Why rejection is good for you

This is of course completely contrary to the "no child must fail" gospel of most Leftist educators. I certainly had a lot of my academic journal articles rejected during my research career but I would simply revise them if I could see something reasonable in the referee comments and either way just send the articles on to another journal. In the end about 90% of them did get into print. I gather that many academics are so demoralized by a rejection that they never resubmit their writings. Very foolish -- JR

Last week, Anna Wintour, editor of U.S. Vogue, made a startling ­admission. Talking to a group of young, aspiring ­fashion writers at a ­conference in New York, the most powerful woman in the magazine world revealed she was once sacked by Harper’s Bazaar.

What’s more, she said it was one of the best things that had ever happened to her. ‘I worked for American Harper’s Bazaar .... they fired me. I recommend that you all get fired, it’s a great learning experience,’ she said.

It was a surprising confession from the notoriously frosty editor — and a heart­ening piece of career advice to hear at a time when many people are losing their jobs. The quote was picked up on websites and papers around the world, with people adding their own examples of famous ­people who had done well despite, or often because of, early rejection.

J. K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter after being sacked as a secretary for ­‘day­dreaming’. She then got rejected by not one, not two, but 12 publishers before the chairman of Bloomsbury brought home the Potter manuscript for his ­daughter Alice to read.

Madonna started her musical career after being sacked from Dunkin’ Donuts for squirting sauce at customers. Her first band, The Breakfast Club, was dropped by their record label, so she decided to go solo. The rest, as they say, is history.

Almost every record label in the country turned down The Beatles; Walt Disney was fired because he lacked imagination — the list goes on.

It seems that sometimes being rejected is the best thing that can happen to you in life, a phenomenon that is being dubbed the Power of No. ‘Rejection can concentrate the mind wonderfully,’ says psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. ‘It shows you that the world can’t be taken for granted and that you have to fight for what you want. ‘It can make you more determined to prove your abilities, it sharpens your ­competitiveness and gives you an ­incentive to prove people wrong.’

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