There once was a young man who lived a most miserable life.
Orphaned before he was three, he was taken in by strangers. He was kicked out of school, suffered from poverty, and as the result of inherited physical weaknesses, he developed serious heart trouble as a teenager.
His beloved wife died early in their marriage. He lived as an invalid most of his adult life and he eventually died at the young age of forty.
By all outward appearances, he was defeated by life, and doomed to be forgotten by history.
Even so, he never gave up trying to express himself and to achieve success over the twenty years of his active work life. And, in that period, he produced some of the most brilliant articles, essays, and criticisms ever written. His poetry is still read widely and studied by virtually all high school students in the United States. His short stories and detective stories are famous. One of his poems, on display at the Huntington Library, has been valued at more than $50,000, which is far more than the young man earned his entire life!
His name? Edgar Allan Poe.
Circumstances don’t affect your chances for success nearly as much as your level of effort!