As humans, we tend to lose hope every now and then. It’s inevitable and something that we should always be prepared for. However, it is totally okay to have a few down moments every once in a while. But it is important that you keep in mind that losing hope doesn’t have to last too long and there are a lot of ways to get back up again.
You must do whatever it is in your power to have hope again and strive to do better. This may require you to find things or people that can inspire you to do better in life. To help you with this, here are the best uplifting and inspiring real-life stories.
THE STORY OF BETHANY HAMILTON
You may have already heard of the story of Bethany Hamilton. She was the 13 year old girl who lost her left arm due to a tiger shark attack on October 31, 2003 in Makua Beach at Kauai’s North Shore. At that time, she was a popular and favored up and coming surfer. However, she was severely held back by the incident and she lost all hope that she could ever surf again, especially with only one arm. After a few months of feeling hopeless, Bethany found her faith as a foundation that inspired her to get back on her surfing board and try to achieve her dreams of being a professional surfer.
On the current day, Bethany is one of the best pro surfers in the league and has already bagged a lot of championships and achievements in surfing. She is now married to youth minister Adam DIrks and they have two children, Tobias and Wesley. She wrote the autobiography entitled “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board” in 2004 which showed the struggle that she went through following the incident and it was turned into a great movie entitled “Soul Surfer” which was released in 2011.
She also has a new movie entitled “Unstoppable” which also showed the struggles that Bethany and her family went through.
THE STORY OF OPRAH WINFREY
Oprah Winfrey already was at the peak of her success as she has already built a billion-dollar empire and was placed 1st on Forbes’ list of America’s richest female entertainers in 2017. But life growing up wasn’t a piece of cake for her as she went through a great deal of adversity before her life was made into a real-life success story.
Winfrey originally grew up with her grandmother before she was sent to live with her mother in Wisconsin when she was 6. She felt alone and abandoned during this move and it was truly a hard time especially for a young child. Before she could get comfortable in Wisconsin, she was sent to live with her father in Tennessee, before she moved back to live with her mother again.
At this point of her life, she experienced abuse from her family relatives. She was whipped by her grandmother that caused scars into her body, and was raped by a 19 year old cousin when she was 9 that left a scar into her soul. Between the ages 10 and 14, she experienced sexual assault from other relatives and later on became pregnant at 14. It was too heavy for a young teen’s mind to handle that she considered committing suicide. Unfortunately, the baby was born premature and died in the hospital. Despite all the abuse she suffered, she still managed to see a second chance in life.
Thankfully, Winfrey didn’t end up losing this fight and continued to strive harder to become one of the most powerful women and inspiration to the world. This proves that no matter how painful your past is, God can still change your story into a beautiful testimony that you can share with others, especially to those who seem like they are about to give up on life.
Your life has a purpose, it may not be visible now, but there will come a day that you will be thankful that you chose to move forward.
THE STORY OF DASHRATH MANJHI
Up to what extent are the things that you can do for love? This next person gives an immeasurable length for love. Dashrath Manji is an Indian local in Gehlaur Village. He might seem like a simple village person but he actually did something very inspiring. Manji worked in coal mines while his wife met him everyday and brought him a nice meal near where he works.
Eventually, his wife got sick and died because the nearest medical facility would be in the town that is 34 miles away from where they are. Because of what happened, Manji vowed that he would pave a way through the mountains to help his village be more accessible for any help that may come. He was able to carve up a 110 m long path with just the use of a hammer and a chisel. He started doing this in 1960 and was able to finish 22 years later in the year 1982.
He had efficiently created a way to connect their village with the town with a previous distance of 34 miles to 9.3 miles. This story of perseverance inspired a lot of people all around the world.
THE STORY OF WALT DISNEY
Walt Disney has played a big part in our childhood and is still a part of our adult lives. But before they reach the success they have now, they also faced ups and downs along the way.
The journey started in 1919 when Walt Disney moved to Kansas to be a newspaper artist and eventually made commercials for an ad company with the use of cut-out animation. From experimentation of stories using a camera, Disney opened his own animation business and expanded it throughout the years. In 1923, they had to declare bankruptcy but this doesn’t mean to be the end of their career as they find a way to stand up stronger than they were before.
Disney’s success can be well observed right now including their very own Disneyland Parks and of course, the Walt Disney Studios. The success story of Walt Disney proves that a dream paired with great effort of fulfilling it can be worth it in the end. It speaks of one famous line, “Dreams do come true”.
THE STORY OF HELEN KELLER
Helen Keller showed us that having a disability won’t be able to hinder a person who persevered and worked hard to achieve his or her dream.
She was both deaf and blind from when she was just 19 months old. It is said that a certain illness may have caused this, along with the likes of meningitis and scarlet fever. Having these disabilities can easily discourage a person, much more a child who doesn’t even understand what happened and how she turned out to be like this. However, Helen Keller never gave up nor lost hope in her life. In 1886, her parents sought advice from a lot of people such as J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, and Alexander Graham Bell, who worked with blind children back then.
On March 5, 1887, Anne Sullivan, a visually impaired alumnus of Perkins Institute for the Blind, arrived at the Keller’s house to teach Helen. This has been the start of a friendship and companionship that lasted for more than 50 years. Anne patiently taught Helen about everything, even writing and spelling. Helen Keller grew up to become a very popular author, lecturer, and activist.
She was the first deaf-blind person to finish a degree in Bachelor of Arts. In 1971, she was also inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame. Her story showed us that you can overcome adversity to achieve a great life.
