“Success is not measured by what a person accomplishes, but by the opposition they have encountered, and the courage with which they have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” ~Orison Swett Marden
I love Orison Swett Marden’s quotes! So much so that it inspired me to look in to his story. He lost both parents as a child.
He lost everything as a young man, twice. Each time, he picked himself up from adversity and pushed forward. (Read the whole story below).
Orison ended up writing books that would seal his place in history as one of the most positive people of his time and beyond.
The legacy he left behind is beyond incredible.
It brings to mind this question. Have you ever noticed that the person that has been through so many of life’s struggles is
the one that leaves the biggest impression on us? After all, we consider, if they can overcome adversity, then perhaps so
can we. And that really is the beauty of their stories.
I am always looking for words of encouragement and inspiration to help me in my own challenges. And then, I pass them
along to you in the form of warm and fuzzes, hoping and praying that the stories I find will take on a bigger life of their own.
I just think we all need to see someone that has successfully gone down the paths we are trying to navigate, and I do
include myself. So, back to the original quote by Orison, here’s to your success. Never give up.
Orison Swett Marden was born in Thornton Gore, New Hampshire to Lewis and Martha Marden. When he was three years old, his mother died at the age of 22, leaving Orison and his two sister’s in the care of their father, a farmer, hunter, and trapper.
When Orison was seven years old, his father died from injuries incurred while in the woods, and the children were shuttled from one guardian to another, with Orison working as a “hired boy” to earn his keep. Inspired by an early self-help book by the Scottish author Samuel Smiles, which he found in an attic, Marden set out to improve himself and his life circumstances. He persevered in advancing himself and graduated from Boston University in 1871. He later graduated from Harvard with an M.D. in 1881 and an LL.B. degree in 1882. He also studied at the Boston School of Oratory (Emerson College) and Andover Theological Seminary.
According to Brian Tracy’s book “Flight Plan”, during the deep depression of the 1890’s, Marden lost the hotel he owned. With little money, but with lots of time on his hands, he decided to write a book. He took a room above a livery stable and worked night and day. The evening he finished the final page, tired and hungry, he decided to go out to a small café for dinner. While he was dining, the livery stable caught fire and burned to the ground. His entire manuscript – more than 1,000 pages, an entire year’s work – was destroyed by flames in a matter of minutes.
He was overwhelmed and heartbroken. But he picked himself up and started all over again. A year later, he had re-written his manuscript. He then tried to get it published. But with the depression being in its third year, no one was interested. He moved to Chicago, found a job and met someone who happened to know a publisher. The publisher read his book and said, “This is exactly what people should be reading in the middle of the depression or at any other time”.
“Pushing to the Front” became the single greatest runaway classic in the history of personal development books at that time. People like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and J.P. Morgan cited it as inspiration. Marden went on to write more than twenty other inspirational books.
“There are two essential requirements for success. The first is “go-at-it-iveness” and the second is “stick-to-it-iveness” – Orison Swett MardenShare on Facebook