Tag Archives: overnight success

Week 9 –Doing Time: Letting go of the Myth of Overnight Success


My dad told me, ‘It takes fifteen years to be an overnight success’, and it took me seventeen and a half years.”     –Adrien Brody (actor)

A few weeks ago, I was having one of those moments. You know the type. The type of moment where you are whining about the fact that you have been working so hard for so long and it feels like running through mud.  Yeah.  I’m not proud. What was interesting was that, within a three day span, I heard or read three different people (one each day) talking about the myth of the overnight success. It was a great wake up call. Success takes time—and you can’t fast-track it (despite what many people will try to tell you).

One of my favorite stories is about Thomas Edison. It is alleged that it took him 10,000 attempts to make the light bulb. During the entire time, Edison never felt he failed. He felt he found 9,999 to NOT make a light bulb, and one way to make a light bulb. Success is like that. It takes many attempts. And, only those who stick with it through the set-backs reach the finished line. (This great, short video by Miguel Joey Aviles captures the essence).

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