Item description for Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success by Steve Young...
Babe Ruth spent his childhood years in an orphanage and, as a baseball player, struck out 1,330 times...on his way to the Hall of Fame. Elvis Presley was banished from the Grand Ole Opry after one performance and told: "You ain't goin' nowhere, son." Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporter's job and advised: "You're not fit for TV." Author/interviewer Steve Young relates how hardships, roadblocks, rejections and even physicial infirmities cannot stop people determined to succeed! This collection of motivational stories and anecdotes of famous and everyday "failures" shows that success rests on changing "I can't" into "I will." From the worlds of business, science, entertainment, sports, education, politics and the arts come inspirational, often humorous but always helpful, reflections from those who refused to let defeat stop them on their road to victory. Personal stories by: Erin Brockovich; John Wooden; Jane Goodall; Johnny Unitas; Sam Donaldson; Teddy Pendergrass; Ann Richards; Bill Walton; Steve Allen; Billy Idol; Dr. Audrey Manley; Jimmy Breslin; and many more.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success?
Excellent story telling Apr 14, 2008
I picked up a copy of this book about a year ago and found it a really enjoyable read. The author intermixes stories of amazing people who overcame the odds before succeeding with his own narrative on how to achieve.
Strength to keep going Jan 28, 2006
Reviewed by Kim Peterson for Reader Views (1/06)
Nearly every human wrestles with failure. Some failures are minor setbacks that sidetrack us for awhile. Others knock us off our chosen path and leave us reeling from the impact, questioning our capabilities and our worth. In this collection of inspiring stories about successful people tale after tale reminds the reader that "... failure is part of the process that breeds success."
All the people in the stories have something in common: they summoned the strength to keep going. Perhaps they continued to travel their original path or traveled another road, but they kept moving ahead stepping into a new phase of discovery and growth. The contributors acknowledge that failure came from many sources: themselves, others letting them down, major disappointments, even poor health. Each person illustrates that what pushed him/her toward eventual success was his/her attitude toward failure and finding the courage to try again.
Great Failures is organized into ten chapters; each comprised of mini-segments giving the book a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" feel by permitting readers to consume as little or as much as they desire in a sitting. Motivational quotes appear on almost every page and each segment is followed by humorous trivia about successes and failures throughout history. Stories include activists, sports figures, politicians, media personalities, authors, musicians, celebrities, researchers and more. Recognizable names like Ann Richards, Erin Brockovich, Teddy Pendergrass, Bill Walton and Ed Asner will entice readers to pick up the book. The inspiring stories will keep them reading.
I felt challenged by the odds these people faced on their journeys to success. Jane Goodall's thoughts about the value of friends during a disaster, Clive Cussler's persistence in writing despite nasty reviews of his books, and Stephen J. Cannell's courage to readjust to life after the death of his teen-aged son all remind me of the importance of overcoming adversity.
Well worth the read! Sep 27, 2005
In his preface, author Young states: "Parents, teachers, coaches, business supervisors, religious authorities, authors and critics of all sorts, inadvertently or not, have been responsible for dulling aspirations and destroying dreams." Isn't that so true!
From failure (and/or punishment) many of us are afraid to try again. For those who say, "I can't" without ever saying "I'll try," -- this book's message will shake you into trying again.
Steve Young has collected over 60 personal stories of failure from entertainers, adventurers, medicine, politics, business, war, and so much more. A few are stories I've heard, most are new to me. Some writers are famous; others not. All have the message that failure is the "best thing" that ever could happen to them.
Starting with Erin Brockovich, the authors range from Jane Goodall to Jamie Goldman, John Wooden, Bill Walton, Steve Allen, Ann Bancroft, Guy Gabaldon, Robert Townsend and Sam Donaldson and a whole of lot other interesting people in between.
The stories are all great. I had to read every word. This is NOT a book I'll pass along -- it will remain mine, but I will tell everyone about it.
I liked the one about Minnesota Viking's Jim Marshall who ran the wrong way and made a touchdown for the other team. He admitted his mistake, learned from it -- and in telling others, it allowed people everywhere to share mistakes they made and never told anyone about until they told Marshall.
After the stories, the second best thing is the wonderful collection of quotes focusing on failure and success.
The third great element is end-of-chapter quickies like Accidental Achievements (about things invented by accident), Unbelievable Understatement and Red-Letter Rejects (all about famous writers that were rejected again and again before someone finally published their work).
Armchair Interviews says: An amazing collection of "get-off-your-duff" stories to energize and support you to try again -- to rise from failure to success, or to look at your failures in a different light
Success is not Final, Failure is Not Fatal Apr 26, 2004
Sir Winston Churchill once stated: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."
This adage is the constant theme running through the personal accounts of 60 contributors to a book entitled GREAT FAILURES OF THE EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL: MISTAKES, ADVERSITY, FAILURE AND OTHER STEPPINGSTONES TO SUCCESS authored by Steve Young. Young's narrators cover a broad spectrum of well-known as well as lesser-known personalities. Each recounts candidly their personal experiences where they were able to stand up to adversity.
Young divides the book into ten chapters each of which is prefaced with a quotation. Within these chapters Young endeavours to situate the appropriate narrative that would most aptly suit the intent of the quotation. For example, the first chapter's theme is based upon the assertion of Albert Einstein:
In the Middle of difficulty lies opportunity To illustrate the author presents Nanette Fabray's narrative as to how she overcame her hearing handicap.
Chapter four's preface is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparations for their victories It is within this context where we learn how Tony Curtis did not permit anti-Semitism and his lack of a formal education stand in the way in preventing him from learning six languages, and becoming a painter, actor, writer and poet.
Chapter seven's words of wisdom is a quote from Violeta Parra, Don't cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won't let you see the stars Here we learn about Sonny Hill who was a legend in the old professional Eastern Basketball League and one of the first African-American announcers for the National Basketball Association. How Hill overcame the ugliness of racism and how as he states "although it was hurtful, I found that this gave me the tools to deal with life. I learned something from those bad times by evaluating what was really happening."
One of the shortcomings of this book is that it overwhelms the reader with too many contributors. The author has fallen into the trap of saturation. No doubt, he has done a great deal of research and some of the stories are worthy of recounting. However, would have not the book been more effective if the author had provided 30 well developed narratives rather than 60 bite size anecdotes? It is important that an author knows when to stop.
Norm Goldman Editor of Bookpleasures
Deceptive title but enjoyable Jan 10, 2003
This seemed to be more of a self help book than anything. Some of the individuals described in the book hadn't overcome any exceptional adversity. I would go so far as to say some of the people were included in the book to merely to magnifiy their hardships in order to justify their affluence. However there were a handful of intriguing stories. The whole book is brimming with great insprirational quotes. Worth reading but don't expect it to top any best seller lists.