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Inspiration from top geniuses

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

Isaac Newton never did well in school.

Thomas Edison’s teachers told him that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”…

If you are failing, keep on going. The current obstacles are the foundation of your future success.

1. Albert Einstein » Physicist
Best known for the General Theory of Relativity.

Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social.

Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.

2. Walt Disney » Business Man
Founder of The Walt Disney Company.

Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

3. Isaac Newton » Scientist
Best known for: Universal gravitation, Newton’s method,
Newtonian mechanics, Optics, Infinitesimal calculus.

Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.

4. Thomas Edison » Inventor and Businessman
Best known for Electric Light Bulb.

In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.”

Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.

5. Henry Ford » Business Man
Founder of Ford Motor.

While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.

6. Soichiro Honda » Business Man
Founder of Honda Motor.

The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time.

He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.

7. Akio Morita » Business Man
Founder of Sony Corporation.

You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony.

Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.

8. Orville and Wilbur Wright (Wright Brothers) » Airplane Inventors
Education: Completed High School.

These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight.

After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

9. Winston Churchill » UK Politician

This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today.

Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.

10. Abraham Lincoln » US Politician

While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.)

Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.

11. Vincent Van Gogh » Artist

During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money.

While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works.

12. Michael Jordan » Basketball Player

Most people wouldn’t believe that the man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team.

Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Compiled with data from Online College

“Next time you’re feeling down about your failures in college or in a career, keep these famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.”
{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Thaara Zameen October 20, 2019, 9:06 pm

    How about some women geniuses?

  • Mallikarjun Anajimath July 7, 2019, 2:21 am

    simple English, simple explanation, very good…….

  • Bijayashree Satapathy August 21, 2016, 1:15 am

    I love this….

  • Santosh September 19, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I just love this site.. 🙂

    I come here with depress mind and it makes me new every time. It makes me positive, enthusiastic and fill my heart with more love and suddenly I start felling that this world is very beautiful. Thanks.. 🙂

  • Shweta May 28, 2013, 9:29 am

    Now I know how to deal with the failure that comes in life as an obsticle.

  • Ajay pradhan May 10, 2013, 12:15 pm

    My certificates are not good but I can do better.

  • Mapula May 2, 2013, 4:14 pm

    Proof that persistance and not academic performance is the key to prosperity…inspired!

  • Jay February 20, 2013, 2:25 am

    Awesome and it really inspires everyone. Thank You Stephen for posting this.

  • Pinky November 29, 2012, 7:42 am

    Really very inspiring..

  • Lopa November 7, 2012, 2:23 pm

    Too good !!!!

  • Jai November 6, 2012, 12:30 am

    Nice one!!!

  • Koshik November 5, 2012, 10:12 am

    Keep trying in ur life.

  • Venke November 5, 2012, 3:55 am

    Really inspiring a lot

  • Satheesh October 29, 2012, 4:48 am

    Really got motivated.

  • Deepak October 25, 2012, 1:32 am

    Nice one .. I have found this blog too inspirational.

  • Jeremy October 22, 2012, 12:07 am

    What is this? The Epic Fail Genius list?

  • Srikant October 18, 2012, 10:42 pm

    Very well presented!

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