There is a fine line between foolishness and unwavering certainty, between audacity and stupidity, between greatness and insanity.
A fool and a genius share many of the same qualities— both ignore everything and everyone, focusing only upon one certain aspect of an ideal or a goal.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell which you are. Every great person who truly strives to achieve something beyond the bounds of the average takes a leap of faith, and must often work without result for years. One of my favorite quotes that comes from Stoicism is “be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
If you truly feel confidence in your path, and you have a strong connection with your intuition and a passionate desire to make something happen, then indeed you should feel content to be thought foolish and stupid. Just as J.K. Rowling endured rejections from 12 out of 13 publishers, and the Beatles were turned down by the majority of the record labels they contacted, every genius must endure through this stage of failure.
I see it as a test…only the people who are truly dedicated to their craft will continue in spite of a lack of appreciation, in spite of blatant failure. A genius is someone who believes so strongly in his or her mission that even after falling face first into the concrete, s/he gets back up with even greater enthusiasm.
Our greatest failures are often turning points in our lives. They teach us a lot about who we are and what we really stand for. It’s not uncommon for us to become discouraged by failure, but I see it as a sign of how much we can make it through and still be okay. The beauty of failure is that the sting passes with time, and once we channel that pain to create more motivation, the results become even stronger and stronger.
Failure doesn’t knock us down, it simply tests how many times we are willing to get back up. Failure constantly challenges us to become better at what we do and to become an even greater version of who we are. Without failure, there would be no progress…no one would develop the strength to fight in the face of adversity.
Every person, successful or not, must face adversity; whether or not you have millions of dollars in the bank and you’re launching a new business venture or you just dropped out of school to pursue a passion, you’re facing adversity. We all face different consequences, but all passionate people fight the same battle to stand for what we believe in, despite all odds.
When you know something is right, don’t quit. Be that idiot that keeps going when every logical sign points the opposite direction. Logic can solve a lot of problems, but it is always overridden but sheer unadulterated faith.