22 August 2011

Note to self- Persistence

I think and think for months, for years. Ninety-nine times the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
-- Albert Einstein
Back in the day, a girlfriend was getting her Masters in African Studies, and she invited me to see Maya Angelou, who was coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She had personally invited Ms Angelou to speak at an event, and I had a front-row seat.  I was so very excited. I have been a fan of Ms Angelou since I was in the 2nd grade when my speech pathologist introduced me to poetry and the writings of Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Maya Angelou. At the conclusion of her very encouraging and inspiring discussion was the question and answer session, when I asked the following question:
"If there was one piece of advice you could give aspiring writers, what would it be?"
and she said,
"Keep trying. My poetry was rejected 210 times before the first one was published. If I had given up at the 210th time, you might not have ever heard of me."
I'm carrying that answer to this day, and am applying it to every single facet of my life, to keep trying, and to be persistent. I remind my nephew of this all the time. Success is around the corner. Maybe not around the very next corner, but if you keep trying, you'll find it.

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