Have you had a personal or professional rejection recently? If so, you’re in good company.
I just read this Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger about some of the most famous faces today’s rejection from their college of choice. Warren Buffet, Ted Turner and Tom Brokaw are just a few of the smashingly successful people today who were all denied acceptance to their first-choice university.
What all of these people have in common is that they were able to look past the sting of their failure, find the positive, and try again.
Here are a few of my favorite rejection quotes:
“The truth is, everything that has happened in my life…that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better,” Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., says. With the exception of health problems, he says, setbacks teach “lessons that carry you along. You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.”
To “allow other people’s assessment of you to determine your own self-assessment is a very big mistake,” says Lee Bollinger, Columbia University president. “The question really is, who at the end of the day is going to make the determination about what your talents are, and what your interests are? That has to be you.”
“The initial stumble was critical in getting me launched.” – Tom Brokaw, broadcast journalist
“I took it as a signal that, ‘Look, the world is really competitive, and I’ll just try harder next time,'” — Paul Purcell, head one of the few investment-advisory companies to emerge unscathed from the recession, Robert W. Baird & Co.
“I want to be sure to make this point: I did everything I did without a college degree,” Ted Turner, founder of CNN, says. While it is better to have one, “you can be successful without it.”
I know these words of wisdom have made me feel a lot better about my own recent failures on my first tests in my MBA program. In light of these recent events, Paul Purcell’s advice spoke loudest to me. I know I didn’t study as much as I could or should have, so now I know I need to try harder on the next tests.
How about you? What has a recent failure or rejection taught you?
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