She was born into a family of jhum cultivators of Manipur. She helped her parents till the fields and looked after her siblings. Brought up in such a modest background, she never imagined that she would one day win a medal for her country at the Olympics. The woman I am talking about is Mary Kom, a true winner who, without any formal training and money, has won six gold medals at World Championships. This year, she made India proud by winning a bronze for the country. While better and more popular athletes crashed out, this woman put up a tough fight and achieved victory. Her story is the story of a woman who never gave up.

Every cartoon this boy submitted was rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Later on, even Walt Disney refused to hire him. Yet, he never gave up. Finally, in 1950, his dream of becoming a professional cartoonist was fulfilled as his comic strip Peanuts was published. It soon became a big hit and Charles Schulz was soon earning $30,000 a year by 1953. The characters of his cartoon strip became virtual heroes and soon they were adorning cards, books, clothes, lunchboxes, et al. Snoopy, one of Schulz’s creations, was such a big hit that he soon became the mascot of NASA in 1969. NASA’s lunar excursion on the Apollo 11 mission was called Snoopy! Ford used the characters from the cartoon strip Peanuts to sell the Falcon. The characters of Peanuts were also used for 15 years to sell the products of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. A man who faced a lot of rejections and misery, but all the time kept his focus on what he loved, Schulz finally showed the world that ‘quitters never win and winners never quit’.


In life, things may not go as planned, but great minds have the ability to rise to the occasion and take up the challenge. As Washington Irving once said, “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.” It’s these people who have achieved true greatness. John Milton lost his eyesight, but it did not deter him from writing Paradise Lost almost 16 years after losing his eyesight. Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime, that too, to one of his sister’s friends for $50. Yet, he never gave up painting and completed 800 paintings without feeling dejected; and all the time totally believing in what he was doing. Persistence pays, and is the deciding factor between winners & losers.

The exhibitions of the ‘Impressionists’ artists were routinely rejected by the Paris Salon. They thought it was not art and refused to acknowledge it. The artists never gave up and continued their work. Today, there is hardly anyone who remembers the name ‘Paris Salon’, but anybody interested in art knows about the ‘Impressionist’ artists. In June 2008, the auction house Christie’s London sold its most expensive painting, that of Impressionist master Claude Monet, for more than 40 million pounds. Never ever in Europe had a painting been sold at an auction for such a price. The ‘Impressionist’ painters never let the judgment of Paris Salon pull them down. They never gave up on what they believed in till the world gave them their due.

He did not speak until he was four years old, and couldn’t read until he was seven. His parents thought he was ‘sub-normal’. He was expelled from school and his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrip forever in foolish dreams.” Those were these ‘foolish dreams’ of his that transformed the world. From opening a whole new world of ‘Quantum Physics’ to answering the question “Why is the sky blue?”, he changed the way people understood the world! Albert Einstein looked at things differently and saw what others could not see. Even the ‘God particle’ would not have been discovered had it not been for Einstein and the support he gave to our own Indian scientist Satyendra Bose.

This boy failed in sixth grade and he was defeated in every office he stood for. But he did not give up till at 62, he became the Prime Minister. His name was Winston Churchill.

These and many more such success stories have one thing in common; the people never succumbed to adversity and never lost focus. They relentlessly pursued their goals and believed in themselves even when the world gave up on them. These people had the courage to fight all odds.     Read More....

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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