The fact that Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet could arguably be the tongue-in-cheek reason for his meteoric rise as a writer, entrepreneur, publisher, humorist and lecturer. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. Mark Twain’s simple observation demonstrates his profound insight into the quest of the entrepreneur:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Born into slavery, American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the underground railroad.
Harriet Tubman’s passionate message is a mantra for every entrepreneur that feels a calling deep within his or her soul to pursue that which is most important:
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
You, me, all of us…we share the ability to dream as big as we want to and to go in the direction our heart beckons us. “There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela
“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions. Your passions choose you.” Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon
“Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.” –Aaron Sorkin, Screenwriter, Playwright
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.” Michael Jordan, five-time NBA MVP, six-time NBA Champion
The article by former First Lady of Oregon Cylvia Hayes entitled, 10 Rules to Reinventing Yourself is a wonderful inventory of reminders to ourselves that “self-reinvention isn’t for wimps! But that it is absolutely essential to living your fullest life.” It’s a quick read with profound advice.