7 Challenges Courageous Leaders Overcome

Leadership and innovation aren’t qualities that people
are born with; they’re earned after a lifetime of hard
work and diligence. In the face of overwhelming odds
or critical failures, it’s easy to lose sight of your
aspirations, but the charismatic leaders we admire
throughout history don’t give in to that temptation.
They work to overcome any challenge.
Take inspiration from these seven leaders, who faced
ridicule, rejection, and disaster before earning their
1. Bill Gates’s first company was a failure. Yes, that
Bill Gates, the one worth $76 billion. He wasn’t
always the wildly successful tech genius we’ve all
come to recognize as one of the most innovative and
practical leaders the world has ever seen. Gates and
his business partner, Paul Allen, originally started a
company called “Traf-O-Data,” which featured an
automated way to read and organize data pulled from
traffic tapes. The company was a complete failure,
and the product didn’t work the way it was intended.
Still, Gates credits his first business as being
invaluable as a learning experience. Failure is
something common and inevitable, but learning from
failure is what leads to success . Gates is certainly
not alone in the entrepreneurial world–in fact, most
successful entrepreneurs, especially in the tech sector,
were only able to reach those heights after years of
struggle and countless failed experiments.
2. Richard Branson was a terrible student (and still
suffers from dyslexia). Branson, also on the short list
of richest people in the world, is still making waves as
an innovator with various new enterprises extending
from his core Virgin Records business. But if test
scores and grades were a truer indicator of future
success, Branson never would have been able to
accomplish such greatness. Branson was, and is,
dyslexic, a learning disability at least partially
responsible for his terrible standardized test scores
and below-average grades. Despite those childhood
setbacks, Branson fought for his own ideas and is
currently overseeing one of the biggest companies on
the planet.
Branson is a perfect example of how limitations
should never hold you back. Whether those limitations
exist in your physical capabilities, resource access, or
somewhere else, there is virtually no obstacle that
cannot be overcome. History is full of leaders who
overcame objective limitations to change the world.
3. Albert Einstein was rejected from college. Einstein
is currently known as the “father of modern physics.”
That’s a pretty big title for someone who couldn’t get
into college right away. Einstein was no child prodigy;
his grades were poor, his focus in the classroom was
sporadic, and when he first tried to get into college,
he failed the entrance exam. Nevertheless, Einstein
eventually graduated and developed some of the most
important scientific theories of the modern world,
which still form the fundamental basis for modern
physics. Even if you aren’t familiar with the scientific
value of his work, you know his name–it’s
synonymous with scientific intelligence.
For most people, getting rejected from college would
seem like the end of the road. An optimistic handful
might think that a career in science is still possible.
But Einstein blew those assumptions away and
became not just a great scientist, but one of the
greatest scientists that ever lived. Remember that the
next time you’re faced with rejection.
4. James Dyson tried and failed 5,127 times. Thomas
Edison is often named as an example of why failure
shouldn’t stop you from trying; different estimates
purport that he built 100 to 1,000 light bulbs before
he found one that worked. But James Dyson is a
modern-day Edison who experimented even more
before eventually finding success. For 15 years,
James Dyson tried–and failed–to build a better
vacuum cleaner, scrapping a reported 5,127
prototypes in total. But still, Dyson insisted that each
prototype brought him one step closer to perfection,
and today he’s a billionaire.
When you buy a stunning new product, you don’t get
to see the countless ugly, unfinished versions that
came before it. No matter how hard you work at your
first draft, it’s probably going to end up looking
terrible, so don’t get discouraged. Keep working at it,
and eventually, even if it takes you 5,000 tries, you’ll
get something great.
5. Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple and turned the
company into a sensational powerhouse, he was
hailed as a genius (and he pocketed billions). But
that level of success had eluded Jobs for decades.
After starting Apple with partner Steve Wozniak, Jobs
was booted out of the company after too many failed
projects. Resentful but determined, Jobs started a
new company, NeXT, whose hardware failed
catastrophically. Fortunately, the software division
was successful, and Apple’s acquisition of that
division put Jobs back in charge. The rest is history.
Steve Jobs is lasting evidence that you should never
count somebody out (even yourself). Instead of
wallowing in self-defeat, he poured his efforts into
new enterprises, and constantly refined his visions
until he earned his way back to the top of Apple.
Even if someone pushes you back, you have to keep
moving forward.
6. Oprah Winfrey overcame a tragic past. After
experiencing years of abuse from family members and
friends, Winfrey ran away from home and bore a child
at age 14 who died shortly after birth. Despite a
childhood and early adolescence riddled with tragedy
and adversity, Winfrey became an honors student in
high school and earned a full college scholarship.
Today, she’s instantly recognizable as one of the
most successful television personalities and
entrepreneurs in the world, with a net worth in the
The past is the past, and it shouldn’t stop anybody
from doing what they want to do. Winfrey could have
easily resigned to be content with a normal life after
everything that happened to her, but instead she kept
pushing for greatness.
7. Kris Carr turned cancer into an opportunity.Kris Carr isn’t as recognizable as some of the other entrepreneurs on this list, but her story is nothing short of inspirational. In 2003, Carr was diagnosed with an incurable, extremely rare form of cancer in her liver and lungs already in Stage IV. Carr fought back by radically altering her lifestyle, writing books, and starting a wellness website that encouraged others to follow suit. Today, Carr’s site kriscarr.com, is followed by more than 40,000 people, and her story has been the subject of multiple documentaries. Carr has lived with cancer for more than 10 years, and is still enjoying success as an entrepreneur with a strong personal brand.
The greatest leaders don’t just move past an obstacle–they find meaning in it, and use it to their advantage. When you face a challenge, you can’t just look at how it’s limiting you; you have to look at how it changes you, and how it could change you for the better.
All leaders eventually face hardship. Great leaders overcome those hardships and improve themselves in the process. Whether you’re a boss, an entrepreneur, a scientist, or a mentor, you have to look at your weakest moments as opportunities rather than limitations. Every obstacle, and every failure, is just another step toward your ultimate destination: success.


