Every Success Story is also a Story of Great Failures Lesson Summary Notes and Explanation in English Class 10th

Important names

  1. Thomas Watson Sr.: American industrialist who built the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) into the largest manufacturer of electric typewriters and data-processing equipment in the world
  2. Abraham Lincoln: An American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.
  3. Lee De Forest: An American inventor and early pioneer in radio and in the development of sound-on-film recording used for motion pictures.
  4. Wright Brothers: Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright, together known as the Wright brothers, were American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful motor-operated airplane.
  5. Colonel Sanders: An American businessman, best known for founding fast food chicken restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (also known as KFC) and later acting as the company’s brand ambassador and symbol.
  6. Walt Disney: Walter Elias Disney was an American animator, film producer and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.
  7. Thomas Edison: An American inventor and businessman.[1][2][3] He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.
  8. Henry Ford: An American industrialist, business magnate, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production.
  9. Lee Iacocca: An American automobile executive best known for the development of the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto cars while at the Ford Motor Company in the 1960s
  10. Ludvig van Beethoven: A German composer and pianist.
  11. Napolean Hill: An American self-help author. He is best known for his book Think and Grow Rich, which is among the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time.
  12. Socrates: A Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy and among the first moral philosophers of the ethical tradition of thought.


All stories of success are also stories of great failures. Failures are the stepping stones to success. We all know that Abraham Lincoln was the President of the United States, It was not an easy thing for him to reach such a great height in his life. Lee De Forest was the inventor of the triodes tube. In 1913, he was charged with using dishonest means to mislead the public. The Wright Brothers successfully took their flight after their wisdom was questioned by a New York Times editorial. Colonel Sanders, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford, all these persons succeeded in spite of their problems.


Failures are the stepping stones to success

 According to Tom Watson Sr., we have to double our failure rate if we want to get success. Most successful people had to face failures before reaching their positions. Abraham Lincoln was a good example of this. Before he became President of the United States, Lincoln failed in business at the age of 21, was defeated in a legislative race at age 22, failed again in business at age 24, overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26, had a nervous breakdown at age 27, lost a congressional race at age 34, lost a senatorial race at age 45, failed in an effort to become Vice-President at age 47, lost a senatorial race at age 49 and finally achieved the success.

Failures and success

Though Lee De Forest was publicly humiliated for using fraudulent means for transmitting the voices across the Atlantic, he invented the triodes tube and hard over 180 patents to his credit. Though their wisdom was questioned, the Wright Brothers didn’t lose their confidence and took their famous flight. Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken Chain Restaurants had knocked on more than a thousand doors before he got his first order. Walt Disney, the famous cartoonist faced many rejections before getting the success. He created Mickey Mouse when he was inspired by a small mouse. Thomas Edison was considered stupid in his childhood but he grew up to be a great scientist. He was partially deaf and had only three months of formal schooling. He had made over 1000 unsuccessful experiments before he invented the ‘electric bulb’. He was a man with a great attitude. Though Edison lost his factory to fire at age 67, he didn’t lose heart. Three weeks later, he invented the phonograph.

Secret to success

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, forgot to put the reverse gear in the first car he made. He was broken at the age of 40. Lee Iacocca was an American Businessman known for engineering the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto cars. He was fired by Henry Fors II at the age of 54. Ludvig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. Though he was told that he had no talent for music to the world.

Every time the successful men failed, they bounced back which is called falling forward. Setbacks are inevitable in life. They teach us humility. We should get rid of fear and doubt and find courage and faith to overcome setbacks. According to Napolean Hill, whenever we think about something and believe it, we can achieve it. A burning desire is needed to achieve a purpose. When a young man asked Socrates the secret to success, he took him to the river and ducked him into the water. He kept the young man there until he started turning blue and then pulled his head onto the water. The boy took a deep breath of air. Socrates made the boy realize that the secret to success is that he should want success as badly as he wanted the air.


A setback can act as a driving force and teach us humility. We have to find courage and faith to overcome the setback. We must get rid of fear and doubt. We need to try to become victors. We need to have a burning desire to achieve our task. A burning desire is a key to one’s success. We can’t get great results with a weak desire. Success, failure, win, defeat – these ail depend upon the man’s thinking. Success begins with a fellow’s will. If one thinks he is beaten or lost, it certainly happens. If one thinks one is outclassed, one is outclassed. So, one needs to be positive in one’s thoughts. One needs to think high to get success. The person who thinks can easily win in the end. ‘Victory is not always on the side of the stronger and faster man.