Samantha is also a perfect example of those students who will benefit most from a liberal arts education. Her interests are wide-ranging and she has chosen Stanford for all the right reasons given the way the education and environment matches her individual interests and even location in the world.Her words, then, apply not just to those who are looking to get into the schools that take ‘nobody’; instead, they apply to any student who wants to learn, grow and explore and will be able to approach the world with confidence instead of fear.At the same time, I also think it is useful for those of us on the outside who may not have her talents to understand a little better what it does tae to get into schools that accept about 5% of those who apply. A student who has worked hard, has strong grades and tests scores will end up at a great school. But almost all who have these stats and not much else will not be admitted to schools that take only very talented ‘somebodies’. Talent in this case means far more than numbers. Her debate skills, her global background, and her clear love of learning all make her stand out. Even her essay topic sounds like one this is both risky and unique. She had the confidence to submit something edgy.I would first of all like to thank Samantha for sharing her words here. I have learned much not just about her but also about how think about living and learning. I would also like to thank John Sy, a wonderful education counselor and admission expert in the Philippines. He is Samantha’s uncle and he provided me with an introduction to her after he mentioned her in an education counselor form in which he provides many great comments and insights.My guess is that Samantha will be able to share more insights that will educate us as she begins her journey at Stanford and then afterward on her career path too.
Why do Punjabis want to go to Canada?
I had a Canadian PR and was aiming to settle there, but due to personal reasons, I had to settle in Europe. I was going to my work in a train and listening to this song by Satinder Sartaj “Mainu darda walaa des awaaza maar reha” (My lost country calls out to me). I read this question on Quora a day before and now I thought to answer it. I would like to explain you the reason why some people are migrating from Punjab. Let me tell you something about myself first, I have got the education from one of the best Indian institutes. I have worked in both the Indian private and government sector. But, I chose the path to migrate due to reasons which you will get in this answer. Please have a look at this Maslow's Hierarchy and for the convenience of some people I have also converted into Punjabi.In Maslow's hierarchy, there are number of stages which everyone has to pass through in his/her life cycle. At the top is Self-actualization, every human being has the desire to be the ultimate one. A person should aim to reach the top. I will write about each level and parallel you can see what exactly is happening in Punjab. What is the Punjabi youth facing and what is wrong with our society.The first level of Maslow’s hierarchy - Physiological needs (Air, water, food, shelter, sleep, and clothing)If you closely look at the base, our body has some physiological needs which are the most essential things for humans. Clean air, water, and food are something without which we can't survive. If you see the current weather report on your phone for Ludhiana and S.A.S Nagar, you can see ‘Unhealthy air quality’. Air quality is worsening due to the addition of more vehicles and no pollution policies. Our failure to move towards the green side is again due to ignorance. Moreover, we don’t realise our duty to plant trees.The food we are consuming is adulterated and the milk we drink contains chemicals. The excessive pesticides being used have entered the food chain and due to these chemicals, the number of cancer cases in Punjab has increased (Kindly google the cancer train). The ground water level is decreasing as the first two layers are consumed and on the third layer water has heavy minerals. Wages are low and one's hefty amount of sum goes to pay home rents or house loans. Some people are extremely poor; they survive mainly on two times food and are even unable to get their roofs repaired. One such incident took place - three members of the same family died when the roof collapsed, which was a very disheartening reality. Now when you don't have access to physiological needs, what would you do?The second level of Maslow’s hierarchy – Safety needs (Personal security, employment, resources, health, property)We hear a lot of farmers committing suicide. Their land holdings are decreasing and they are unable to meet their daily needs. They don’t get the exact market rate for their crops. The investment for farming is more and the returns are low. A small farmer takes a loan and he is unable to repay. Condition worsens when some natural calamity occurs. Ultimately, he seeks one way and that is to commit suicide. I feel pity for these people because we had the most