Now everyone—the great and the near great – had to have a starting point. They weren’t born brilliant and successful. As a matter of fact, some of our greatest men were regarded as quite stupid at times during their lives. It was not until they grasped a positive mental attitude and learned to comprehend their capabilities and envision definite goals that they started their climbs to success. But there was one young man, in particular, whom his teachers thought “a stupid, muddle-headed blockhead.”
The youngster sat and drew pictures on his slate. He looked about and listened to everybody else. He asked “impossible questions” but refused to reveal what he knew, even under the threat of punishment. The children called him “dunce,” and he generally stood at the foot of his class.
And this boy was Thomas Alva Edison. You will be inspired when you read the life story of Thomas A. Edison. He attended primary school for a total of less than three months. The teacher and his schoolmates told him that he was stupid. Yet, he became an educated man after an incident in his life prompted him to turn his talisman from NMA to PMA. He developed into a gifted person. He became a great inventor.
What was that incident? What happened to Edison that changed his whole attitude? He told his mother about hearing the teacher tell the inspector at school that he was “addled” and it wouldn’t be worthwhile to keep him in school any longer. His mother marched off to school with him and told all within range of her voice that her son, Thomas Alva Edison, had more brains than the teacher or the inspector.
Edison called his mother the most enthusiastic champion a boy ever had. And from that day forward he was a changed boy. He said, “She cast over me an influence which has lasted all my life. The good effects of her early training I can never lose. My mother was always kind, always sympathetic, and she never misunderstood or misjudged me.” His mother’s belief in him caused him to view himself in an entirely different light. It caused him to turn his talisman to PMA and take a positive mental attitude regarding studying and learning. This attitude taught Edison to view things with deeper mental insight that enabled him to comprehend and develop inventions which benefited mankind. Perhaps the teacher didn’t see because the teacher wasn’t genuinely interested in helping the boy. His mother was.
Source: Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude. W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill. 1960. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Pgs. 85-86.