Why do some of us give up on our goals while others have the grit to see them through? How do some people manage to persist in the face of repeated rejection and other setbacks?
To crack the nut of extraordinary motivation, I decided to study the example of Rebecca Skloot. Skloot is the author of the 2010 book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which spent seventy-five weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, won a slew of awards, and has been turned into a film starring Oprah Winfrey, due for release in April on HBO.
In hindsight, this success seems inevitable. (Success often does, and rarely is.) In reality, the first-time author spent ten years reporting and writing her book, during which time she encountered barrier after barrier:
- Lacks’ family at first doubted Skloot’s intentions and refused to talk to her.