fertile lands and the bravest men. Today, you can see how helpless they are. There is a lack of security and employment too. An urgent need is there to shift the economy from agrarian to the industrial side, but who cares. Our ignorance has become a roadblock and we are unable to progress in our land.The government job situation in Punjab is even worse. Lack of jobs has made some youth addicted to drugs. Those who have government jobs are also in distress. The worst condition is of school teachers, the education system is running with contractual teachers. There are no salaries to pay and all you can see is mental harassment. To add salt to their wounds, the honorable ministers of Punjab government have money to buy cars worth crores, but they don’t have the money to pay their teachers. You can see teachers protesting on roads, they are manhandled by police and face a lot of physical and mental trauma. This happens once in three-four months, water guns and bamboo sticks are charged. The increasing population has increased competition, and the resources are limited.At last, you are not even safe on road, rules are least obeyed and you can expect anything to happen. Enter in a private hospital and you will spend lakhs of Rupees in medical bills. When hospitals are being operated by industrialists, what will you expect for yourself? All you can expect is a business transaction where you have to pay hefty bills.Now, when you don’t have safety, what would you do?The third level of Maslow's hierarchy – Love and Belonging (Friendship, family, sense of connection)In this world, every person dreams to feel and experience love. To have his/her own family is essential to expand. The third level is an outcome of the first and second level. Nowadays in Punjab, it is easy for a person to start a family if he has job security, own home and a car. Bride's parents in Punjab don't want their daughters to get out of the comfort zone and marry with an underachiever. Groom's side has their demands too. Everyone looks for the ‘fittest'. So if you are not good looking, don't have a permanent government job, personal property or an international PR, getting an arranged marriage done can be a difficult task for you. If you read the matrimonial section of your city newspaper, it is evident how people do business deals more than a marriage. The common basis to get married is even IELTS band (which is considered to be the highest educational degree by some). Education is ignored by most. Even we have some educated illiterates, who despite being educated seek materialistic possessions in another family. Shame on you guys, you lack vision!!When you are being rejected by society in Punjab and unable to start your family, what would you do?The fourth level of Maslow's hierarchy - Esteem (Respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength)The only people I feel who have reached to this place is our honourable CM, cabinet ministers, industrialists, and landlords. Despite an economic crisis in the state, the ministers of Punjab won't compromise with their cars on road. Our CM uses three Land Cruisers costing about 1.5 crore each. There are also Fortuners in his entourage. They enjoy the ultimate ‘freedom' to go anywhere without paying hefty tolls in the state. They have status, power, and freedom to live a kingly life. Our bureaucratic system has the power to manipulate things the way they wish. But still, there are few good men. Overall, we have a feudalistic mindset in Punjab, the bigger the car, we feel more powerful the person is. People blinded by these cars feel themselves at utmost position (But they forget, your life is nothing compared to the vastness of this universe). Still, inequality prevails in some other form.When you see the powerful ruling over the meek, what would you do?The fifth level of Maslow's hierarchy- Self Actualization (the ultimate self)Successfully passing through all stages, a person realizes that he has some duties towards society too. This is apt, as he/she achieved a lot in life, now its turn to give something back. Some men are enlightened and they had reached to this level at a very early stage. Some people were blinded at Level four and couldn't proceed further. But there have been few men in the past, who are at this stage and have done a remarkable job.Bhagat Puran Singh was at the fifth level of Maslow’s hierarchySo how will you achieve self-actualization? What is going to be the aim of your life? How can you contribute to the welfare of the society if your basic needs are not met?Now, when I compare Punjab to the country I live in -A pedestrian has equal respect on road. Cars stop when I am about to cross road.There are strict rules for food adulteration. Anything imported edible item is carefully inspected and banned if it is not of the required quality.No bureaucratic culture prevails. There are no VIPs and VVIPs here. The president can be seen traveling on the train.No one cares about the car you have.Driving on road is highly systematic. Public transport is much better.People