Day 12: Become invulnerable

Psychologists called them invulnerables.

They are people that adversity can’t sink. No matter what is served up, they still rise to the occasion.

Charlie Chaplin was an invulnerable.

By the time he was twenty seven years old, Charlie was the highest paid employee in the world. He was earning $10,000 a week. His movies outsold all others, including the talkies when they started.

In 1995, film critics from around the world voted him the greatest movie actor of all time.

Yet Charlie started life well behind the 8-ball.

His alcoholic father abandoned the family early on. His mother, stressed by poverty and malnutrition, spent periods of time in the lunatic asylum. On one occasion Charlie, still only a young boy, had to walk his mother to the asylum. There,he had her committed.

He recalled other children throwing stones at them as his mother staggered along like a drunk.

Charlie was institutionalized himself. When there was no food left at home, he was put in the Lambeth workhouse for children.

He was dubbed ‘Sir Francis Drake’ by other children because he wore stockings cut down from his mother’s red hose. He would stay home while his brother visited their mother in the asylum, because the boys only had one pair of shoes between them.

But invulnerables have a little trick up their sleeves. Like alchemists, who change lead into gold, they have developed the knack of changing desperation into little acts of courage.

When he was about twelve years old, Charlie presented himself at Blackmore’s theatrical agency. He later wrote: “With trepidation I stood there in a far corner near the door, painfully shy, trying to conceal my weather-worn suit and shoes slightly budding at the toes. From the inner office a young clerk sporadically appeared and like a reaper would cut through the Thespian hauteur with the laconic remark: ‘Nothing for you …or you’ – and the office would clear like the emptying of a church… I was left standing alone. When the clerk saw me he stopped abruptly. ‘What do you want?’ I felt like Oliver Twist asking for more. ‘Have you any boys’ parts? ‘ I gulped.

And there was a part. Just a small part. But from that inconspicuous, brave little start Charlie Chaplin launched an extraordinary career.

Become invulnerable.

Don’t feel that a massive act of courage is needed.

Learn from Charlie Chaplin’s experience. Do the little acts of courage. Write the letter. Make the phone call. Apply for a position. Stand there when everyone else has left and ask for a part.

Don’t stay desperate – get courageous!

When you feel you have nothing left, there is always courage.

Courage is a decision. Anyone can make that decision.

When Charlie Chaplin, the young boy, stood there and everyone else had left, he was terrified. He didn’t have much going for him. He had no money, no connections, and frankly, at that time of his life, no talent. All he had was a little courage.

From that small act of courage the young, shy Charlie Chaplin launched the most incredible career.

Your destiny awaits you. To seize it though will take a small act of courage.

Let’s hear from Charlie himself.

Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it needs is courage, imagination… and a little dough.


Let us strive for the impossible. The greatest achievements throughout history have been the conquest of what seemed the impossible.

© 2019 well imagine that pty/ltd

PS: Charlie Chaplin is seven years old in the photo above. Here he is at the home for paupers. He is right in the middle of the photograph. His head is leaning slightly over.



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