Sometimes words inspire us. They help us do what we fear. We pull them out when we need courage. Here are three quotes from three famous people about persistence.
Quote #1 – You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.
Who said it? Wayne Gretzky, the great one! He got it from his dad, Walter. Here’s a recording with information on Wayne that I didn’t include. It's about a minute long.
Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Wayne is from Canada where hockey is king! His parents bought their first house because the backyard was perfect to build an ice rink every winter. Walter encouraged his kids to take shots, even if they missed. It worked! Three of his four boys grew up to become professional hockey players. Wayne’s the famous one!
These are Wayne’s first skates. He wore them when he was three, and they’re definitely well used! I wonder how many shots he took in them. If you’d like to check them out, go to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
At six Wayne played on a team, for ten-year-olds. When he turned ten, he scored 378 goals and 139 assists in ONE season. No one counted his practice shots or misses. By age 13 Wayne had over 1000 goals. I wonder how many thousands of shots he took at those hockey nets by the time he was 13!
Wayne played in the National Hockey League from 1979 – 1999. He didn’t wait three years to get into the Hall of Fame. He was voted in his first year. Only nine other players have done that. I’m glad he took all those shots!
Wayne Gretzky - Wikipedia
Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Wayne Gretzky in 2006: By Kris Krüg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36257814
- First Skates: By Resolute - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17891111
- Wayne and the Stanley Cup. He won it four times with his first team, the Edmonton Oilers:
By 117Avenue - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52424962
Quote #2 – Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
Who said it? Madeleine L’Engle! Here’s a recording that’s about a minute long with her thoughts about inspiration. You’ll only find them on this link. Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Madeleine wrote her first story when she was five. She started keeping her thoughts in a journal when she was eight. She was off to a great start, but she was also shy and clumsy. Some of her teachers thought she was stupid. Her parents didn’t know what to do, but Madeleine did. She turned toward reading and writing. I’m so glad she did! Books are always a great answer!
Madeleine graduated college in 1941, cum laude, with honor. By 1942 she published two novels, but by 1958 she only had three more books in print. It must have been disappointing for her.
Madeleine decided if she couldn’t sell a book by her 40th birthday in November of 1958, that she’d quit writing. She wanted to pull her weight, money-wise, in the family, but she couldn’t stop thinking up stories.
In 1959 her family took a ten-week cross-country camping trip. Would you believe that’s when the idea for A Wrinkle in Time arrived? After she quit? I’m so glad she kept thinking!
Nothing is instant, even for Madeleine L’Engle. She finished Wrinkle in 1960, but it was rejected more than 30 times before she found the right editor, the right publisher. In 1962 Wrinkle was born. Madeleine published over 60 pieces of writing, from fiction to poetry to nonfiction. I’m glad she didn’t quit! We would have missed out on some great writing!
Sources of Information:
- Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Madeleine L'Engle - Wikipedia
- Madeleine L'Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time - The Official Website (madeleinelengle.com)
Quote #3 – Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.
Who said it? Thomas Alva Edison! Here’s a recording of the details behind the quote. Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Thomas went to school for a couple months as a kid, but he didn’t fit in. His mother homeschooled him so he could learn his way, from experiments. He went back as an adult – to take one chemistry class.
When he was 12, he developed hearing problems, but he learned it was a good thing – he could focus on work, without any distractions.
Thomas was also an entrepreneur. He made money selling candy, newspapers, and veggies on the local trains, and he was only 13. He used his money to buy supplies for his experiments.
Sometimes Thomas failed. He was experimenting with battery acid. It leaked through the floor and onto his boss’ desk. He was fired the next day.
But Thomas persevered and got his first patent for an electric vote recorder two years later. It didn’t sell, but Thomas kept experimenting. Seven years later he developed a new telegraph machine and sold it to Western Union.
The profits – he used them to build Menlo Park, the first industrial research lab, where he could constantly innovate and improve. Eventually his lab took up two city blocks and held over 8000 chemicals. Thomas also bought things like hair, silk, and feathers. They were a few of his supplies.
Thomas kept working. His next big invention was the phonograph, in the photo. The telephone transmitter, the electric light bulb, and the motion picture camera, they’re just a few of his inventions. Thomas also started 14 companies including General Electric. They all came from perspiration and experimentation – hard work.
Take a peek inside Thomas’ lab at Menlo Park, or go visit Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
- Menlo Park - By Andrew Balet - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,
- Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Thomas Edison - Wikipedi
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!