do not care about your appearance, sex, caste or skin color. They value your talent the most.People are polite and honest.Women are safe and they can easily travel at night.You get clean air and clean water.Salaries are high and quality of living is high.If the crops fail to survive, the farmers are fully compensated by the government.Everyone prefers a government school for their kids.Equal right for everyone and no monetary corruption.Why is this all possible? The answer is that this country is a developed nation. It strongly believes in doing innovations and earns out of their research. The people are honest and strictly abide by the rules. Staying here I have realized that, it is easy to progress abroad if you are determined and a smart worker. There are many facilities and high social security. The prospects for highly qualified men are bright. Overall, this is the reason why many people are migrating. Migrating to Canada and Australia is easy due to simple terms and conditions.How can we improve Punjab –Mandatory one year of military service (conscription) for every youth.Change in the education system. Government school needs to be upgraded and syllabus has to be drastically changed. More focus should be on how we can make them creative, rather than cramming up.Transformation of the agrarian sector to an industrial sector. We need a serious research and development center for attracting industries and business-friendly governance policies.Going for mentally challenging jobs rather than physical labor. Educating ourselves and learning everyday.Stopping our water from going to other states and being utilized by the farmers of Punjab.Limiting the production of wheat and rice, and moving towards planting fruit trees.Full compensation to farmers and providing better subsidies. Moving towards shared farming.Ending the show-off culture and the feudalistic mindset. Also, ending the VIP culture.Banning provoking lyrics and videos.Starting libraries in villages, and keeping the latest non-fiction collection on every genre.Motivation and support for youngsters to become entrepreneurs.Going for quality education and banning these private business oriented universities.Who can do this? I don’t believe in the government. They are just there to fill their pockets. I think it is the duty of every person staying in and out of Punjab to make it a better place. We should realize our duties towards our motherland and start working for it. First work on yourself and later for the society. Everyone should aim to be the best.So why am I explaining all this? It isn't that all of us feel great in leaving our motherland, but some people understand the current conditions very well. It's not only in Punjab but the whole country. Our governments are unable to channelize the energy of the increasing population, especially youth. We were a developing nation and the same story still continues. Governments have changed but the same conditions prevail. I could have worked in India, but I had seniors who I felt were lacking brains. They were on level four of Maslow's hierarchy and were blinded because of job security and heavy salary. I wanted to learn more in life and felt that the best way is to go in men who know more. So I opted to migrate, and now I am learning a new language, meeting new people from different countries every day. At weekends, I enjoy going to a new place and stay close to nature. On Sunday, I am teaching Punjabi to kids at the gurudwara.I went anonymous because I would have never been so open. I have faced many problems written above, and this answer is the story of many youngsters like me. Despite being talented, we could have easily served our state and our country, but there was an interaction of several factors which didn't let us make things possible. But, I dream to return back someday, at least for my mother and father. I have a lot to learn, not only for myself, but also for the future generations of the great motherland. Someday I won't be telling you problems, I would come up with solutions to all our problems and make Punjab a utopia. To solve such problems, we need resources and it would be teamwork. Join me if you feel the same pain for this place, and we would try to make it a paradise.Somewhere I look for Punjab in small things.- Look at these sparrows, the calf and these green fields. Punjab is not only a piece of land, but it is an ideology in our hearts. Wherever we live, wherever we go, some of us will look for Punjab everywhere. Apna Punjab howe, hatth which kitaab howe……………………………….ReferencesProtesting Teachers in Punjab Observed ‘Black Diwali’, Held Rallies | NewsClickPunjab CM, Cabinet to Get 400 Luxury Cars Even as State Struggles To Pay Off Rs 1.95 Lakh Crore Debthttps://energyindemand.com/2018/07/13/urban-air-quality-in-india-is-no-longer-a-seasonal-problem/https://www.thebetterindia.com/74188/cancer-awareness-india/Four farmers commit suicide in 24 hrs in PunjabRain pours misery in Malwa, 5 deadAlso watch
Who are some successful people who failed at their first try?
