Responsible achievers hold themselves accountable to do what they say they will do; to be dependable and to complete the tasks they begin. Responsible behavior is characterized by good judgment and sound thinking.
I want to share the story of Thomas Edison with you. Edison had less than a year of formal schooling before he was labeled “stupid” by his teacher and sent home. He was then taught by his mother and spent a great deal of time educating himself in the neighborhood library. There he read voraciously and was especially interested in science.
From the beginning, he took responsibility for his own education and advancement. By age ten, he had read a hundred books and was studying chemistry in a lab he had set up at home. To support himself, his interests and to contribute to his family, he sold newspapers, books and snack foods to passengers at a train station.
By the time Edison was fifteen, he had purchased an old printing press at the train station and was earning money as a small-time printer. He learned to operate a telegraph and within two years became an expert. Edison continued to learn and improve and over the years had the equivalent knowledge of a college graduate with many degrees.
More than 1,000 patents were granted to Edison during his lifetime. Edison’s inventions changed the world. While he was working on one of them, the electric light bulb, he showed a tenacity and resilience that is a model for anyone who wants to learn about healthy thinking and perseverance.
Edison carried out about 10,000 different experiments before the light was a success. Edison did not regard the attempts that didn’t work as failures; he said that they were “10,000 ways that didn’t work on the way to the one that did.”
Edison teaches us to take responsibility for our own lives. He teaches us to stick with our important initiatives and to not give up. He demonstrated the power of Momentum. He also shows us that the lack of a formal education may be an impediment; however, it does not have the power to stop us.
With dedication, creativity and a strong desire to learn and improve, Edison went from a boy who was too “stupid” to warrant a place in school to one of greatest inventors of all time. He is a testament to full effort and the desire to excel.
There is so much we can glean from Edison. Let’s all learn the merits of responsibility as we face the challenges in our lives and then create the thinking Momentum required to move mountains and be the best that we can be.