Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kentucky Fried Persistence

I was feeling disheartened the other day about my lack of progress in attaining one of my goals, which is to be become a published poet. My sole strategy at the moment is to enter poetry competitions. So far I have had no success with this. What got me over feeling discouraged was when I recalled the example of Colonel Sanders, yes he of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.

Now until I came across his story, I had always assumed that the good Colonel was merely an invented icon, to supply a folksy, avuncular aura for flogging greasy fast food. I was wrong. He actually existed. He was a hard-up, 65 year old on social security and the only thing he had of value was a recipe for, yes you guessed it, chicken. His bright idea was to try and get a restaurant interested in using his recipe which he would demonstrate and in return get a percentage of the profits. He travelled all over America trying this out on restaurant owners. They didn't want to know. He got rejection after rejection. But he never gave up. He just kept doggedly on until he found someone who said yes. What is amazing is that he was rejected 1009 times before he got a yes. It took him two years but he got there in the end. I know that some of you are probably thinking that maybe the world would have been a better place if he hadn't succeeded! However, that said, as an example of sheer dogged determination the Colonel is a great inspiration. So many people give up on their dreams after just a few attempts. Perhaps if they'd kept going they'd have got where they wanted to be in the end.

To date, I've probably entered about 10 poetry competitions, so that's really not that many. I've still got a way to go before I'm up to the Sanders level of effort. Even after entering thousands of competitions and still not succeeding, I would like to think that I'll still keep on plugging away and not give up on my dream.