Who do you look up to?
Who inspires you to fight another day?
Who makes you believe that you WILL make it one day?
In life we have many role models, from our parents to the most popular celebrities. But it is highly likely that they have not faced the struggles we are facing now or might face in the coming future. Life can be hard and it can break even the best of us. But life is also a beautiful journey that makes you strong and shows you how truly amazing you are…when the right time comes.
The most inspiring people alive today have unique success stories to tell that can ignite a fire in us and give us the much-needed push we desperately need right now to move forward.
Why we need motivation
There are times we become depressed and lose self-confidence due to various reasons like a traumatic event or loss. This can lead to incessant negative thinking which prevents us from reaching our full potential and achieving our goals in life. We all want to succeed. But without the right motivation and mindset we will never be able to give our best to accomplish our dreams.
To fight the battle of life and win at it, we all need people who motivate us through their stories of struggles and success. People who have faced hardship and survived can help us realize if they can, then we can too. We can fight what we are going through and we can succeed.
So here are a few of the most inspiring people alive today and their inspiring true stories that have inspired me through their life experiences and I am sure they you will inspire you to overcome whatever you are facing in life right now.
#1 Dr. Eric Thomas
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas, Ph.D. is a popular motivational speaker, successful author, entrepreneur and a minister. He runs his own consulting business and has provided his services for various professional sports organizations and Fortune 500 companies. But life has not always been so generous towards him. He has faced unbelievable challenges in life and overcame all odds to be successful in life.
A homeless teenager
Eric dropped out of high school after finding out he has never known his biological father. Not knowing his real father affected him so much that he made several irrational decisions as a teenager. He withdrew from his family and relatives and remained homeless for 2 years. During this period, Eric lived in abandoned buildings and ate out of trash cans.
A new hope
“You are the executive director and screenwriter of your life.” – Eric Thomas
He found hope through God and the Church. He was motivated by young speakers and soon started speaking in church on various topics. Realizing he has a unique gift of inspiring people, he decided to face his own problems instead of running away from them. Soon he started pursuing his General Educational Development (GED) and later attended Oakwood University and Michigan State University to earn a college degree. But it wasn’t going to be that easy for him to earn his degree. He struggled with his college education for years and finally earned a 4 year bachelor’s degree over a period of 12 years. Eric never gave up.
The Hip Hop Preacher
Today Eric Thomas a.k.a. ET, The Hip Hop Preacher, has become a world-wide phenomenon. He is one of the top motivational speakers in the world and a successful entrepreneur. His story and his words impact millions of people globally to face their own challenges and succeed. Eric’s story shows us that it is okay to feel lost and vulnerable as long as you don’t give up on yourself and work on your own development.
“Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside. And something else takes its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.” – Eric Thomas
#2 Nick Vujicic
“It’s a lie to think you’re not good enough. It’s a lie to think you’re not worth anything.” – Nick Vujicic
Can you imagine spending a day without your arms and legs? Meet Nick Vujicic who lives without limbs every day. He is a well-known motivational speaker, evangelist and the President & CEO of the international non-profit Life Without Limbs (LWL). He is one of the most inspiring people alive that you must know about.
A life full of challenges
Nicholas James Vujicic was born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia without arms and legs due to a rare disorder known as tetra-amelia syndrome. However, he has not let that stop him from living his life fully. Nick faced and overcame of all of life’s challenges through his faith in God, hope and inner strength.
After he was born, his father had fainted and his mother refused to hold him for 4 months. The doctors said that Nick would live his entire life like a “vegetable”. However, he proved them wrong through his hardwork and sheer determination. From an early age he learned how to write, operate a computer using his toes and use an electric wheelchair. His parents decided to send him to a public school instead of a school for children with special needs. During his time at school, he was constantly teased and bullied for his condition.
Finding positivity through failure
As a result, he grew up with depression and was seriously stressed and hopeless. He quickly became suicidal and attempted to drown himself in the bathtub. After several failed suicide attempts, he eventually changed his mind and adopted a more positive attitude for his loved ones.
“The greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph” – Nick Vujicic
After being inspired by his school janitor when he was a teenager, Nick decided to become a speaker and wanted to motivate others like him by sharing his story and spreading hope. Nick became a public speaker at the age of 19 and has traveled across the globe inspiring millions of people. Today he has become a popular motivational speaker, an actor, a musician and a bestselling author. In 2005, he founded his non-profit ministry Life Without Limbs were he acts as the current President & CEO. Today he lives his life to the fullest and enjoy extreme sports like skydiving and surfing. Nick teaches us that we can achieve anything with the right mindset and attitude.
