Peggy Payne in New York Times — “How Insults Spur Success”

Peggy Payne knows how rejection can be a good thing:

At 62, I’m still stewing over not being chosen to attend the Governor’s School of North Carolina when I was 16.

It’s true that many good things have happened in my life: a happy marriage, a few books published, fulfilling years in journalism and freelance editing. But the fact remains that at age 16, I was not among those selected to spend six weeks in 1965 at the Governor’s School, a renowned summer camp for brainy teenagers. And silly as it may seem, this rejection has helped my career.

That’s because there’s nothing like a little “I’ll show ’em” to incite ambition. Many people cherish their motivational insults.

“It makes such a difference in your life when somebody tells you ‘no’ and you have enough survival instinct,” says Terry Vance, a psychologist in Chapel Hill, N.C. “It spurs you.”

Click to the full essay –>  How Insults Spur Success, New York Times, 16 October 2011.

Please share your experience/response to this Post. I'd sure like to know, and it could be useful to someone else. You can click the Post's title to view the entire post, and Comment below, if you like. The "Name Field" will accept any name, so you can be Anonymous [Anon] if you prefer. You must enter your Email to post a comment, but your Email address will not appear publicly. Thanks, Dr Bob
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2 Responses to Peggy Payne in New York Times — “How Insults Spur Success”

  1. Phil says:

    Many thanks for this great advice.

    Elsewhere on her website, Peggy Payne writes: “My two critically acclaimed novels and two very different nonfiction books all focus on some aspect of people boldly speaking out, acting on their beliefs, and living in their own vivid and characteristic ways.”

    This reminds me of the W.H. Murray text that ends with a quote from Goethe:

    “W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951. There the text apparently goes:

    ‘But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money–booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'”

  2. Peggy says:

    Thank you, Bob and Phil.

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