In many ways, the way to extraordinary is simple. You don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
Elizabeth Blackwell didn’t.
The perseverance of Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell was sitting with a dying friend when the friend suggested Elizabeth would make a great doctor. Although daunting that doesn’t seem like an impossible dream…except that Elizabeth didn’t have the finances or education. Oh yes, and she was a woman… in the 1800s, before any woman had ever been allowed to attend medical school in the U.S.
Elizabeth got a job to raise enough money, worked with a doctor to gain experience, and started applying to medical schools. After dozens of rejections, she finally received an acceptance…because when the medical school went to its student body, the men thought it was a joke and unanimously voted for her to be accepted.
Elizabeth persevered through unbelievable obstacles, such as being though ‘crazy’ by the townspeople for wanting to be a doctor, shunned by peers, being asked not to attend certain lectures that were ‘inappropriate for a woman’. She went on to graduate at the top of her class, became a doctor, founder of a medical school for women and a hospital that still stand in New York, and many other milestones and achievements.
All because she kept going. She didn’t take no for an answer.
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”
– Michelangelo, Artist
Are you stretching yourself?
Are you aiming too low? We all want to achieve our goals, but are we selling ourselves short? Short term goals are beneficial for motivation and short term focus but they are also safe…and that can be limiting. Are your goals part of a bigger plan? To have some dream, some goal that seems out of reach, is where the magic is.
Everything was impossible at some point in history
At different points in history no one believed we would fly, walk on the moon, or do any number of other amazing things. But somewhere along the way, a dream became reality. There were failures along the way, and some people never saw their dream come true, but they laid the foundation for others to achieve unbelievable things.
Think beyond yourself, what is your legacy for others that come after you?
When you achieve a goal, it is a stepping stone to a new adventure and another milestone on the journey. Don’t stop there. Keep looking ahead, and don’t be afraid to dream the big dream. You never know what will happen if you just keep walking. We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.
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