“If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?” – Nick Vujicic
#3 Inky Johnson
“Sometimes your prayers aren’t answered because you’re worth more than you’re asking for.” – Inky Johnson
Undoubtedly one of the most inspiring people alive today, Inky Johnson is a former football player, author and motivational leader. Born and raised in Kirkwood, Inky was surrounded by violence, crime and drugs in his neighbourhood. He lived in his grandmother’s two-bedroom house and shared it with 13 other family members. He usually slept on the floor along with his other housemates as well as rats and cockroaches.
Choosing to shine
At a very early age, Inky realized he needed to get out of this negative environment dominated by crime and become someone of value. He chose to inspire his family members through his actions. He chose not to sell drugs or take part in gang violence like his relatives. He had a dream of playing for the NFL as it would help him and his family get out of this situation. Soon Inky started training and would race every night with his cousin on the street. One day he was spotted by a Football coach and was offered free training for his dedication to the sport.
“You are never supposed to wish for it more than you are willing to work for it. Your expectations are never supposed to exceed your effort.” – Inky Johnson
Inky trained hard on a daily basis and practiced drill all by himself in the dark after training was over. As he grew up, he pursued a master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee and played as cornerback for the college football team. He was often ridiculed for his size by his college mates. However, he kept struggling and was among the top 30 draft picks. His coach confirmed that he would become a multi-millionaire after playing the season.
However, life had other plans for Inky. After winning his first game, he suffered a life-threatening injury from a routine tackle that left him paralyzed. The injury caused nerve damage ending his football career. With his dream of playing in the NFL completely shattered, Inky felt lost and depressed.
“It’s not about the product, it’s the process.” – Inky Johnson
But soon he realized it was not about the outcome, it was not about the product. It was always about the process. One process was over. But there were still many other processes left open. He still wanted to change the life of his cousins and his family. So he decided to turn his life around and became a motivational speaker by sharing his story with other athletes.
Today Inky Johnson is one of the leading speakers who inspires millions of professional athletes and entrepreneurs. He is a charismatic individual full of life and will power who lives his life with passion. He teaches us that we might not always get what we want, but we can always make the most of what we got. The most important thing is you always believe in yourself.
“Life is going to hit you with a certain level of opposition. It’s going to test your will, it’s going to test your heart. Life is going to say to you… you said you want it, now lets see how bad you really want it.” – Inky Johnson
#4 Jessica Cox
“It’s only human to have low moments in life because if you don’t, then you won’t feel the high, exciting times.” – Jessica Cox
Born without arms, Jessica Cox is a Guinness World Record holder as the first licensed armless pilot in the world. She is also the first armless Taekwondo black-belt certified by the American Taekwondo Association and a motivational speaker.
The armless warrior
From an early age Jessica learned to use her feet skillfully that allowed her to do things we do with our hands. Although she used prosthetic arms in high school but soon she decided otherwise as she never felt comfortable with them.
“Prosthetics just felt very foreign to me: You wear them on your shoulders, strap them to your chest, and they’re heavy and uncomfortable. If someone gave you a hug, you’d miss that touch. They were more like a cage for me.” – Jessica Cox
By now she was able enough to use her feet and she didn’t need arms to get things done. After completing school, she graduated in psychology from the University of Arizona.
From a warrior to a champion
Jessica learned how to drive an unmodified car and earned her unrestricted driver’s license. She also became the first armless person in the United States to earn a black belt in Taekwondo. Jessica also became a certified scuba diver. But she was not going to stop there. With her heart, determination and inner strength she learned to fly. Although she was reluctant & hesitant to fly initially, with the help of former fighter pilot Robin Stoddard, she turned her fear in to one of the greatest achievements in aviation history. Eventually she earned her license as a certified pilot in an ERCO Ercoupe 415C.
She is also a professional motivational speaker who inspires thousands of people to pursue their dreams by overcoming challenges. She teaches us that we don’t need any wings (or arms for that matter) to fly high.
“At the end of the day, the priority is to perform, and the priority is to know that even if women aren’t in the spotlight or in the limelight the whole time, we’re still bringing in results, and we’re still doing what we do best. For me, I’m doing what I love: I love training, I love kayaking and racing, and I’m getting results. Life is good.” – Jessica Cox
Who inspires you?
These most inspiring people alive have faced the greatest of obstacles and triumphed over them through their resilience and mental strength. Life gets us all. It can break you physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. But that’s how life teaches us what we need to learn and shows us how strong we truly are. The success stories of these warriors are surely motivating. But true inspiration is already within you. All you need to do is dig deep and reach for the strength that you are blessed with.
Who do you find the most inspiring? Share you inspiring success stories below and let us know how awesome you are.
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