#1 – Jim CareyWe all know Jim Carey as a laugh-out-loud zany comic who’s brought us some of the highest-grossing comedies of all time such as The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Ace Ventura. But, we don’t all know the story of Carey’s struggle. He grew up in a lower-income family with a father who struggled to keep jobs. They were so poor that he had to drop out of high school at the age of 15 and get a job as a janitor just to help support the family.On his first comic stand-up at a club called Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto, he was booed off stage. Later, when he auditioned for Saturday Night Live for the 1980-81 season, he failed to land the part.However, we all know about Carey’s later success. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Carey talks about how he used the Law of Attraction by writing himself a check for $10,000,000 million dollars for “Acting Services Rendered,” later placing the check in his wallet for 7 years until he received a $10,000,000 million dollar payment for his work in Dumb and Dumber.#2 – Katy PerryMost people know the name Katy Perry, but they don’t the struggles that she went through to finally get that breakthrough she was after. Perry started her career early in her life, dropping out of high school after freshman year in 1999 to pursue singing. Originally, she was a gospel singer, taking cues from her parents who were Born Again Christians.In 2001 Katy Perry released her first gospel album with Red Hill Records, which was commercially unsuccessful. After selling only 200 copies of her album, the record company ceased operations and subsequently went out of business. Afterward, Perry switched gears to popular music, moving to Los Angeles to record with producer Glen Ballard.In 2003 she was signed to Island Def Jam, which was also a contract that was terminated. In 2004 she signed with Columbia Records who sought to make her the lead vocalist in a band called The Matrix. However, that deal also fell through when Columbia Records shelved the project at about 80% completion.After being dropped from three labels, you would think that Perry would have given up. She didn’t. She continued to pursue her career, working odd jobs and doing back-up vocals until she was signed to the newly-formed Capitol Music Group in 2006. It was there that she worked on her first huge hit single, I Kissed a Girl, which started her career as a commercial success.#3 – Oprah WinfreyOprah had a rocky start in life. As the daughter of a teenaged low-income mother, her start was anything but glamorous. In her early years, Oprah recounts that not only were her living conditions rough, but she was always sexually abused, starting at the age of 9, by her cousin, uncle, and a family friend. At the age of 14 Oprah got pregnant, but her son died shortly after birth.However, at the age of 14, Oprah was sent to live with her father, Vernon, in Tennessee. He helped her focus on her schooling, and she was subsequently accepted on a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee, majoring in communications. In high school, and in her first two years of college, Winfrey interned at a local radio station, helping to develop a foundation for a career in media.But, even after Oprah was hired on to a local television station for the news, things didn’t go so easily. She was fired by the producer because she “unfit for television,” later taking a position with another station in Baltimore. Eventually, she hosted a local talk show named, People are Talking.Later, in 1983, Winfrey re-located to Chicago, to host a station’s low-rated talk show called AM Chicago. Within a few months, the show went from last in the ratings, to higher than Donahue, which was the number one show at the time. This led to the show being renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was syndicated across the country.From an early age, Jay-Z had a knack for rhythm. But his meteoric rise to stardom didn’t happen overnight. He was faced with several roadblocks along the path to ultimate success. For example, in 1995 when Jay-Z tried tirelessly to strike a record deal, not a single label would sign him. It led him to establishing his own record company called Roc-a-fella Records with partners Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs.After being turned down by so many labels, and eventually starting up his own record company, Jay-Z worked tirelessly to strike a distribution deal for his first album’s release. Eventually, he successfully negotiated a contract with Priority, later releasing his debut album entitled,Reasonable Doubt, which would eventually go on to hit platinum.Jay-Z met with many failures along the road. Those failures weren’t just in the beginning of his career, but the beginning does highlight the tremendous amount of resistance he faced to achieve success. And, even at the prime of his career, Jay-Z was charged with allegedly stabbing someone at a record release party. He was tried, pleading not guilty, but later pleaded to a lesser criminal misdemeanor, resulting in three years of probation.Considering that Jay-Z’s roots stemmed from the housing projects of Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in extreme poverty, he faced many failures and roadblocks in his life. But he never gave up. No matter what happened to him, no matter what failures he faced, he pushed through, growing as a person, and maturing to become a better individual.