Over the last few years my definition of success has changed. Also my past desire to succeed dwindled at times. It wasn’t until I realized that being a person of principle, or having good character, was more important to me that I found my true definition of success.
Throughout history, countless stories have been told of individuals who were touted as successful, but how many of them were truly authentic?
My childhood would not have been the same without the creative mind of Walt Disney. His ideas were reportedly rejected over 300 times, and a newspaper editor fired him for his lack of creativity and “imagination.”
The University of Bern rejected Albert Einstein, described by a former schoolteacher as “mentally slow,” for his Ph.D dissertation, calling it “irrelevant and fanciful.” He of course went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for the photoelectric effect. Not to mention his theory on relativity corrected the deficiencies for Newton’s physics. Even today the word “Einstein” is synonymous for genius.
Charles Darwin, one of the most influential scientists of the 19th century, wrote in his autobiography: “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect.” His astute observations on biological changes in nature, outlined in “On the Origin of the Species,” fundamentally changed the world of science by identifying the evolutionary process of natural selection. While Darwin’s views on evolution still cause controversy today among some religious people, it’s hard to deny his contribution to evolutionary biology.
I think Einstein got it right when he said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”