Tag Archive: dyslexic


Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer: Australian media mogul.
Born: December 17, 1937
Died: December 2005

Kerry Packer loved his father but often found him hard to live with, especially when he did not do well in school, which was most of the time.
I got a lot of hidings because that’s the sort of person I was and the sort of person he was.
It was only on the playing fields that he found any sort of success.
My life was sport. I was academically stupid. My method of surviving through school and those sorts of things was sport.
Eventually, his success on the playing field translated to success in workplace. And he believed that everyone should try to be successful, too.
If a working class Englishman saw a bloke drive past in a Rolls-Royce, he’d say to himself ‘Come the social revolution and we’ll take that away from you, mate’. Whereas if his American counterpart saw a bloke drive past in a Cadillac he’d say ‘One day I’m going to own one of those’. To my way of thinking the first attitude is wrong. The latter is right.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef.
Born: May 27, 1975

For Jamie Oliver, working in his father’s pub from childhood prevented him from ever being shy, even around the smart kids at school.

My dad got sent all the quiet kids in the village to work at the weekend. ‘Trev, look after our daughter, will you? She’s just a little bit quiet. Just a little bit shy.’ Dad would put her on the buffet for a month over summer, and by the end she’d be the most outgoing bird. You can’t be shy in the pub trade. It’s almost impossible.

Another thing his father taught him was that hard work paid off. He paid Oliver for working in the kitchen at the pub, where Oliver also received his earliest training in food.

I’m sure everyone thought I was a spoiled brat. I always had whatever trainers I wanted, and I can honestly say I earned every single penny. My old man never gave me handouts. Ever. In fact, he was repulsed by the idea.

Unlike many television chefs, he has struck a true note between what is perfect and what is good enough.

I haven’t been able to do the things I’ve been able to do by having an act. Love me or hate me, my recipes or ways of doing things have all been sincere. You know I could do a beautiful tart now, but you know what? When you haven’t got the time, smash up some Maltesers and pour them over ice cream. Genius!

Kenny Logan

Kenny Logan: British rugby star.
Born: April 3,1972

All through school I was called ‘stupid’ or ‘thick’ by teachers and other pupils because I couldn’t read or write. I never managed to get my head around the alphabet or understand why certain combinations of letters made certain sounds, why words such as ‘phone’ were not spelled ‘fone’.
Kenny Logan found some relief from his classroom failures in rugby success.
But even when I became a professional rugby player, I still felt like a child. When I went down to play for Wasps in 1996, I still couldn’t read or write. I couldn’t even write my new London address. I was being sent dozens of forms every day, but had to send them back home for my mum to deal with.
It was his girlfriend who saw that he had a problem.
Over the next few years, Gabby kept bringing up my dyslexia. She’d say things such as: ‘In the past, whenever someone has said something against you, you’ve always proved them wrong. Yet your whole life you’ve been running away from dyslexia.’
Finally, Logan stopped running and got help.
It was not just my rugby game that was flying. There had been all sorts of changes taking place. I started to pick things up quicker and say things that were more relevant to conversations. After games, we would be talking about our performance and I would point out mistakes and explain why they were made and suggest improvements. This was something I’d never done before.

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber; New York Times bestselling author of over 150 books.
Born: October 22, 1948

No one would have ever picked little Debbie Macomber as a future writer. At 10 years of age, she still could not read.

I am dyslexic, but they didn’t have a word for that when I was a child. I was just considered slow. School was difficult. I was the only girl in the slow reading group. My teacher said, ‘Debbie is a nice girl but she will never do well at school’. And I didn’t.
In spite of her teacher’s dire warning, Macomber still dreamed of being a writer.
I would throb with joy at the thought of it, but I didn’t tell anyone; not even my best friend. I knew if I did tell anyone they would say, ‘you can’t be a writer; you don’t get good grades. You can’t spell’. It was an impossible dream.
After 11 years of marriage and 4 children, her husband decided it was time to pursue her dream.
He said, ‘honey, go for it’. So I rented a typewriter, sat down, and tried. But the stories in my head didn’t transpose to my fingers. I learned by dissecting the books I loved.
Her first book even made Simon and Schuster history.
It was the first of that line to be reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly. I was pictured in Newsweek. And I gradually built my audience.

Joe Montana

Joe Montana: football legend.
Born: June 11, 1956

Joe Montana was, in many ways, the classic all-American boy. While he never excelled in school, he was always good in sports. In fact, in high school he played football, basketball and baseball. A coach remembers

Here’s a kid who never did anything wrong, never smoked or drank or broke curfew, never gave anyone a hard time, just a terrific kid.

He credits his parents with looking past his academic limitations to see his true gifts. Instead of yelling at him about how he was doing in school, Joe Sr. spent every afternoon after work playing with young Joe in the backyard, coaching him and encouraging him to use his gifts.

My mother and father, Joe and Theresa Montana brought me along and taught me to never quit, and to strive to be the best.

From the very beginning he brought his own style of drive to the NFL. Though some loved him and others hated him, he always kept his focus on the game.

‘Cause there’s only one reason for doing anything that you set out to do. If you don’t want to be the best, then there’s no reason going out and trying to accomplish anything.

And he offers these words of inspiration to others.

Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live.

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger: American fashion designer who created his own signature brand.
Born: March 24, 1951

By the late 1990s, Tommy Hilfiger had replaced Levi Strauss as the definitive American jeans company. In 2005, CBS even created a reality show called The Cut that followed 16 designers as they vied for a place with his company.

While Hilfiger’s success would be impressive no matter what, it is all the more so when you consider that young Tommy was such a poor student that he never even went to college.

I performed poorly at school, when I attended, that is, and was perceived as stupid because of my dyslexia. I still have trouble reading. I have to concentrate very hard at going left to right, left to right, otherwise my eye just wanders to the bottom of the page.

In the end, however, it was Hilfiger’s lack of formal training that gave his company the edge over other, more established designers. By embracing the fact that he thought differently than those around him, he was able to create clothes that stood out both on the model and in the stores.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to build a brand of clothing around my own attitude and my own lifestyle.

Today, although he recently sold his company for $1.6 billion, his values remain the same as when he first started selling jeans back in 1969.

It takes hard work, resourcefulness, perseverance and courage to succeed.

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