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.

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