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Why it's OK to not have your life figured out right now

If you haven't locked in exactly what you want to do with your life, don't stress. Here are just three famous failures that prove you don't have to have your life together right now. 

When you're finishing school and starting your career it can seem like everyone else knows exactly what they want to do with their future. But life isn't always that simple. Plenty of people who've had the kind of careers we'd kill for took their time in figuring out exactly what they wanted to do and faced plenty of setbacks along the way. 

If you haven't locked in exactly what you want to do with your life, don't stress. Here are just three famous failures that prove you don't have to have your life together right now. 

Fail on an epic scale

I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. ... By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew." JK Rowling, 2008 Harvard commencement speech.

When JK Rowling first wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, a process that took six years while she struggled through some harsh personal times, she was rejected by 12 different publishers. When Bloomsbury Publishing took it on they warned her she wouldn't earn any money from a children's book. 

But as we now know, Rowling soon became one of the best known authors in the world. Her work has been translated into more than 70 languages, more than 500 million copies of the Harry Potter series have sold, and through movie adaptions and various sponsorships and spin offs she's earned over $20 billion.  

JK Rowling was 32 when the first Harry Potter book was released. 

Passion exceeds disappointment

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford commencement address.

The name Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple, a company that now has more than 132,000 employees and was the first American company to be worth more than $1 trillion. However Jobs' story began when he dropped out of college after just six months, and later started Apple with Steve Wozniak at age 20 in his parent's garage. Ten years later the company was worth $2 billion and had over 4,000 employees.

Amazingly Steve Jobs was fired from Apple when he was 30. But he didn't let his disappointment overcome his passion for learning and technology. He started a rival computer and software company NeXT (which was later bought out by Apple) and bought Pixar, which created the world's first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story

Jobs was 42 when he returned to Apple as interim CEO, and 45 when when the interim label was dropped.

Failure leads to success

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan. 

Known as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and even one of the best North American athletes of the 20th century, it might seem like Michael Jordan has known nothing but success through natural talent. However in his earlier years when he tried out for his varsity high school team, he was deemed too short.

Through motivation and a lot of hard work on the junior team he became a star player, proving his worth and making it onto the varsity team. Later he was recruited by numerous college basketball programs and was eventually drafted by the Chicago Bulls. Now his list of records, accomplishments, award wins and hall of fame entries is too long to mention. 

Jordan was 28 when he won his first NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls. 


Throughout history, there's been a staggering amount of people, both famous and not, who haven't had their life together when they were young. From Oprah getting fired from her first reporting job at 23, to Morgan Freeman not landing his first major movie role until 52 — if you don't have it all figured out just yet, you're not alone.