#5 – J.K. RowlingRowling is one of the most inspirational success stories of our time. Many people simply know her as the woman who created Harry Potter. But, what most people don’t know is what she went through prior to reaching stardom. Rowling’s life was not peaches and cream. She struggled tremendously.In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter. She stated that the idea came “fully formed” into her mind one day while she was on a train from Manchester to London. She began writing furiously. However, later that year, her mother died after 10 years of complications from Multiple Sclerosis.In 1992 she moved to Portugal to teach English where she met a man, married, and had a daughter. In 1993, her marriage ended in divorce and she moved to Edinburgh, Scotland to be closer to her sister. At that time, she had three chapters of Harry Potter in her suitcase.Rowling saw herself as a failure at this time. She was jobless, divorced, penniless, and with a dependent child. She suffered through bouts of depression, eventually signing up for government-assisted welfare. It was a difficult time in her life, but she pushed through the failures.In 1995 all 12 major publishers rejected the Harry Potter script. But, it was a year later when a small publishing house, Bloomsbury, accepted it and extended a very small £1500 advance. In 1997, the book was published with only 1000 copies, 500 of which were distributed to libraries.In 1997 and 1998, the book won awards from Nestle Smarties Book Prize and the British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year. After that, it was one wild ride for Rowling. Today, Rowling has sold more than 400 million copies of her books, and is considered to be the most successful woman author in the United Kingdom.#6 – Stephen KingStephen King is famous for many critically-acclaimed novels, most of which have been made into movies. However, Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before it was published.Not only that, but King actually threw the manuscript into the garbage, only later to be retrieved by his wife who wildly believed in his dream of becoming a published author.Yet, King’s earlier years were also nothing to rave about. As a child, his family barely made ends meet, and in his later years as an English teacher, he supplemented his income by selling short stories to magazines.Today, King has over 50 novels and has sold over 350 million copies of his work. Can you imagine what King’s life would be like had he given up? It’s difficult to imagine that such a successful author was once rejected so many times.In his earlier years, King talks about submitting short stories to magazines beginning at the age of 16, and hanging the rejection slips on a nail until the slips were so heavy he had to change the nail to a spike.#7 – Bill GatesBefore Microsoft was born, Bill Gates suffered failure in business. Known today to be one of the wealthiest men in the world, Bill Gates’s upper middle-class family is a stark contrast from some of the other successful failures out there that didn’t have well-off parents.However, Bill Gates didn’t rely on his family. His business acumen was second to none. But his first business was indeed a failure. Traf-O-Data was a partnership between Gates, Paul Gilbert, and Paul Allen. The goal of the business was to create reports for roadway engineers from raw traffic data.The company did achieve a little bit of success by processing the raw traffic data to generate some income. But the machine that they had built to process the data flopped when they tried to present it to a Seattle County traffic employee. Yet, this business helped to set Gates and his partner Paul Allen up for major success with Microsoft.Although Gates failed at his first business, it didn’t discourage him from trying again. He didn’t want to give up because the sheer notion of business intrigued him. He was cleverly able to put together a company that revolutionized the personal computing marketplace. And we all know just how successful that was for him.#8 – Henry FordMany people know Henry Ford for the Ford Motor Company, one of the most successful automotive companies of all time. However, what they don’t know is that Ford failed two times before that abruptly resulted in bankruptcies, prior to successfully launching the present incarnation of his company.Ford is no stranger to failure, but he also didn’t give up. Yet, when we think about Ford, we don’t picture the failures because all it took was just succeeding one time. However, in 1899, at the age of 36 years old, Ford formed his first company, the Detroit Automobile Company with backing from the famed lumber baron, William H. Murphy. That company went bankrupt.His second attempt was in 1901, when he formed the Henry Ford Company, which he ended up leaving with the rights to his name. That company was later renamed to the Cadillac Automobile Company. However, it was Ford’s third try, with the Ford Motor Company, that hit the proverbial nail on the head.After that, we all know the story. Ford revolutionized the automobile industry, pioneering not only the Model T and the assembly line, but also the concept and notion of an automobile in every home. Driving became a “thing,” and subsequently, Ford’s Model T went on to sell over 17 million units.#9 – Colonel SandersPeople know him because of his iconic white suit and bow tie. Colonel Sanders was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Yet, the zany Sanders got off to a rocky start in life. In fact, it wasn’t until the age of 62 that he set out with a $105 social security check in hand to pitch his chicken recipe to restaurants. 