Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes, and can surface in every aspect of life. All of us are fighting a different battle of some kind that is trying to keep us from achieving goals and gaining success. Some are smaller and fixable (communication breakdown with a colleague or a highway closure on the way to work), and some seem impossible to overcome (physical limitations from an accident or rejection from several job interviews). Fortunately, whenever we are struggling with our own demons, we can always look to others who have beat all odds to achievement as a shining example of hope. Sometimes looking at another’s struggles can shed perspective on our current situations, and reassure us that anything is possible.
One of my favorite examples of someone beating all odds is none other than Albert Einstein. Einstein was a globally recognized American scientist who wrote the most profound and complicated scientific theories known to man, and changed the face of science forevermore. Even though he passed away in 1955, Einstein’s theory of relativity is still one of the two pillars of modern physics.
The best part of Einstein’s story is not quite in his successes, but the hurdles he had to conquer to achieve goals. Ironically, family and school professors thought Albert was a stupid and effortless child. Not speaking until the age of 4, Albert’s parents thought he has mentally slow. In school, Albert did not often speak or make effort in his homework, forcing teachers to believe he was lazy and would amount to nothing.
Einstein’s hurdles in education did not end in childhood – he failed an entrance exam into a Swiss polytechnics school the first time around and was accepted only because of an “acceptable” understanding of math and science. After graduation, Einstein searched fervently for a teaching career and did not land a job for two whole years.
The most amazing testament of Albert Einstein’s story is that for over 20 years he was a misunderstood individual who was deemed as unintelligent, when in reality he was working through equations and theories in his mind since an early age. Einstein later judged the teaching system as it did not allow for creative thinking.
If Albert Einstein had quit and believed he was useless, we would not have Quantum Physics and the Theory of Relativity today. Einstein’s theories changed the world, and fortunately he was alive to experience the fruits of his success in his latter years. His story is a beacon of light for those of us currently facing trials in achieving goals.
I strongly believe that any complicated trial we face means success is just around the corner. For more inspiration of overcoming obstacles and achieving goals in your life, take a look at my book titled Trading Pain for Purpose.