When looking from the outside in, success can appear to be easily achieved. In reality, most accomplishments come about only with hard work and determination.
The fact was recently brought home to me by my young granddaughter. She wrote a school report on Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the information she uncovered in her research gave me pause. Although I had read and reread the Little House series as a child, I had forgotten many of the hardships Laura and her family faced.
Even after Laura married, she and her husband experienced a number of setbacks. Almanzo was stricken with diphtheria and had to walk with a cane for the rest of his life. They had a baby boy who died, a fire destroyed their barn, another ravaged their home, and drought and illness put them in debt and unable to farm their land. Later, the savings they had been able to accrue was wiped out by the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Their daughter Rose--a reporter for the San Francisco Bulletin--encouraged Laura to write a story about her childhood to help augment the family’s income. That first attempt, titled Pioneer Girl, was rejected, but Laura didn’t give up. She reworked her manuscript, changed the title, and with Rose’s help, Little House in the Big Woods was published in 1932. Laura was in her sixties. The final book in the series, Those Golden Years, was released in 1943 when Laura was 76 years old.
In an era when most sexagenarians were looking back over the lives they had lived, Laura looked to the future. She had a vision and a publishing dream, and in spite of adversity, she achieved her goal.
What about you? Is age holding you back? Can you ignore the calendar and focus on the future instead of fretting over the past? Does life pull you down? If so, can you muster Laura Ingalls Wilder’s pioneer spirit to rise above hardship and misfortune?
Yes, you can!
Most of us know JK Rowling’s rags to riches story. A single mom without a job, she had seemingly hit rock bottom, yet unemployment gave her the time and freedom to bring Harry Potter to life.
Looking back, she wrote:
“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”( J. K. Rowling, "The fringe benefits of failure", 2008)
In 1998, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published in the
. Six years
later, Forbes Magazine claimed JK
Rowling was the first person to become a billionaire by writing books. US
Have you bottomed out? Are you surrounded by darkness or can you see a light pointing you in a new direction? Like JK Rowling, can you turn a negative situation into something positive?
Yes, you can!
A local trial planted the seed for a story that
attorney John Grisham wanted to tell. Needing extra time in his busy schedule, he
arrived at his office at 5 AM and used the hours before the start of the
workday to pen his prose, writing six days a week for three years. Mississippi
The finished manuscript, A Time to Kill, was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press offered publication. Only 5,000 copies sold once it went to print, but that didn’t deter Grisham, and after finishing his first story, he quickly crafted a second. The Firm sold more than seven millions copies, remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for 47 weeks and propelled Grisham into the limelight.
Is your day packed with commitments—job, school, family? Can you adjust your schedule to find time to write? Hurt by rejection? Instead of a stumbling block, can you see rejection as a stepping stone to success?
Yes, you can!
New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber frequently mentions her dyslexia and the teacher who scoffed at her attempts to write when she was in high school. Instead of discouraging Debbie, the teacher’s hurtful words made her even more determined to succeed.
Debbie believed in her ability, and her husband believed in her as well. Money was tight, but the stay-at-home mom with four little ones to care for used a rented typewriter to create her stories. Heartsong sold in 1982 and was the first category romance reviewed by Publishers Weekly. More than 170 million copes of her books are in print. Her Cedar Cove series is showcased on the Hallmark television channel, and her Christmas story, Mr. Miracle, will be a Hallmark movie this fall. Debbie also owns a tea room and yarn shop.
Dyslexia didn’t stop Debbie Macomber. Nor did criticism of her writing. She believed she could succeed, and she did. What’s stopping you? Can you see any weakness or disability as being one small facet of who you are and instead focus on your many strengths and God-given talents?
Yes, you can!
Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, wrote her diary during the German Occupation of the
Anne’s father Otto survived, and after the war, he published her diary. The first American edition, titled Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, was released in 1952. In 1999, Anne’s name was included in Time Magazine’s list of “The Most Important People of the Twentieth Century.” The article stated, "With a diary kept in a secret attic, she braved the Nazis and lent a searing voice to the fight for human dignity."
As many young girls do, Anne Frank dreamed of being a writer, but her life was short-lived and her world confined to an attic hideout. Do you feel trapped by circumstances? Can you free yourself from those things that imprison you? Can you concentrate on life’s possibilities instead of seeing only the restrictions and limitations?
Yes, you can!
Ben Carson was raised by a God-fearing mother who often worked three jobs to provide for her two sons. She told them they could accomplish anything in life, but inner-city
Books opened a whole new world for Ben. His grades improved, and he eventually achieved his dream of going to medical school, where he excelled. In 1985, at the age of 33, he became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and is internationally recognized for his work with conjoined twins.
Knowing the importance of education, Dr. Carson has done much to help children succeed. In 1994, he and his wife established the Carson Scholars Fund, which provides scholarships for elementary and high school students in recognition of their academic achievement.
In addition to his successful medical career and humanitarian outreach, Dr. Carson has published six books--Gifted Hands, Think Big, The Big Picture, Take the Risk, America the Beautiful, and One Nation—with reoccurring themes of the value of hard work and faith in God.
Thanks to his mother’s love and God's grace, Ben Carson chose the right path for his life. If you’re headed in the wrong direction, can you make a detour that gets you back on track? Rough childhood, bad environment? Can you leave the past, change the present, and set your sights on future goals?
Yes, you can!
I’ve mentioned only a few writers who have succeeded, but there are many more that deserve recognition. Share inspirational stories of achievement that have impacted your life in a positive way. What motivates you during the tough times? Is there a person or persons who encourage you to keep working toward your goal? Everyone who comments will be included in a drawing for one of my books, winner’s choice, and a writing journal.
Breakfast is served—pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, assorted bagels and muffins and grits! The coffee’s hot. Grab a cup of java or your favorite tea, and let’s share inspiring stories that motivate and spur us onward.
Wishing you abundant blessings,
By Debby Giusti
THREAT FROM HER AMISH PAST
Eight years ago, a drifter destroyed Becca Miller's ties to her Amish community—and murdered her family. Now a special agent with
criminal investigation department, Becca knows her past has caught up with her
and doesn't want to relive it. She's convinced that the killer, who supposedly
died years ago, is very much alive and after her. Special agent Colby Voss
agrees to help her investigate. Yet the closer they get to the truth, the closer
the killer gets to silencing her permanently. Fort Rickman
Available at Amazon.