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Monday Morning Motivation: Don’t Give Up Now… Your Rainbow Is Around The Corner!

Rene in Chatham, MA

Monday Morning Motivation:
Don’t Give Up Now… Your Rainbow Is Around The Corner!

I know it’s hard to keep going sometimes, especially when you’ve been knocked about a few times. You know who else knew that? Norm Larsen.

Oh, what? That name doesn’t ring a bell? Well, let me tell you a little something about him.

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In 1953, Norm Larsen and his small team at the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, were working to find a chemical solution that could be used as solvents and degreasers that would displace water.

They experienced multiple failures in their quest to find the product they were looking for but they never gave up. They kept at it until.. you guessed it, the 40th attempt paid off.

The 40th ATTEMPT!

That means they went into the lab, 39 times before finding the magic potion now used around the world.

39 other times they experienced the crushing disappointment of knowing it wasn’t right.

39 other times they probably wondered if it was ever going to BE right.

39 other times, they got to the lab, studied what they had done before, tried something new and it worked.

The rest, as they say, is history. WD 40 stands for Water Displacement 40th attempt.


I love that story because it’s all about the power of persistence. I can just imagine what it must have been like, hunched over in that lab, poring over details from previous experiments, trying to see what they could use going forward and what had to be thrown out altogether.

But more than anything, it’s a reminder of what can be achieved through hard work. I’m sure there were many times Norm Larsen and his small group, wanted to give up. But they didn’t and their persistence paid off.

Our little team here at Good Enough Mother is a lot like Larsen and his band of scientists. We’re a small group trying different things, throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. We have the world at our fingertips, if we can just unlock the code. And we will.


On location in Chatham, MA

Sometimes I catch myself wondering.. how much longer? How much longer will I have to work this hard? How much longer before things get easier? How much longer before I unlock the secret formula? And then I remember Norm Larsen and his team, who suited up every day to put in long hours in the lab. They didn’t do it until they got tired; they didn’t do it until they gave up. They did it for as long as it took. They had a vision, a goal, and a job to do. And they had faith in themselves that they could get it done.

I have that same faith. Like Larsen, don’t know the exact day or date but I know what success looks like. I also know that I won’t achieve it if I give up. And more than that, I know how very, VERY close I am.

It may take 40 times. It may take 400 times; maybe even 4,000 but the only way I fail is if I quit.

When was the last time you were willing to work that hard for something you wanted? Are you willing to keep at it, even if it takes 40 attempts or more?

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  1. Whitney Eiland

    September 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Hey Rene, I chimed in just on time today! I’m almost at the edge, because of menopause. I will not let it stop me, making doctors appointment today. It has made me feel like nothing I’m doing is worth it because I’m so exhausted.

  2. Leslie Denning

    January 4, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Rene. I just stumbled across this post. Would you believe that Norm Larsen was my father. He and my mother divorced in 1951 and I was adopted by my stepfather in 1954, so I never met him. I learned his story when I was in my forties, and it has really been an inspiration to me to keep trying. Thanks for using him for an example in your post.

    All the best,


  3. Rene Syler

    January 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Leslie:
    That is so cool! Yes, it is a story of persistence and perseverance that serves us all well. Best to you!

  4. Jacki Marie

    January 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I missed this in September, Rene. I was busy getting ready for my Birthday trip… Thanks for posting this because I NEEDED this today.

    The only way I fail is when I give up…. LOVE that. 2013 is my year. Yup. YOU are ALREADY successful, and a great example of success to anyone who listens. What I’ve learned from you is that you do the best you can at each stage and do what you do best.(– just to name two)

    40, huh… let’s get this!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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