Posted in Courage, leaders

How I overcame my doubt and concerns about becoming a foster parent

Looking back, I often wonder when and where the seed for fostering was planted in my heart. I grew up in a wonderful neighborhood with many loving families and kids all around. Several homes in my neighborhood welcomed foster children into their lives, and in turn many of these kids became my playmates. Some would stay and some only would be with these families for a short time, but it was my introduction to the gift of foster care.
Many years later I met my wonderful husband and we moved our lives to Milwaukee. On the surface, we moved here for education, but deep down there were bigger things taking root. We were here for about nine months when little moments snuck in to our lives bringing us messages of the great need for foster homes. I saw firsthand the need through my work at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where often I had the privilege to work with these amazing kids! We saw billboards, commercials and watched movies all connected with the same messages of beautiful children in need of stable love and support. However, it wasn’t an instant decision.
Giving my fostering seed a chance to sprout
Doubt and concerns started to clutter our plans.
How would we afford child care?
How would we afford medical and dental care?
How could we become first time parents to a child who may only be with us for a short time?
How could I survive a relationship with parents who may hate me?
How could I learn to love a child and then let him or her go?
What would this do to my husband, my dogs, my house and my life?
My seed for fostering quickly became overrun with doubt. It no longer had a chance to flourish. That’s when I had the privilege of meeting some of the greatest gardeners in Milwaukee.
I found a message in my inbox at work advertising a lunch and learn opportunity about foster parenting. I listened to real stories, from real foster parents who lived, breathed, and most importantly, thrived as foster families. I asked difficult questions and started to clear out some of the barriers I let in. There would be assistance with child care, medical and dental, a thorough screening process, support systems and always someone to call when I need help. It was as if my seed finally received enough water and sunlight
— that’s when it began to sprout.
There always will be more reasons not to become a foster parent. How do we prune those fears to let real growth and beauty take root? It felt scary to let go of all excuses, but if I hadn’t, I never would have witnessed the immaculate garden that has become my family. There were days we felt like we were drying up or drowning from too much water, but each time we reached out for help, someone always was there to make sure we kept growing.
Despite the 101 reasons not to become a foster parent, the one inexcusable reason I became a foster parent was because there was a child who was counting on me to live. For reasons greater than myself. I took a risk on love because they deserved it.
We have been blessed with a son who will forever be with us, and I can’t wait to meet the others who we can help grow with the right mix of love and support, and a community who cares.
–Megan Massey, adoptive parent

