Practice, practice, and practice more

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 8, 2001

Back in the 1880s a young European schoolboy largely daydreamed through his classes. He practically devoured science books and liked to doodle all sorts of complicated looking mathematical formulae on scraps of paper.

But as a student, he didn't exactly shine.

Most of his teachers disliked him because he was a little TOO bright and challenged some of their teachings.

Frankly, they didn't think little frizzy-haired, absent-minded Albert would ever really make anything of himself.

Well, Albert got jobs, and lost jobs.

(He was trained as a teacher but none of his former instructors would give him a recommendation.)

Through it all, he kept on playing with his numbers and theories until something he called "the theory of relativity" (E=Mc2) got everyone's attention.

Kooky old Albert Einstein was a big success after all---with a load of determination and lots and lots of practice…

Closer to home, my hairdresser Renee Powell and some friends and family had traveled down to have a rompin'-stompin' good time at the rodeo a few years ago.

Came time for the National Anthem to be sung and a little bitty gal with scads of red hair came up and took the mike.

Renee still winces at the memory of "Red"'s tortured rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner", complete with liberal use of yodeling. "Lord, I thought she sounded like she was calling 'hawgs'…I said then ,

'That little gal is never gonna make it as a singer!'"

Well, seems like that energetic little redhead didn't let her earlier 'flubs' and 'dubs' defeat her.

She kept on singing at rodeos, fairs, concerts; anywhere she got the chance.

She kept on until she got a record deal and went on to record a number of top-selling country hits.

She even got into the movie biz, appearing in feature roles on both the big and small screens.

Last year, the little redhead went on Broadway to play "Little Sure Shot"-Annie Oakley-in the hit musical revival.

Her reviews? "Energetic"…"Inspired"… "Joyous"… "knee-slapping fun".

Seems the little curly-headed gal with the penchant for yodeling went and expanded her horizons.

I'm sure Miss Reba McIntyre would tell you it took lots of belief-and lots and lots of practice….

Back in the dark days of WWII, the British people felt all too keenly the threat of Nazi invasion and domination hanging over their heads.

It seemed that that small island nation was threatened on all sides as dark forces closed in from every direction…what a dilemma for the leadership to face.

All these possible woes were laid out on the table and put before Britain's prime minister, Winston Churchill.

Churchill puffed his trademark cigar, mulled the words of gloom and doom on the papers before him, then pronounced with a confident smile, "Now, here I see a situation that could prove truly--- inspiring…"

Not overwhelming.

Not gravely alarming.

Inspiring…

This situation, in Churchill's view, would simply offer Britain to chance to discover ingenious new ways to learn to fight the enemy.

They would try, they would fail-but they would, and they did, never give up.

It would take blood, sweat, tears, inspiration---and lots and lots of practice.

So keep on keeping on.

Fight the good fight.

Let all the setbacks inspire you.

Let the 'nay sayers' spur you on to greater things.

Just remember---Edison had dozens of flops for every single one of his successful inventions.

'Grandma' Moses was well into her 70s before she was discovered as America's great primitive artist.

All those wonderful Impressionists we adore so much today were the unloved pariahs of the art world in their own day…

Hold on to your dreams, believe…and practice, practice, PRACTICE.