1,009 folks told him he was crazy, but he didn’t give up.Sanders worked many jobs including fireman, tire salesman, insurance salesman, and of course, a cook. He brewed up his secret chicken recipe between 1939-1940 when he figured out how to pressure fry the chicken in a faster and more consistent product all the time. He was at the age of 50 when that happened.However, it wasn’t until 1952 that he hit the road and began trying to sell his franchise-model chicken restaurant. The first restaurant that he landed was based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, which became the first Kentucky Fried Chicken. The restaurant tripled its sales within a year where 75% of that revenue was from the colonel’s chicken.The company grew and expanded faster than he could have ever imagined. In 1964, at the age of 74 years old, Sanders sold the company for $2 million dollars to a group of investors led by Jack C. Massey and John Y. Brown Jr. He retained the rights to the Canadian franchises and stayed on as a salaried goodwill ambassador to the company.However, this just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter how old you are or just how much money you have to your name in order to accomplish something great.#10 – Thomas EdisonWe’ve all heard the name before. This famous American is attributed with failing over 10,000 times to invent a commercially viable electric lightbulb, but he didn’t give up. When asked by a newspaper reporter if he felt like a failure and if he should give up, after having gone through over 9,000 failed attempts, Edison simply stated “Why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitely over 9,000 ways an electric lightbulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”This is also the same person whose teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything,” and fired from his first two employment positions for not being productive enough. However, Edison, through his failures, is also the greatest innovator of all time with 1,093 US patents to his name, along with several others in the UK, and Canada. This is someone who refused to ever give up no matter what.It’s said that in his early days, he attributed his success to his mother, who pulled him out of school and began to teach him herself. It’s because of his mother, and how wholeheartedly she believed in him, that he didn’t want to disappoint her. His early fascination for chemical experiments and mechanical engineering paved the way for a future that was incredible bright. His company, GE, is still one of the largest publicly-traded firms in the world, continually innovating across virtually every spectrum.#11 – Walt DisneyThe man who has affected generations to come with his cartoon creations, was once considered a failure. Disney was fired by the editor in 1919 from his job at the Kansas City Star paper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” However, the man who brought us Mickey Mouse and a slew of other characters didn’t stop failing there.Disney’s first go at business landed in bankruptcy when he acquired an animation studio by the name of Laugh-O-Gram. The company was acquired because, at the time, Disney’s cartoon creations had gained popularity in the Kansas City area. But, when he hired on salaried employees, he was unable to manage money and the business wound up heavily in debt. Subsequently, he filed for bankruptcy and moved to Hollywood, California.The early failures in Disney’s life didn’t dissuade him from moving forward. Of course, like anyone else, Disney’s failures were a blow to the ego. Anyone that has to suffer through the torment of failure and bankruptcy knows how this feels. However, it also laid the foundation for a successful career. When he formed the Walt Disney Company, all of his past failures helped to pave the way for a successful business.Disney and the Walt Disney Company have touched the lives of millions across the globe. From cartoons, to theme parks, and animated movies, both children and adults now enjoy the fruits of Disney’s labor. Had he given up, things would have been far different. But he persevered, even through bankruptcy.#12 – Sir James DysonThe Dyson Vacuum Cleaner is known around the world as the vacuum that doesn’t lose suction. But the idea for it was born long ago. Dyson first had the idea in his early 30’s when he became frustrated with his Hoover vacuum and its loss of suction. At the time, the disposable bag replacement market for vacuums was valued somewhere around the £100 million per year.His big idea was to use the concept of cyclonic separation to create the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner. It took Dyson 5,126 failures to finally get it right. When he did, at the age of 36, he was faced with more resistance when no distributor in the UK would take on the revolutionary product. No one wanted to buck the trend.So, Dyson hit the Japanese market in 1983, with a hot pink version of his vacuum cleaner. It won an industrial award in Japan, and in 1986, three years after its first introduction, he was awarded his first US Patent for it. However, manufacturers still didn’t want to take it on in other companies, so Dyson formed his own company, in 1993 at the age of 46, to market the product.Today, Dyson is worth more than £3 billion all because of his refusal to give up. He struggled through times of failure, sorrow, and regret, but he persevered.
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