Archive for May, 2012

Theo Paphitis

Theo Paphitis: British business tycoon.

Born: September 24, 1959.

Even as an adult, Theo Paphitis does not like to read.

You know what?  My inspiration to be in business did not actually come from a book.  It actually came from watching telly as a kid.

TV inspired me at that stage and I knew I wanted to run my own business.

He does enjoy learning about what others are doing, however.

I look at other people who are entrepreneurial or successful and you know what?  I don’t have jealousy and I don’t have envy.  I have pure admiration and it drives me so I love to read, I love to see people who are successful, more successful than me because that drives me.

He credits his success to his creative edge.

Every year, no matter how busy I am, I [take off] all the school holidays.  That’s the time I spend with my family and…that’s the time I have most of my creative thoughts.

And to his intrinsic curiosity.

Finance meant getting stuck into other people’s business – and I’m a nosy bugger. You had to go through the business, you had to go through all the bits and pieces. My curiosity was enough to get me to ask the right questions.

Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich: American environmental activist.

Born:  June 22, 1960

School is supposed to be a place for learning and making friends.  For internationally famous activist Erin Brockovich, school was a source of discouragement and humiliation.

People called me stupid — I knew that I could learn, but I just couldn’t learn the way that society wanted to teach me. There are no set answers, just be who you are.

My high school teachers would not have believed I could have read all those [legal] briefs.  Early on I was told I probably wouldn’t make it through college. I knew I wasn’t stupid, but I had great hardships in school — since second grade.

Brockovich praises one special teacher.

If it weren’t for…my high school history teacher, I would have been completely demoralized by schools.  My teacher was always puzzled by my performance. In class I always knew everything and yet I always flunked the test.

So she let Brockovich take her history exams orally.

She was invaluable in helping my self-esteem.

Today her words to anyone, whether a client or a struggling student, are simple.

Never give up hope.  When someone helping you gets frustrated, don’t let them. Take a step back, because you can’t learn anything under pressure. And don’t worry about the label!

Life is full of challenges whether you are learning disabled or not. It’s how you handle those challenges. Never be afraid to be just who you are.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone: American Film Actor.

Born: July 6, 1946

It would be great to be able to pass on to someone all of the successes, the failures, and the knowledge that one has had. To help someone avoid all the fire, pain and anxiety would be wonderful.

Sly Stallone certainly knows life has its ups and downs.  In school he was thought to be slow and was eventually placed in a high school for children with special needs.

When I was in junior high school, the teachers voted me the student most likely to end up in the electric chair.

But he made it through, and later used his struggles to pen the Academy Award winning move Rocky.

I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts.

Today he remembers his humble beginnings and how they shaped him.

I have a lack of fear, whereas in the past the fear of failure was a powerful motivator. Anyway, I have great expectations for the future, but I just don’t know if I’m the monarch of all I survey.

I’ve kind of fashioned my life after a Slinky. Bend me in a million shapes, and eventually I’ll spring back to what I originally was.

He has these thought to offer those who are struggling.

Once in one’s life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived.

Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald: American author.

Born:  September 24, 1896

Died:  December 21, 1940
F. Scott Fitzgerald is as linked to the Jazz Era and the Lost Generation as Queen Victoria is to all things ornate.  The author of This Side of Paradise and The Great Gatsby had what might best be described as an uneven academic career.  His first story was published when he was 12, but he was later expelled for failing to keep up with his schoolwork.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

After much hard work he got into Princeton, but then dropped out without graduating.

Either you think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.

But of course, his struggles pale in comparison to his triumphs, just as he might have predicted.

Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.

He left many lessons for anyone who wants to write.

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.

He also left a few thoughts for those found it difficult.

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.

Pamela Shriver

Pamela Shriver: Olympic gold medalist.

Born: July 4, 1962

As an Olympic gold medal winner and dyslexic, Pam Shriver knows how important sports can be in a child’s life.  More than 25 years ago she started a charity to raise money to help children learn more, both in the classroom and on the tennis court.  Today, she hosts an annual tournament near her hometown of Baltimore for the express purpose of helping kids.

When we first started, all the proceeds went to cystic fibrosis research.  And then started to branch out and want to help more charities give out grants to different children’s related charities mostly.  So while we still give out grants cystic fibrosis research, we help everything from homeless shelters to literacy charities who help kids learn how to read better.

While the focus of her charity has changed through the years, along with the game of tennis, some things will always remain the same.

You know what is always the same is the mental side and your ability to handle pressure and the big moments.  All the great champions can embrace the biggest moments and still produce.

All the great champions can handle pressure, whether its 20, 30, 50 years ago or today.

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