President Barack Obama, in his speech (8 September 2009) to Wakefield High School students in Arlington, Virginia, makes this statement about success and illustrates it with this story:
“Being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.”
“That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures…. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, ‘I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’”
“These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.”
“No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work.”
Link to Full Text
Barack Obama, Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama Back to School Event, White House Media Resources, 8 September.
More Stories by or About Barack Obama
President Obama Inspires Children by Telling about JK Rowling’s Rejection, SFS, 8 September 2009.
Story for the US President about Gatekeepers, SFS.
Barack Obama and the Empathetic Person, SFS.
Ben Okri on Obama the Speechmaker, SFS.
Obama Tells Story of Anne Nixon Cooper, SFS.
Obama’s Speech on Election Night, SFS.
Obama’s Tribute to His Grandmother, SFS.
Obama on the Cost and Struggle of Change, SFS.
Obama’s Tribute to His Grandmother (from book), SFS.
Obama Expresses Debt to Mother and His Humble Beginnings, SFS.
Al Gore on Obama’s Youthfulness, SFS.
Why We in the UAE and Arab World Like President Obama, ETE.
Reviewing The Audacity of Hope, RBM.
Reviewing Dreams of My Father, RBM.
On Related Sites
Photo Blogging Abu Dhabi UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 7 September 2009.
Coming Second or Losing in the America’s Cup, America’s Cup in the UAE, 4 September 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
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Image: ‘I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’