Born in 1944, in Fort Worth, Texas, Jack Canfield is the celebrated author and motivational speaker behind the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. As a Harvard-educated person, Canfield clearly possessed the intelligence for crafting such a book, however, it was his tenacity to see things through that helped him to catapult that book to success.
In fact, it wasn’t until the age of 48, with the help of his co-author, Mark Victor Hansen, that he set out to write that book, a collection of stories to help inspire and motivate people to achieve their dreams. Yet, things didn’t exactly go according to plan once the book had been completed.
Canfield and his co-author experienced 144 rejections from publishers over the course of a 14-month period. When one publisher claimed that it wouldn’t even sell 20,000 copies, Canfield replied that he had hoped it would sell at least 500,000 copies. The publisher laughed at Canfield.
Eventually, they convinced one small-time publisher in Florida that they would at least have some nominal success with the book. Little did they know what was in store for them.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is an internationally acclaimed brand that’s sold over 500 million copies in over 20 languages.
Canfield’s determination and unwillingness to give up speaks volumes about the characteristics that allow famous people who failed at first to keep pushing forward no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Mental Resilience is the ability to bounce back after failure or rejection. It’s not what happens to us which counts, it’s how we respond which makes all the difference. Jack Canfield and Mark Hanson didn’t give up when rejected so many times. They could have lost hope after 10, 20, 50 rejections but they didn’t and this is the key.
If they had used their logical minds, they could have talked themselves into believing that what they had wasn’t good enough to publish and if they had allowed those thoughts to take root they would have given up.
No doubt they encouraged each other, when Jack was down Mark would pick him up and vice versa. 144 rejections is a huge number of rejections and it’s impressive to see that they kept going regardless of the negative emotions they felt after each rejection.
Self-belief comes into this. At a deep level they had to believe that what they had was good enough and this belief kept them going. Hope is one of the most powerful words in the dictionary. Without hope people perish but with hope they can conquer the world.
As long as you have hope you have a chance. With hope you know that there is a chance of success and this helps you to bounce back again and again. Hope gives you energy to try again to get up when you are knocked down and to try one more time.
There are of course times when you should give up depending on what you are working with but if you believe what you have is worth fighting for then keep going. It’s often one more try which results in the victory.
Just one more turn of the dial
It’s like a combination lock on a safe containing 10 tumblers. 9 tumblers could be in the correct position and it’s just the final tumbler which needs to click into place to open the safe. You could be one more email away from securing the deal or the victory. The very next call you make could result in victory. This has happened to me time and time again.
I have read so many accounts of people who were going to give up then tried one more time and succeeded. One such person was Steven King, another publishing example. He sent his first novel to 30 different publishers over a 2-year period. In those days you had to print off the manuscript and send it in the post then you would wait weeks or months for a reply.
When he received his 30th rejection letter he threw the manuscript in the bin and gave up. It was over and he would go back to his day job. But his wife picked it out of the bin and asked him to try one more time and the rest is history.
Do you need someone?
Sometimes we need someone else in our lives to help us along the journey. This could be a partner, a mentor, a coach or a friend. There is real power behind the support of someone in your life. I have several amazing people in my life, and they have helped me overcome incredible challenges including losing my entire business due to Covid just three years ago, aged 66.
They have been there to help me bounce back many times when, if I am honest I wanted to give up. One of my greatest cheerleaders is my wife Jewels as she likes to be called who is always so positive when I hit a roadblock in my world.
This makes a huge difference. You can’t do it yourself; you need someone from the outside looking in to give you a different perspective which can unlock amazing results.
Thoughts for the week
- Who do you have in your life who you can rely on to help you in tough times?
- If you can think of one or two well done, you are in a good place.
- If you can’t then spend this week thinking about the people you know and see if one or two of them could become a mentor or cheerleader and encourager.
- Sometimes the very thing we need in our lives is right in our circle of connections we just need to look.
Well, that’s it for this week, have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.