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Success Profile

Success Profile of Shel Silverstein

Most people know Shel Silverstein the author of children’s books, such as “The Giving Tree,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic”. But do you know Shel Silverstein the playwright or the songwriter?

His talents and accomplishments reach much farther than the children’s books of poems most people are familiar with.

When you think of children’s literature several books come to mind. One book on everyone’s list is “The Giving Tree.” This book has sold millions of copies and is known all over the world. What most people don’t know is how hard Silverstein had to push to get that book published.

When he took it in to people, they refused to publish it. He stated in an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 1964, “Everybody loved it, they were touched by it, they would read it and cry, and say it was beautiful.” He went on to say, “But… one publisher said it was too short. Others felt that the book fell between adult and children’s literature and wouldn’t be popular.” No one would publish it.

But he stuck with it. He refused to change anything, even the sad ending. He felt the story was one that needed to be heard and shared. It took four years for him to find someone willing to publish. Ursula Nordstrom, an editor at Harper and Row, read the book and saw Silverstein’s vision and what he was trying to accomplish. She offered to publish the book as he wrote it.

It seemed that through his life, both personal and professional, he strived to live what he wrote. His poem, Listen to the Mustn’ts Child is a poem that he clearly lived by.

Listen To The Mustn’ts

Listen to Mustn’ts, child, […]

Grace Hopper: Amazing Grace

When most people think of the origin of computers, they probably imagine a bunch of men huddled around a huge machine, crunching numbers. While this image is mostly correct, you’re forgetting a huge fact. Among that group of men was an amazing woman, Grace Hopper.

Grace Hopper not only worked on the first computer, the Mark 1, but she is also known as the “mother” of COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language).  She laid many of the stepping stones in the computer science industry that have led to modern day technological advances.

Even at a young age Hopper was curious and inquisitive. She would have questions about something and do her best to find an answer. When she was 7 her mother caught her taking apart alarm clocks so she could figure out how they worked.

After graduating high school she went to Vassar and earned a bachelors degree in 1928 in mathematics and physics and then her masters from Yale University in 1930. She continued her education at Yale and went on to receive her PhD in mathematics. Hopper began teaching at Vassar in 1931. She continued there as a professor there until 1943.

During her career in teaching Hopper decided she wanted to serve our country and join the U.S. Navy. She was one among many women who volunteered to serve in the WAVES. She was told that she was too little to join. She was 15 pounds under the weight requirement of 120 pounds. But Grace Hopper was a determined woman and she was able to get an exemption which allowed her to enlist.

While in the Navy, Hopper was able to work on the first computer. It was at that time that she coined the term “debugging” […]

By |February 14th, 2014|Success Profile|0 Comments

Negativity Stops You From Being Successful

“The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.” ~Charles Swindoll
Positive people look at life with the attitude that they are going to charge, that they will make a difference and that they will do more than what is expected of them. That attitude is where success starts.

Remember, all those other things – past, education, money, circumstance, failure and success – have an impact and can be important, but many of those are outside your control. Your attitude, however, is completely up to you. That’s why it’s vital to maintain a positive attitude if you hope to achieve success.

Realize that you are in control of your attitude. As mentioned, there are outside influences, but how you respond and how those factors affect you in the long term is ultimately up to you. Having a positive attitude is about self-mastery and self-awareness – each of which will help you on your journey toward success.
Put a plan in place. Develop a pattern of positivity by surrounding yourself with positive people, books, and ideas. Both negativity and positivity can be habitual perspectives, so the more exposure you have to each, the more likely you are to embrace it.
Learn how to address problem areas. In the workplace, this may mean confronting the individuals who seem to promote negativity. In your personal life, it may mean improving relationships or personal […]

Success Profile: Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton was born in to an upper-class family in New York City in 1862. With an active mind and a budding creativity, Wharton struggled to identify with the social conventions that surrounded her gender and class in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Yet, this didn’t stop Wharton from becoming the first woman in history to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University and full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

It may seem strange to look at an upper-class woman from the 19th century in a success profile on this blog. But, Edith Wharton was an inspiration to many of the women from her era. She was able to push past the boundaries placed on her by society and find success and fulfillment as a writer.

Here are five qualities that helped her to succeed in life:

Staying curious and eager to learn.              

Although she could not attend school, Wharton received an education from a governess and read her father’s books extensively on her own. Wharton was curious about the arts throughout her whole life; she studied and wrote about literature and design. Her passion for the arts is what inspired her success and kept her focused on her work. Although some educational privileges were kept from her early in life, she still took the time to educate and invigorate her mind on her own.

At age 23, in 1885, Wharton married Edward “Teddy” Robbins Wharton, who was from a similar background and upbringing as she was. Teddy Wharton suffered from depression and did not have the same passion for the arts as Edith Wharton. Their relationship was hard and unhappy. Edith Wharton devoted much of her time during their married life to studying the arts and building […]

By |August 15th, 2013|Success Profile|0 Comments

The Importance of Reading Success Stories

No matter what you’re going through, someone has been through worse.  There are many resources out there that can help you learn to focus on the positive, improve your character and overcome obstacles.  Taking advantage of every possible resource available to you is a smart move.  One of those many resources is success stories and profiles of those who have gone before you.
Their stories of inspiration and ingenuity can motive you when things are looking their bleakest.  Just as focusing on the negative can influence you to have a pessimistic attitude towards life, focusing on other people’s success can give you hope and clarification for the future.

