post-it notes

Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t get the final say

I have a friend that has literally covered the edges of her computer monitor in Post-it notes filled with little reminders, to-do’s, doodles, and memes. I remember when those little yellow notes first came out. Not many people saw them as useful back then, but today, Post-it notes come in many different colors, shapes and sizes, and are being used in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I even saw an artist once create a mosaic of the Mona Lisa with Post-it’s. Now that’s really getting creative. Who would have thought that non-sticky adhesive on the back of a piece of paper would be so popular. But did you know that the Post-it note almost didn’t happen?

When Dr. Silver of the 3M Company accidentally discovered the adhesive, he found it fascinating but because the glue was so weak, it had no apparent use. After promoting it within the company for five years, he set it aside because there was simply no use for it. It was a failure. Years later, one of his colleagues was having problems keeping bookmarks from fluttering out of the pages of his books and remembered the adhesive. He wondered if it would keep the pieces of paper in place. It was at that moment the Post-it note was born. It took ten years and lots of failures, but today that failure is found all over the world.

There are a lot of discoveries in life that happened all because of an accident. Things like penicillin, velcro, play-doh, coca-cola, x-rays, corn flakes, super glue, and even the slinky. We wouldn’t have any of those things without having an oops moment. Maybe some day a Multiple Sclerosis cure will be added to that list. Hey, anything is possible!

And just like those seemingly useless mistakes, those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis appear weak and useless to the world…and many times to ourselves, but we are not mistakes. At times people can makes you to feel unimportant and of little value, but it’s not what they think that matters anyway. It’s what you think. Don’t listen to what those thoughtless, ignorant people say. You are not a mistake and neither is your life.

When faced with difficulties in life, you can allow those hard time to defeat you, causing you to feel like a failure, or you can turn them into your greatest opportunities. Take those supposed failures in your life and keep going knowing that your future is still filled with hope…with incredible dreams, discoveries, possibilities and oops-ahah moments.

How can you have hope and bounce back from an MS diagnosis like 3M did with their glue? You come to the realization that no matter what you are facing or having to endure, you are not done yet. As long as you are breathing, there is a plan for your life. What looks like a failure is actually an opportunity for greatness.

This supposed failure in your life is not the end of you or even the end of the world. Get up, dust yourself off and start again…and again…and again. Keep going and don’t ever quit. Don’t let MS get the final say.

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About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

14 replies
  1. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    I am new to this… and new to primary progressive ms. I so badly need to hear the positive side and that can only happen with people who talk from the heart. I have been helped today from the conversation

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    You are so right in that statement. We all have failures of ever sort, some we don’t even know about. I know that we have , over a few years, lost eight babies to miscarries and yet here we are still together. We find ways to deal with all sorts that we never thought could come to us but never think of giving up even if the world says it is useless. Don;t listen to them that don’t know or care.
    When I started with the MIS416 I (and them) had no idea what would come of it but it did more than I thought anything could do. I’m still not out of the woods but I’m facing it better now than I was before it. It’s one of those ‘miracles that appear from seemingly nothing.
    But despite everything I am still alive not necessary kicking but ok considering.

  3. indulge
    indulge says:

    Thankyou Penelope. Really needed this at the moment. You have a great way of handling adversity. I very much appreciate your positive ‘can do’ attitude.

  4. Wahida
    Wahida says:

    Love this! Thank you! I too feel that staying positive is the best way to live with MS! And you never know, they may find a cure anytime soon! Anything is possible 😊

  5. Nancy Jones
    Nancy Jones says:

    Thank you Penelope, for todays thoughts. I wish I could print out all of your posts on sticky notes and put them up on my refrigerator, mirrors, computer, etcetera for motivation to keep on keeping on with a positive determination!

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