Keep On

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‘We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.’ (Decca Recording company, rejecting The Beatles in 1962. Pye, Columbia and HMV also rejected them. Oops..)

‘You will never amount to very much.’ (Munich schoolmaster to Albert Einstein aged 10)

‘You care for nothing but shooting dogs and rat catching and you will be a disgrace to yourself and your family.’ (Charles Darwin’s dad reviewing his son’s academic and career prospects).


The Scottish were taking an absolute pasting from the English at the Battle of Banackburn. Robert the Bruce (the leader of the Scots) watched a spider trying to climb up a wall. It kept falling off the wall until the fourth attempt when it succeeded. This inspired Robert not to give up and the Scots went on to beat the English in the battle


Thomas Edison only attended school for 3 months. He was declared backward by his head teacher and was withdrawn from school by his annoyed mother. At the age of 12 he earned money selling newspapers on a train and soon began printing his own paper in the guard’s van, until his chemicals managed to set the whole train alight! Somehow, Edison managed to keep his job and at 15 became a telegraph operator, although not a very good one! However, he made up for his failings by inventing the ticker tape machine which put him out of his own job! This was the first of over a thousand inventions that included the record player, the light bulb and the first cine camera! At age 65 he saw his life’s work burned up – what was his attitude? Oh well, there go all my mistakes, now we can start again! Of his success, he said that genius was one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration!

ABRAHAM LINCOLN STORY – (don’t reveal the name until the end)

He failed in his first business attempt. He tried politics and within one year he failed there also. He went back to business for another try and failed again. Three failures in three years. He asked his fiancee to marry him after 4 years of going out. She said no. Later, another sweetheart died. He struggled for the next 2 years and suffered a nervous breakdown. After 2 years to recover, he tried once again in the political world and was defeated in his bid to be elected as Speaker of the House.

Two years later he sought to be appointed as the Elector and was again defeated. Three years after this he ran for a seat in Congress and was defeated. It was during this time that his 4 year-old son died. He spent the next 7 years in political obscurity and then ran again for a political office – this time in the Senate. Again, he was defeated. The following year he was nominated for Vice-president but was defeated along with his running mate in the general election. After 2 more years he tried for the Senate but was defeated. Then, another 2 years later in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States! Twenty four years of sheer endurance!


We often feel like giving up but often it’s at these times that we need to keep going. Someone has said that 99 per cent of people aren’t defeated, they simply quit too early. McDonalds has a logo saying there are many unsuccessful people in the world with good ideas. What more did they need? Perseverance – not giving up. To make sure we are all that we can be, we need determination


Moses (Prince of Egypt). The people of Israel were in slavery in Egypt. Moses was told by God to go to the Pharaoh (the ruler of Egypt) to demand that Pharaoh let the Israelites go free. Ten times Moses went to Pharaoh and asked again and again but each time Pharaoh refused. Only on the tenth time did Pharaoh say OK. Keep going – don’t give up, especially if you have a dream