...at age 21, failed in business
...at age 22, was defeated in a run for the legislature
...at age 24, failed again in business
...at age 26, experienced the death of his sweetheart
...at age 27, had a nervous breakdown
...at age 34, lost a race for Congress
...at age 36, lost another race for Congress
...at age 45, lost a race for the Senate
...at age 47, failed in an effort to become Vice President
...at age 49, lost another race for the Senate
...and at age 52, was elected President of the United States.
The man is Abraham Lincoln, who is often considered to be among the greatest U.S. Presidents.
Another classic story of persisting in the face of rejection, from Robbins’s Notes from a Friend: A Quick and Simple Guide to Taking Charge of Your Life, is the story of the success of Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken).
At age 65, Colonel Sanders learned that the restaurant he owned was doomed: the new interstate highway would route traffic away from his door. He decided to try to sell both his special recipe for fried chicken and his expertise in cooking chicken properly; he wanted restaurants to give him a percentage of their sales of his chicken.
Colonel Sanders was refused 1,009 times before he heard his first yes from a restaurant owner—after two years of driving across America, sleeping in the back seat of his car.
Rejection is just something that happens, that will undoubtedly happen to us again, and that we’ll live through, when it does.