Obstacles in life come no matter if you are trying to get somewhere or not.  Instead of just sitting there and allowing yourself to be acted upon, get up and make things happen.  People who are content with things the way they are will find that nothing worth keeping stays the same without fighting for it.
During the Good Times:
Even when things are going smoothly, success stories can ingrain in you the importance of always striving for new and innovative ideas.   They serve as a reminder to always strive to achieve more.  If you strengthen your resolve and your character when times are rough, you will be better prepared to handle things when they start going downhill.

Don’t just coast through the good times, keep working.
The Right Success Stories:
If you find yourself feeling depressed or not good enough after ready through some success stories, take a step back and look at the type of stories you’re reading.  Are they about someone overcoming obstacle after obstacle as they pushed toward their goal or are they about someone achieving “success” because they had it […]

By |January 11th, 2013|Success Profile|0 Comments

Know Your Learning Style

Everyone is different; from the way we respond to situations to the food we like.  We each have a unique personality.  So, it’s no wonder that we all learn differently too.  One person could look at graph for 10 minutes and get all the necessary information they need from it.  Someone else could look at the same graph for hours and still not completely comprehend the whole picture.  It has nothing to do with the intelligence of the people, but rather their different learning styles.   Knowing your learning style with help you be aware how to approach learning a new skill or how to best expand your knowledge about a subject.

There are four different learning styles.  Each category has specific techniques that will contribute to a person’s potential for learning.  They are visual, aural, kinesthetic, and logical.

People who learn visually can usually be found in professions such as architecture, photography, design, or video and film.  They learn by using images and color in the place of text.  It is recommended that people who learn visually should use colored pens when they are studying.

The next learning style is aural.  These are the people who have interests in music; whether it’s playing, conducting or composing.  They learn best by using sound, rhyme and music.  When memorizing facts or a script, put it to song and that will help to engrain it into your memory.

Another way to learn is through logic.  Those who think and learn logically are able to see patterns and trends in various texts.  They are able to group content together in ways that are easier for them to understand.  Logical thinkers excel in areas such as sciences, mathematics, accounting, and law.  To learn best, make lists and […]

Mary Lou Retton Success Profile

Mary Lou Retton became “America’s Sweetheart” in the 1984 Olympics when she scored perfect 10s on floor exercise and vault to win the all-around title by 0.05 points. Retton won four additional medals: silver in the team competition and thehorse vault, and bronze in the floor exercise and uneven bars. For her performance, she was named Sports Illustratedmagazine’s “Sportswoman of the Year“. She appeared on a Wheaties box, and became the cereal’s first official spokeswoman.

During her gymnastics career, she suffered several injuries and had surgery on her knee only three weeks before the 1984 Olympics. Extensive training was a way of life for her since she really became serious about gymnastics at age eight. At age 14, she moved away from her family to train under Romanians Béla and Márta Károlyi, who had coached Nadia Comăneci, her heroine, before their defection to the United States.

During the 1990s, Retton worked as a spokeswoman for the U.S. drugstore chain Revco. Retton was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

In 1993 the Associated Press released results of a sports study in which Retton was statistically tied for first place with fellow Olympian Dorothy Hamill as the most popular athlete in America.

In 1997, Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Retton has many commercial endorsements, including the first appearance by a female on a Wheaties box. She is currently falling out of a piñata in a Dairy Queen commercial. She is also a frequent analyst for televised gymnastics and attendedThe University of Texas at Austin after the Olympics.’

Retton was born with hip dysplasia, a condition aggravated by her years as a competitive gymnast. After experiencing increased pain she had hip replacement surgery on her left hip in her mid-30s. Retton also suffered from incontinence due to an overactive bladder, arthritis and hemorrhoids. She serves as a paid spokesperson for Biomet and for Pfizer to publicize treatment for these conditions.

In […]

By |September 24th, 2012|Success Profile|0 Comments

Maya Angelou Success Profile

Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.

Born in 1928, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture. At age eight, she was abused and for several years after, she was almost completely mute. A beloved school teacher helped her to speak again after introducing her to the beauty and peace of literature.

Dr. Angelou attributes her own love for life, her own confidence in God and all that is good in the world for her success and satisfaction in a happy, fulfilling life. She also acknowledges that her mother was a driving force to encourage her daughter to truly be herself.

Says she, “I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can’t ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won’t stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you’d be surprised that people say, “Can I be of help?””

Two “Mayaisms” that really define her are:

“When people show you who they are, believe them.”
“You can save yourself a lot of anger. And I will tell you another principle: Being thankful helps you to be present.”

Dr. Angelou continues to be an inspiration to all she meets. Her books, most notably I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, have impacted her millions of readers. She is known for her philanthropic spirit, but as is so […]

By |September 18th, 2012|Success Profile|0 Comments