Posted in Foster, parenting, Uncategorized

I am a survivor

I grew up the youngest in a family of five. My mother and father divorced when I was a few months old. My mother struggled to take care of five young children on her own. Because her parents died when she was a little girl, she never considered giving us up for adoption or to relatives. My natural father never kept in touch with us. He never helped my mother care for us and so I never knew him and have no recollection of him.
My mother tried her best to ensure we had a good family life by marrying twice after her divorce from my natural father, but neither man in her life served as a role model for my three older brothers. My brothers suffered the most from the breakupof my parents’ marriage and my father’s abandonment of his parental duties. All three have ruined their lives through drug abuse and crime. My oldest brother lives from day to day without any hope and with the constant internal battle against a drug addiction, which he often loses. My second oldest brother has been in and out of state mental institutions for over fifteen years. He is forty-two years old and is schizophrenic. My third oldest brother is somewhere in New York City, and he doesn’t want to be found. He calls my mother from time to time to let her know that he’s alive.
I talk about my brothers first because even though they had problems growing up, they managed to protect and shelter me from their troubles. They made me believe in fairy tales and tried to shield me from the ugly reality of the world. It was because I lived a child’s fairy tale life that I would later learn that fairy tales don’t come true. I would learn to struggle, suffer, and survive.When I was eighteen years old my mother moved away and left me in New York City with my friends to attend college. I guess my mother thought I would easily succeed and become the first college graduate in our family and I would easily learn to be responsible and independent. She must also have assumed that because I had never struggled for anything, I would be okay and I would doubtless succeed in becoming a lawyer. What I learned was that nothing was certain or guaranteed anymore. I moved constantly and trusted all the wrong people. I lost focus of my goals of finishing college and becoming a lawyer.
At the age of twenty-one I married a man who physically and mentally abused me. I thought he would take care of me just like my family did and protect me like my brothers had. He provided me with all the material things I desired and was used to getting. He convinced me to drop out of college and abandon my dream of being a lawyer. He convinced me to alienate my family and my friends, and to live the life he chose for me.
My experience with him taught me how to suffer. I did not understand his physical abuse, and did not know how to handle it. I was too ashamed to tell my family and too scared to leave. I was too scared to struggle on my own. I was scared that I would not make it on my own. I chose to suffer silently and alone because in the back of my mind I thought my situation might get better but deep in my heart I knew otherwise. Finally, I was forced by him to do exactly what I feared the most, to go out on my own and learn to struggle and suffer without him. He thought this would teach me just how good I had had it with him and that I would beg to come back to him. He was right, at first I did beg to come back. The best thing he ever did for me was to say “no.” I was forced to learn to live on my own and for myself, no longer putting my needs on the shelf, no longer his friend, lover or wife. It was time for me to take control of my life.
Initially as I struggled and suffered I still looked for someone to take care of me, because I had not yet learned to survive on my own. When I saw a commercial for the Army, I decided that Uncle Sam would be my new provider and I would no longer have anything to worry about. As it was, I was already working seven days a week, two jobs around the clock, just to pay my bills. I thought this would be a break for me and would take away the stress and hardships. Quickly dispelling my delusions, the Army taught me to survive. I discovered a deep inner strength in me that would not let me give up. I had no other choice but to learn to do for myself and to help others. I learned there was humiliation in giving up and pride in succeeding. I learned to “just do it” with no questions asked and no hesitation involved. Do the job right the first time and you won’t have to do it again was a valuable lesson learned and essential knowledge to have. In the Army I learned to be a leader and to set the example for other soldiers by being placed in many leadership roles. In advanced institute training, I was the bay sergeant in charge of sixty-three young ladies. Through our teamwork and dedication for excellence, our bay won many awards and received many privileges for being the “Best Kept Area” in the company while under my supervision. I was so proud of what I had accomplished and my ability to encourage others to work together for a common goal. I won the respect of many young ladies and they had my mutual respect. In the summer of 1990 while in the Army, I was on orders to go to Saudi Arabia during operation Desert Storm. At first I was scared, but I received so much love and support from my family and friends until I wanted to go and fight for my country and for those I loved dearly. I never ended up going to Saudi Arabia, but I was always ready to serve my country.Today, I have three beautiful children from my second marriage whom I am raising. For them, I’ve learned to survive. From my struggles, I’ve learned what I don’t want for them and what I believe they should know. From my suffering, I’ve learned how to protect them better than I was protected.
I am thirty- three years old and so far I have many accomplishments that will contribute to my ability to succeed at being a good lawyer. I have watched my brothers destroy their lives but never considered following in their footsteps, I have endured a terrible marriage and survived. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army, and I am loyal. I survived through my struggles and suffering and I realized that becoming a lawyer would not only fulfill a dream, but also complete the person I am. I want to give back to the community through the practice of law and my experiences have grounded me and brought forth a determination that will not allow me to give up. I believe the practice of law involves integrity, endurance, discipline, and loyalty. These qualities were always hidden somewhere in me, but surfaced through my struggles.
I’ve always believed if I accomplish all my goals I will be happy and I am determined to find out if this is true. I sometimes wish that I didn’t have to struggle or suffer to reach happiness, but I know that there is so much more to me because I have “been there and done that.” I wouldn’t trade my life or any of my life experiences for anything in the world.SOURCE:

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hello world!!!! hope we make this the start of a fantastic journey together…!
This is How I Overcame,inc welcoming you to our world.

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