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You'll Never Be Able to Do This

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Failing GradeWhen Catherine Lanigan was a teenager, she earned a scholarship to attend college.

While in college, she took a writing course given by a traveling Harvard professor.

During the class, a major assignment was for her to write a short creative story.

Catherine earned an 'F' on the story. Not only was earning an 'F' alarming to her, but if she failed the class, she risked losing her scholarship.

So, she went to speak to the professor. When asked why she received the failing grade, the professor replied, "Frankly, Ms. Lanigan, your writing stinks."

However, the traveling Harvard professor did give Catherine a chance to pass the course. He told her that if she stopped writing and changed her major, that he would allow her to pass the course.

So that's what she did.

Fourteen years later, Catherine Lanigan was hanging around the set of a movie and speaking to screenwriters. When asked why she was there, she told one of the screenwriters that when she was younger, she had wanted to be a writer.

Catherine proceeded to tell the story of the traveling Harvard professor. The story really intrigued the screenwriter, who asked her to write something so he could judge it for himself.

Well, the book that Catherine Lanigan wrote for the screenwriter was called Romancing the Stone. It not only became an extremely successful book, but it was later made into a major motion picture. And it didn't stop there; Catherine was asked to write the sequel, Jewel of the Nile.

The point of this story is that you can't give up in spite of any criticisms you might receive or failure you encounter. In fact, in business, most new things you try fail. It's tweaking those things and trying a second time, or third time, with more and better information, that allows you to be successful.

And realize that most of those criticisms (you're not smart enough, you're not tall enough, you're not creative enough, etc.) you've received throughout your life were dead wrong! We must all overcome them. Gain our levels of confidence. And achieve everything that we want. Because if we don't fear failure, really believe in ourselves, and work hard, each of us can achieve anything we want.

Feel free to use the little train who thought he could as your inspiration. That little train succeeded simply because he thought he could; because he was able to convince his mind that he could and would achieve success. Even though everyone else told him he couldn't. And even though he might have failed before.

If doubt ever creeps in your head, think of the little train, and say "I think I can" "I think I can" "I think I can" over and over in your mind, and then "I know I can" "I know I can" "I know I can." Because if you do this, you can accomplish anything!

(I know what I'm saying may seem corny. But I rather achieve success and be accused of being the corny guy sitting in his office repeating "I think I can," versus not achieving the success I desire.)


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Carl says

Makes me laugh knowing well that I've been through that and still on the forward move.
Posted at 12:06 pm
Shawn says

Love the post, very true and inspiring.
Posted at 6:53 pm
Jayaram says

As the say goes: "Problem is an opportunity to be creative" Every line of our life is a formula to our success. Design a positive mind to have positive output
Posted at 8:51 pm
david says

Nice story. Curiously enough, I was watching the Velveteen Rabbit last night with my kids. At one point the boy was trying to fly but he thought he couldn't do it. The main boy character says when he has created this imaginary world "How did you know I could do that?" The rabbit replies "How did you know you couldn't? Did you ever try before...?"
Posted at 1:01 am
Alexandria says

I am encouraged by this story as I transition to a new job. It bears out the sacred writing which says" As a man thinketh, so is he."
Posted at 11:52 am
Sergey says

The idea of the story is simple and far from being new, BUT you need to hear it over an over again on the curvy path to success :) Thank you!
Posted at 3:01 pm
Melly says

You’ve got it in one. Culodn’t have put it better.
Posted at 2:56 pm

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