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FROM FAILURES TO HEROES & HEROINE — BILL GATES, OPRAH WINFREY, & HENRY FORD WERE FAILURES EARLY IN LIFE

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“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill It was that great poet, Henry Longfellow who submitted that:  “The heights by great men (and women) reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.” Our own Nnamdi Azikiwe reasoned that: ‘’There is plenty of room at the top, but because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity’’ Azikiwe’s contemporary, Obafemi Awolowo was a deep philosopher. These were great Nigerians who had the ability and capability to stand shoulder to shoulder with any leader of the Western world. Awolowo asserted that: “I will, more than ever before, subject myself to severe self- discipline. ‘’Only men who are masters of themselves become easily masters of others. ‘’Therefore, my thoughts, my tongue, and my actions shall be brought under strict control always. “Those who desire to reach, and keep their places at the top in any calling must be prepared to do so the hard way.” Awolowo is also recorded as saying that: “While many men in power and public office are busy carousing in the midst of women of easy virtue and men of low morals, I, like a few others like me, am busy at my desk thinking about the problems of Nigeria and proffering solutions to them. Only the deep can call to the deep.” HENRY FORD KNEW NOTHING ABOUT RUNNING A BUSINESS — The only dead of the three influential figures – Henry Ford was born in 1863 and died in 1947. He was a businessman and founder of FORD Motor Company. Ford’s biographers wrote that ‘’Henry Ford knew nothing about running a business, and learning by trial-and-error always involves failure. The new company failed, as did a second. To revive his fortunes Ford took bigger risks, building and even driving racing cars. The success of these cars attracted additional financial backers, and on June 16, 1903, Henry incorporated his third automotive venture, Ford Motor Company. There is a prophetic story of how the 13-year-old Henry Ford got a pocket watch for his birthday and then proceeded to take it apart. He simply wanted to know how it worked. It was a character trait that marked the rest of Ford’s life. PRECOCIOUS…

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