Never Give Up

>> Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gene Orowitz was raised in Collingswood, New Jersey. Because he was a bed wetter into his adolescence, his mother regularly humiliated him by hanging his wet sheets out of his bedroom window for all his friends to see. She told him he would never amount to anything, and his failure in high school seemed to bear her words out … he graduated 299th out of a class of 301.

Things didn’t get much better for Gene after high school. Because he excelled in track, he was awarded a track scholarship to the University of Southern California, but he lost that scholarship during his freshman year because of a disappointing track season. He had no money to return home, and he ended up sleeping on park benches in Santa Monica, California. His first job was selling blankets door-to-door.

And yet, in terms of success, Gene went on to become the most successful television writer, director, and producer in television history. One hundred percent of the shows he created were successful. No other producer in Hollywood history can claim that high a success rate. Gene Orowitz became the man we know as Michael Landon.

Perseverance. Do you have it? Is it necessary in life? Do you believe you need to fail before you eventually succeed?

In the sixties, if you were a guy in high school, the last place you wanted to be was in the band at the football game. But Steve was a skinny, shy clarinet player. He weighed only 120 pounds. No football for him. He didn’t date much and wasn’t a great student. In fact, he considered a C minus good. But today, his name has appeared on five of the top ten grossing films of all time. The world knows him as Steven Spielberg. He obviously never gave up.

What would success look like to you? Spending more time with your kids? Being able to travel? Is “I quit” in your vocabulary?

Probably the greatest example of perseverance is Abraham Lincoln. Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times. But he didn’t. After losing a senate race, Lincoln said, “The path was worn and slippery. My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way. But I recovered and said to myself ‘it’s a slip and not a fall’.” And because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.

Do you have goals you are trying to reach? How long are you willing to work toward attaining them? Do you have a way of measuring your success?

I am … once again … trying to lose some weight. And yes, I can measure it exactly. It all depends on how long I am willing to work toward attaining my healthy weight.

Today is a brand new day. Today I can choose to persevere. How about you? What will be different for us in five years … ten years … because we didn’t quit today?

"Stay with it—that's what is required. Stay with it to the end.” Mark 13:13 (MSG)


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