“You Have to Pass Through the Fire”
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” (Max DePree)
“It’s a misnomer that our talents make us a success. They help, but it’s not what we do well that enables us to achieve in the long run. It’s what we do wrong and how we correct it that ensures our long lasting success.” (Bernie Marcus, co-founder, Home Depot)
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett)
“We learn … by growing older, by suffering, by loving, by bearing with the things we can’t change, by taking risks.
The things you learn in maturity are not simple things such as acquiring information and skills. … You learn not to engage in self-destructive behavior. You learn not to burn up energy in anxiety. You learn to manage your tensions, if you have any, which you do. You learn that self-pity and resentment are among the most toxic of drugs. You learn that the world loves talent but pays off on character.
You learn that most people are neither for you nor against you: they are thinking about themselves. You learn that no matter how much you strive to please, there are some people in this world who are not going to love you, a lesson that is at first troubling and then really quite relaxing. …
Those are things that are hard to learn early in life. As a rule you have to have picked up some mileage and some dents in your fenders before you understand. As Norman Douglas said, ‘There are some things you can’t learn from others. You have to pass through the fire.’” (John Gardner, founder of Common Cause)