When you've set out to achieve a goal, it's easy to become discouraged somewhere along the way.
Combating doubts about reaching your goals is a little easier with encouragement from others.
As the story goes, the famous novelist Stephen King sent three manuscripts to an editor over more than a two-year period only to have all three rejected. He was working at a laundromat at the time, was married, and was barely able to keep his head financially above water.
One night he became so distraught that he threw his fourth manuscript, in progress, into the garbage can. His wife took it out the next morning and admonished him for giving up. He got back into the writing groove, averaging about fifteen hundred words a day, and when he was done, he sent the complete manuscript to the editor.
He was certain that this manuscript would be rejected like the others, but instead he got a deal and a $2,500 advance. The novel was entitled Carrie, and it went on to sell five million copies, on its way to becoming a box office smash in 1976. As you might know, King's previous three manuscripts were published years later, and each then fetched healthy profits.
By taking the manuscript for Carrie out of the garbage, King's wife literally committed an act worth millions of dollars. How is that for a sustaining influence?
Singer and Grammy award winner, the late Luther Vandross, acknowledged David Bowie for providing the turning point in his career. Bowie overheard Vandross singing and invited him to be on what turned out to be a hit album for Bowie, Young Americans.
As a result, Vandross has to travel on tour and gain valuable experience, maintain resiliency, and ultimately become his "own cheerleader, own provider," and own partner.
Dr. John Hope Franklin acknowledges Professor Theodore S. Currier at Fisk University as being his initiating influence. When Dr. Franklin was an undergraduate, he heard Currier give two lectures on contemporary civilization.
"I was quite impressed and wondered if the impression would hold over the course of the entire term," says Franklin. "[My impression] not only held," he continues, "but the excitement of exploring historical problems and witnessing the ebb and flow of the historical process turned me away from an earlier plan to study law and to a determination to make the study of history my life's work."
Dr. Currier then helped Franklin enroll in seminars and reading courses to make certain that Franklin would have the educational foundation to pursue graduate work at Harvard University. Currier even went so far as to borrow money to pay for Franklin's tuition at Harvard.
As you strive to reach your goals, don't hesitate to share your dreams, ask for help, and reap the benefits of knowing inspirational people.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com