Life Lessons from Henry Ford

6 minute read

American industrialist and business magnate, Henry Ford was well-known as the founder of the famous Ford Motor Company. While he was also recognized as the chief developer of the Assembly Line Technique of mass production, Henry Ford was revered for his modern ideologies and leadership skills. His legacy was filled with a number of memorable business and entrepreneurial lessons and quotes which have changed the lives of young and newcomers in the industry and youth. Explore this blog to read about the top life lessons from Henry Ford which you can incorporate into your own life!

About Henry Ford

Born on July 30, 1863, Henry Ford revolutionized the American automobile industry by creating the first affordable automobile vehicle for American middle-class families. Previously, automobiles were a luxurious delight for a few selected upper-class members of society. His company Ford Motors profoundly changed the landscape of the automobile industry in the 20th century. 

Henry Ford is also credited with the concept of ‘Fordism’ which stressed upon mass production of inexpensive goods along with high wages for the workers. He also introduced the Ford Model T automobile which went on to become a game-changer in the field of transportation and the American industry. 

As an entrepreneur, Henry Ford took many calculated risks and dedicated the majority of his life towards fulfilling his goal of working with advanced machinery. In the end, his hard work and passion paid off when he eventually went on to change the automobile industry after the successful establishment of the Ford Motor Company.

Henry Ford - Biography, Inventions & Assembly Line - HISTORY

Life Lessons to Learn from Henry Ford 

Here are some of the most valuable lessons to learn from the life and legacy of Henry Ford. 

#1 Treat Failures as Opportunities 

“There is no disgrace in honest failure; there is disgrace in fearing to fail”

Henry Ford

The first among the many life lessons by Henry Ford is to treat failures as opportunities. Before his rise to success, Henry Ford had initially encountered failure during the creation of his first automobile. His investors had backed out of the deal, which left Henry Ford without any sustainable funding for his ventures. However, Henry Ford was not deterred and he re-evaluated his failures instead of succumbing to them. He eventually went on to refine the Model T manufacturing. You see, Henry Ford did not see failures as a nuisance or disgust but rather as a stepping stone towards success. “Treat Failures as Opportunities” is one of the greatest life lessons from Henry Ford. When we fail, we should not concentrate on emotional disappointment but rather on intellectual gain. Only when we fail, do we discover new ways of doing things. So don’t be afraid to fail, learn from them instead!

Model T Ford Forum: Old Photo - 1924 Ford Highland Park 10 millionth Model T
Courtesy: Model T Ford Club of America

#2 Be Passionate and Committed

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.”

Henry Ford

Another treasure among the life lessons from Henry Ford is that we must remain committed and passionate about our goals and dreams. From a young age, Henry Ford was fascinated with anything related to machinery and engine. His passion for engines and automobiles began at a very young age and persevered through his adulthood. If he did not commit to his passion, then Henry Ford would have never gone on to create his own motor company. Hence, in life, there are many things that we wish to do, there are many things we wish to become, but we do not remain committed to it. People often dismiss their passions due to the fear of being mocked, but when you love something, you’re more likely to be committed to it until the end. So, use your skills and invest in your passion. It may add more value to the world than you think!

Ford Assembly Line | Model T Assembly Line | DK Find Out
Courtesy: DK Find Out!

#3 Believe in Yourself

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right “

Henry Ford

This particular life lesson from Henry Ford motivates people to believe in themselves and their goals. Very often, we are deterred from achieving our dreams, because we lack the self-confidence to do so. We often seek recognition from those we admire, that we often forget that recognition should come from within. In order to build a successful career and life, the key ingredient is self-belief. Yes, we will encounter numerous failures and hurdles that may discourage us from attaining our goals, but when we believe that we are capable of success, it becomes easier to reach our goals. Henry Ford believed that he could change the landscape of the automobile industry, and he did! When you start believing in yourself, you are one step closer to success. 

#4 Use Your Time Wisely

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”

Henry Ford

Moving ahead, the next on to our list of life lessons from Henry Ford, the next lesson talks about using your time wisely. In the 21st century, it is impossible to not get distracted by the array of technology that we are surrounded by. We often lose track of time, and once we realize that, it becomes impossible to recover the lost time. Our life on earth is not infinite and we can only achieve greatness within the time allocated to us. Hence, this life lesson from Henry Ford implores us to use our time wisely and effectively. There are no limits to what we can accomplish during our lifetime and if we fail to use our time wisely, we are wasting our chances of succeeding in our endeavours. Although Henry Ford only attained success at the ripe age of 40, there was not a single day in his life that he wasted. He knew the value of time and its significant role in the journey towards success.

#5 Don’t Show-off!

“To do more for the world than the world does for you, that is a success.”

Henry Ford

One of the most important life lessons from Henry Ford for youngsters and youth is to not show off your success and wealth. While it may be quite tempting to show off your numerous achievements and accolades, sometimes it is better to work in silence and let your success speak for you. As an entrepreneur, Henry Ford was not particularly interested in dressing formally. Despite his choice of clothing, he was well-known among his own countrymen, however, many failed to recognize him when he went on a world tour. Nevertheless, Henry Ford was not deterred by the lack of recognition. In his words, he did not feel the need to dress up for people who were unaware of him. Essentially, Henry Ford did not believe in boasting about himself to others nor did he like attracting any unnecessary attention. Hence, don’t be a walking advertisement for yourself when you’re not in a position to offer anything valuable. Instead, take pride in fulfilling the needs of your customers and clients because they are the ones who will eventually pay your bills.  

Henry Ford, Assembly Lines and the Model T - History 12
Courtesy: History 12

#6: Always be Open to Learning

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”

Henry Ford

One of the most valuable and evergreen life lessons from Henry Ford is to always keep learning, irrespective of your age. Henry Ford sold his first car at the age of 40 to a dentist. However, this was not the first car that he had sold but rather the first car that made him popular in the automobile industry. Henry Ford kept on learning and exploring everything that he needed to know about automobiles and machinery in order to create an exceptional car. Even then, he never stopped learning and kept coming up with new ideas and innovations to keep up with the competition. Learning is a never-ending process. Regardless of your age, don’t be afraid to explore new things and dedicate your life to continuous learning. 

Bill Vance: Did Henry Ford invent the assembly line? | Times Colonist
Courtesy: Times Colonist
Courtesy: Business Casual

Thus, these are some valuable life lessons from Henry Ford that can definitely help you in your career and academic journey. For more such inspirational and inspiring content, stay tuned to Leverage Edu

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