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Beating the Odds

It’s How You Finish

Some people think the game is over the minute they make a mistake. They quit, and a dream dies right there.

Winners think otherwise. When they fail they don’t get discouraged. They get excited.

Today George Takei celebrates his 75th birthday. Takei played Mr. Sulu in the iconic science fiction TV show “Star Trek.”

Here he tells the story of a disastrous first meeting with the show’s producer, Gene Roddenberry.

“My agent called and said he had an interview for me with this man who was casting a pilot film for a science fiction thing and there’s this role for a running part. So I went and I met the man. As a matter of fact, when I met Gene Roddenberry, I mispronounced his name. I called him “Mr. Rosenberry.” And he mispronounced my name. He called me “Tack-I”, which is not an uncommon mispronunciation. It’s pronounced “Tack-eh” as you pronounced it, so we got started by mispronouncing each other’s names. When he described the role to me, I knew that this was the role that I had to have. And I knew that there would be a lot of competition for it, so I was really nervous about it. And so after a stressful tense week, the phone rang again and my agent told me that I had the part, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

So as George Takei can attest, it’s not how you start, it’s how well and how often you follow through. When he realized that a dream part was up for grabs, he made sure to grab it.

Someone once said, “Those who fail are those who quit without ever realizing how close they came to success.”

When Takei mispronounced the producer’s name, the game could have been over. Instead, he kept trying, and he won the game.

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Would you like to improve at what you do? “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success” can show you how! Are you a coach? “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” can make you a better one.


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