Nailing It: How Young People Got It Together
“I am a part of everything that I have read.” Theodore Roosevelt
I read the biography of George Washington Carver when I was in High School. He’s been with me ever since. Recently, I finished, “Becoming Dr. Suess.”
People change people.
You experience the influence of Einstein, Mozart, Helen Keller, or Maya Angelou, in the stories of their lives.
Rene Descartes said, “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”
Respect the power of admiration.
Admiration is magnetic.
You are made better when you respect honorable qualities in others. The people we admire teach us what to desire.
You become like the people you admire.
Robert Dilenschneider wrote a collection of biographical vignettes that busy people have time to read. The stories in Nailing It will give you people to admire.
Two takeaways from Nailing It:
After reading Nailing It you will admire the determination of young people who changed the world.
Everyone who has made a difference in the world has overcome adversity. Think of Helen Keller, for example. (Her story is in “Nailing It.”)
Why do people lack determination?
You need a reason to be determined.
Dilenschneider said, “Being determined requires an emphasis.”
Nietzsche put it this way, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
When you have a reason, “Adversity is an energy releasing experience.” Dilenschneider
The frailty of people who changed the world is an encouragement. You may feel that you’re too disappointing to make a difference in the world.
Mozart was physically frail and died at 35. Helen Keller was blind and deaf. Coco Chanel was a lady of the evening.
The frailties of people who overcome adversity is permission for you to make a difference.
Point of reflection: How are you becoming like the people you admire?
Purchase “Nailing It: How History’s Awesome Twentysomethings Got It Together.”
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
I am most familiar with this quote from Nietzche through Viktor Frankle’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” which I read in college. Certainly, the times and events Frankl lived through bear out the truth of Nietzche’s assertion.
I love reading biographies of high achievers and have a small collection of these works in my personal “leadership library.”
I am always humbled -and motivated- by the stories of those who have overcome adverse circumstances or events to ultimately succeed. It always makes me ask, “What do I have to complain about when they overcame ‘X’?”
It is a shame and a tragedy that “presentism” and the “cancel culture” are causing the obliteration of the achievements and accomplishments of an increasing number of great achievers from past generations, just because they were people of their time and not perfect as judged by the standards of the past few years.
I plan to read “Nailing it” very soon.
When I was in middle school, I worked my way through the school library’s biography section. A lot more years than I care to reveal later, I still remember snippets from those books.
Nietzsche also said that hope was the worst of evils because it prolonged suffering, that faith was a denial of the truth and especially that “whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster”.