In today’s world, we need more than determination to reach our goals; we need naked determination.
Applying this powerful momentum to all facets of life, we can achieve immense success and even greatness. In her life skills book ‘Naked Determination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear’ Gisela Hausmann tells forty-one true stories demonstrating how we can overcome the fears which hinder us in taking the leap to achieve our career goals, make money, find the right partner, and so much more.
By telling entertaining stories, Gisela shows that most often overcoming fears is a simple one-step process. Readers will recognize themselves in this book. Gisela makes her point that indeed all of us know the answers to how we can succeed; all it takes is to apply naked determination.
About Why the Famous ‘Edison Story’ May Hinder Small Business Owners to Succeed
You have heard it…
I have heard it…
Our children have heard it and will hear it…
It remains to be seen if our grandchildren will hear the story correctly.
The story of Edison and his 5,000 light bulbs…
(This story is also being told with 700 light bulbs, and/or 10,000 light bulbs.)
No, I am not going to get into a debate whether Edison did invent the light bulb or not. For the sake of this story, let’s assume that Edison did invent the light bulb (which he did not per se) because this elaboration is not about the invention itself but about Edison’s famous quote:
“…I have not failed 5,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 5,000 ways will not work…”
Typically, this story is being told as an encouragement to not give up and/or to change one’s viewpoint on how to see failure.
For example, when speaking to a child, frequently, people say:
“Think of Edison, trying to invent the light bulb… 5,000 attempts… But, Edison did NOT give up… So, neither should you.”
The story is being told as a story about ‘endurance’ or about ‘viewpoints’. The poor children who hear this story probably envision Edison, sitting in a dark and moldy basement, sweat dripping from his forehead, checking off failed attempts, and they try to ‘feel’ like Edison, never giving up and seeing things from an optimistic viewpoint.
Somehow, this version of Edison’s story always sounds like an epic Sisyphean task. That is because this approach puts emphasis on the wrong topic. In fact, many of the children who have heard the story this way may have grown up to become small business owners who may have failed because the wrong light bulb story was lingering somewhere in their subconscious minds.
The naked truth is that Edison did not know how many attempts it would take him. After all, he could have been successful with the 3rd attempt, or with the 17th attempt. Surely, he did not start out thinking, “Well, if I proceed quickly, I can go through 100 attempts till the next weekend.”
Edison’s story should really be a story about CREATIVITY.
When we fail, we need to focus on whether we can come up with a new, better way to attempt a solution to our problem.
- – Will we walk away or will we re-attempt with a new creative solution?
- – If and when we run out of ideas, can we partner with somebody who will find more creative solutions?
- – Can we form a think tank?
Additionally, the various retellings of the light bulb story never mention that Edison started out at Menlo Park laboratory, the first industrial laboratory ever, an ‘invention factory’, which in today’s language could be called a think tank. He was not working in a moldy basement.
The 21st century asks for more creativity than ever before in history. Should you get stuck in a brainstorming session at your company, you could tell Edison’s story all over again, this time, as a story about creativity and working in a conducive environment.
About the Author
Gisela Hausmann, author of fifteen books, has created a brand of ‘naked’ books that tells things as they are. The self-declared evangelist for best practices in communication has made herself a name in developing techniques to sway tough-to-reach people with emails. She has also published two books about this topic.
Gisela’s Alma Mater is the University of Vienna, where she graduated with a masters degree in Arts of Mass Media. Her very first book was chosen as a gift for President Clinton when he visited her hometown Vienna. Gisela is also an avid globetrotter, who has traveled almost 100,000 kilometers in three continents.