THE STORY OF NICK VUJICIC
Being born without limbs is one of the greatest struggles a man may face. But if you think that is the end of someone’s career, you may want to think twice as Nick Vujicic managed to have hobbies, a great career and also get married.
Nick was born on December 4, 1982, with an extremely rare congenital disorder known as Phocomelia, which is characterized by the absence of legs and arms. He experienced being bullied at school due to his condition and even tried to attempt suicide at the age of 10. Thankfully, he learned how to deal with it and decided to become vocal about living without limbs.
He used this as an inspiration to other people and later became a great speaker in huge crowds. He has traveled around the globe visiting more than 57 countries and given over 3,000 talks which attracted a huge audience of more than 110,000 people. Disability doesn’t stop him from being a painter, swimmer, skydiver, and a motivational speaker who inspires people with full capability. Nick is also happily married to Kanae Miyahara and is a proud father of two sons and two daughters.
His story is a great example that nothing is impossible if you believed. Nick never imagined this kind of life when he was a young man but look where he is now. You can do great things and be able to inspire others as you fight your own battles. Nick used his voice to touch the hearts of many and make an impact to the world.
What about you? Are you on the verge of giving up? Does it feel like nothing matters anymore? Think again. If Nick managed to live his life to the fullest without arms and limbs, you who have full capability can be a cause of something great as well. Step up and know your purpose. You are worth it.
THE STORY OF DEREK REDMOND
By now, you might have already watched the video of an athlete who experienced an injury in the middle of the Olympics and was helped by his dad to finish the race. This man is the retired British sprinter named Dereck Redmond.
During the 1992 Olympic Games that was held in Barcelona, Redmond was favored to win the 400 m race. He started off really well and was even ahead of all his competitors. However, things went wrong just about 250 m from the finish line. Redmond immediately fell to the ground without a word and it was found that he actually tore his hamstring. By this time, the pain should be unbearable, and staff carrying stretchers came to him but he refused. Slowly, he stood up and hobbled through the tracks.
Just as everyone thought that he wouldn’t be able to take the pain anymore, a man forces his way through the security to help the athlete. This man was his dad, Jim Redmond. He told his son that he doesn’t need to finish the race but his son answered that he had to. Jim decided that he would not let his son finish the race alone. He supported his son and let go of him once he was very near the finish line.
Dereck never gave up and was able to finish the race even with a torn hamstring. This story was caught in a video that inspired a lot of people.
THE STORY OF TERRY FOX
Terry Fox is a famous Canadian athlete. He is very well known for the Marathon of Hope, a marathon he did to raise awareness and money for cancer research. It wouldn’t have been very much well known if not for the fact that he did this while he only had one real leg and an amputated one.
In 1977, he lost his right leg due to osteosarcoma or bone cancer. His hospital experience urged him to do this and strive to give awareness to cancer. After 143 days and 3, 339 miles, right outside Thunder Bay, Terry Fox was forced to end his MArathon of Hope due to his cancer spreading up to his lungs. He died on June 21, 1898, already considered as one of Canada’s national heroes.
THE STORY OF JK ROWLING
JK Rowling’s story tells us that failing doesn’t mean that you’re done for good. Failures should only push us to do more and be more. Rowling is the best-selling author of the Harry Potter series. This book series was translated into 73 languages, sold millions of copies all over the world, and garnered over $20 billion in movie adaptations and sponsorships. But life wasn’t always this good for Rowling.
Before being able to publish the first book, she experienced a lot of failures and rejections that should have pushed her to just give up on the idea of writing the book. However, she went against all odds and tried everything. When she first got the idea for Harry Potter, Rowling wrote but was pulled back by the death of her mother. She slowly sank into depression and wasn’t able to write anything at all. She then took a one-year teaching job in Portugal. Her goal was to be able to finish the first book before she comes back from Portugal.
However, things didn’t go as planned. When she came back, all she had was a failed marriage and a baby to take care of all by herself. She only lived with the unemployment benefits given by the government. Despite having all failures and setbacks, she still continued writing. After finishing the first three chapters, she immediately sent copies to different publishers, only to be rejected every single time. After being rejected by 12 publishing companies, her manuscript was then read by the Bloomsbury publishing company’s editor and his 8-year-old. The child liked it very much and asked for the whole version.
That’s what made the editor say yes to publishing the books. After that, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published to the world. JK Rowling is the first female billionaire author that there is. Her story sends out a message that you should never be afraid to fail.
THE STORY OF DESMOND DOSS
It takes great courage to be different among the others. Some may mock and laugh at you for being unique. But this doesn’t bother Desmond Doss who was a United States Army corporal and served as a combat medic in World War 2. He was labelled a coward by his fellow soldiers for choosing not to carry a gun. His choice of not working on Saturdays as respect for his religious beliefs was also made fun of.
Despite this experience, Desmond remained faithful to what he believes and vowed to be available when there’s a call for help. His braveness made him the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor as he single-handedly saved the lives of 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa. He has suffered a fractured left arm caused by a sniper’s bullet in the process, along with 17 pieces of shrapnel in his body.
Even without a gun, he managed to step into the battlefield with only the faith of saving one more as he came back and forth to the warzone. His goal was to save as much as he could with all the strength left in his body, despite the abuse he suffered from them. This attitude of his is truly one of the reasons why his story is considered one of the most inspirational stories in history. It was even released as a movie titled ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ which was released in 2016.