“Fall seven, Rise eight” - Japanese Saying
The world considers me successful. College degree, good paying job, engineer, author, married, own home, nice cars, savings, not much debt, tall, play volleyball, run, and only ~5 lbs. over ideal weight. But the world does not see how I got here.
Terrible C student: Flunked German and semester of English in high school. Bunch of D’s in Spanish, English, Math & Science. Flunked an engineering course and took an incomplete Junior year of college. Cum was 1.5 that year (2.0 is C). MBA dropout, life got in way. Yet one of 220 engineers to graduate out of 662 freshmen.
Very shy: In school, college and starting out in business. Gave an Engineering Week presentation this week. Told group am leading, I was bad at relationships growing up. Did not get married till 46. Don’t you think I was bullied, had break ups, horrible dates, dating wrong people, and lonely times? Am close with family, have great friends, and good relationships at work.
Business: Worked for companies that closed, laid off half their workforce, and been fired / outplacement. Invested in real estate and went bankrupt. Started and closed my own businesses. Most of my wealth is in the last 8 years, plus buying a house at the bottom of the market. Manage projects with teams of very smart people including senior management. Mentor people on careers and business.
Fitness: 2 painful knees starting at 16. Use to go out randomly in 20s and I would fall down. Swam breaststroke in high school and college. Allergies started around 22. First shoulder injury at 26, and 4 more since including last year. Changed sports. In 40s developed sleep apnea, Insomnia, leg twitches and wonder what a good nights sleep is. Ranked as ‘A’ or ‘BBB’ level in volleyball in 40s (AAA is pro beach player). Lost 15 pounds and kept it off. Given ~90 pints of blood. Ran a mile this morning, and back playing volleyball after months of rehab.
In every area of life have failed, learned, tried again, experimented and overcome. Angela Duckworth calls this process “Grit”. Olympic athletes competing now have overcome injuries, loses, and public failures.
You have to get past negative attitudes. Try hard new things. Find out what works for you. Be uncomfortable. Struggle. Fail. Sometimes it takes years. Find people to teach, and support your efforts. Look for examples and mentors. They are out there.
Talent does not take you very far. Hard work and perseverance does. Support anyone who is trying. Help them persevere and become resilient.
"Fate gave to man the courage of endurance." - Ludwig van Beethoven