Failure Leads to Success

By Maya Hamdan

Here at OES, I think it’s fair to say that every single one of us have experienced failure at some point or another.

Failure is genuinely disheartening and in many cases, results in one losing all ambition and motivation. There seems to be this ideology that a successful individual is simply born successful, and achieves greatness with ease without experiencing any setbacks whatsoever. However, some of the world’s most victorious people have failed- usually numerous times.

I have compiled a list of undeniably successful people who faced major failure before they found fortune and fame.

    1. Although Albert Einstein may be considered one of the the world’s greatest intellectuals, growing up, he was thought to be a hopeless case. He was unable to speak until the age of 4, and couldn’t read until the age of 7.  His teachers warned his parents that he would never amount to much. Einstein proved them wrong by winning the Nobel Prize, prospering as a theoretical physicist. His name has become a synonym for the word “genius”.
    2.  J.K. Rowling began her first draft of Harry Potter as a single mother living off of welfare. Her first book was denied more than 30 times. Publishers repeatedly told Rowling that her content simply wouldn’t make a good book. J.K. Rowling ended up publishing her book and selling more than 400 million copies worldwide. Additionally, she became the first billionaire author in 2004.
    3. Walt Disney was fired from the newspaper, The Kansas City Star, for apparently not being creative enough. He was repeatedly told he had no imagination whatsoever and that his ideas were no good. Today, he holds the record for the most Oscars won by a single individual, as well as redefining childhood worldwide.
    4. Steve Jobs suffered from chronic depression, resulting in him dropping out of college after just one semester. At 3o years old, he was left devastated after being fired from a company he started. Jobs ended up becoming the founder of Apple, Inc and the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios. As of 2011 when he died, his net worth was $8.3 billion.


  • Steven Spielberg earned poor grades in high school, causing the University of Southern California of Cinematic Arts to reject him numerous times. After finally having graduated college, Spielberg directed 51 films and has been awarded three Oscars.


All five of these individuals overcame countless obstacles and proved many doubters wrong. They had the courage to use their failure as motivation to shape a life that was true to them, proving that one is not born with talent, but must work hard to achieve it.