“You ain\’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin\’ a
truck.” What if Elvis believed this Grand Ole Opry manager\’s critique
after his l954 performance? Or the Beatles listened in 1962 when Decca
Recording Company responded, “We don\’t like their sound. Groups of
guitars are on the way out.”

What if Rudyard Kipling quit writing when the San Francisco Examiner
told him, “I\’m sorry, but you just don\’t know how to use the English
language.” Or as a struggling artist, Walt Disney took seriously the
words of a prospective employer to “try another line of work” because
he “didn\’t have any creative, original ideas.”

What if ten year old Albert Einstein believed his teacher\’s words, “you
will never amount to much.” Or opera star, Enrico Caruso, gave up
singing after his first vocal teacher counseled, “your voice sounds
like wind whistling through a window.”

Thankfully, they didn\’t believe what they were told. But many of us do.
We accept someone else\’s opinion as our fact. We allow others to
determine what we believe about ourselves, what we aspire to achieve,
what we dream and what we become. Others people\’s limiting beliefs
about us become our own as we give them power over our life.

But, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen didn\’t. Their “Chicken Soup
for the Soul” series, now with 65 titles, has sold more than 80 million
copies in 27 languages. Not bad for an anthology rejected by 33 major
publishing houses in the first month, receiving more than 140 total
rejections before their agent gave it back to them saying “I can\’t sell
this book.” Only by going booth to booth and pitching their vision to
editors at a booksellers\’ convention did they finally find a small
publisher who said yes.

Their passion about their work and its message kept them going. Passion
kept Disney and Einstein and Kipling going, too. That\’s because passion
is the most powerful self-motivator any of us can have. It\’s what
drives us to use our talents and abilities. It\’s the one criteria I\’ve
found most helpful when selecting people in my twenty years of
management. You can teach most skills. But you can\’t teach passion.

People who are winning at working believe in themselves and their
dreams. They\’re not likely to view setbacks as failures, roadblocks as
dead-ends, or negative critique as fatal. It\’s their passion that keeps
them going when others give up. It\’s their passion that provides
strength of purpose, Resilience, persistence and the confidence to keep
trying. It\’s their passion that helps them differentiate between
opinion and fact about who they are and what they can do with their
life. It\’s their passion that guides them.

Like Babe Ruth said, “It\’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
When you are passionate about your work, your dreams and your life, you
don\’t give up.

Nan Russell Columnist, Writer, Instructor

Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, and speaker. Her career insights column, Winning at Working (www.winningatworking.com ) regularly appears on over eighty websites; and her life-reflections column, In the Scheme of Things (www.intheschemeofthings.com) is published in six states and Canada. Her work has been selected to appear in several anthologies. To sign up for Nan's free eColumn(s), or read more about Nan or her work, visit: www.nanrussell.com.