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Home / Articles / Columnists / Second Thoughts /  Success Stories
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Tuesday, December 6,2016

Success Stories

By Mort Crim  
If at first you don’t succeed you’re running about average.

M.H. Alderson

 

There are exceptions to every rule, and instant success is one of those exceptions. Most success is the result of time and effort. The person who becomes a millionaire by winning the lottery or inheriting a fortune from some long-lost relative clearly is the exception.

 

Andrew Miller qualifies as an exception. He didn’t win a lottery or an inheritance, but what he did is just as extraordinary. Miller won the world’s richest prize for a single work of fiction, and he did it with his very first novel, which he titled Ingenious Pain.

The great poet e.e. cummings followed a path that was more the rule.

When a dozen publishers turned down a collection of his poems, cummings published them himself. His dedication page read “No thanks to...,” and then he proceeded to list all twelve publishers who had rejected his book.

Walt Disney’s career, too, was the rule and not the exception. When Disney submitted his first drawings for publication, he was told he had no artistic talent.

No, instant success definitely is the exception, not the rule.

That’s probably a good thing, because it’s been my experience that things produced instantly are never quite as good as those produced patiently, over time—whether it’s coffee, photographs, relationships, or success.

Success is measured not by the speed of achievement but by the depth of our commitment and the length of our patience.

 

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