When in need for some motivation to pick yourself up after a fall, you can always turn into the direction of these people. Whether they’re simple or famous, some people have managed to leave an undeniable mark on history by proving themselves against odds. They’re fighters, they’re heroes, they’re fountains of wisdom, and, most importantly, they’re inspirational people. Who are we talking about? Read ahead to find out.
#1 Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking reached fame due to a completely fantastic strength to move forward despite the cruel paralysis that affected his legs, arms, and speech. Despite the fact that he suffered from motor neuron disease, Hawking managed to awe the whole world with his brilliant theories that make him nothing short of a genius. Plus, the ingenious solution he found that allowed him to verbally communicate with people despite his condition became utterly iconic.
#2 Nick Vujicic
It’s always difficult to imagine a life without one of your limbs, but Nick Vujicic had to struggle even more with his own affliction. Suffering from a disease represented by the absence of all four limbs, he faced plenty of hardships during his childhood because of society’s mentalities. Decided to make a change, he founded a non-governmental organization called “Life Without Limbs” and is now acting as a preacher about hope and the difficulties for lives similar to his.
#3 Helen Keller
Helen Keller managed to become the first person to gain a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts while being completely deaf and blind. If that isn’t impressive enough, all you need to do to convince yourself is look in the direction of dozens of books and illustrations that came from her hands. Aside from that, she was also a fierce advocate for the American Foundation for Blind.
#4 Ludwig van Beethoven
Does it get any more inspirational than a musician turned deaf? Beethoven is a titan among classic composers and it is all the more remarkable when you think about the fact that several of his pieces were created at a time when he was deaf. Despite this hardship, he continued to do what he loved the most and came through as a legend.
#5 Jessica Cox
Although she was born without arms, Jessica Cox managed to accomplish some deeds that not even people who possess two healthy superior limbs haven’t managed to. She has a degree in psychology, an array of black belts, manages to put contact lenses on with her feet, and, most importantly, became the first person to fly a plane with her feet.
#6 Sean Swarner
Sean Swarner is considered to be a medical wonder. He’s managed to outlive not one, not two, not three, but four diseases, two of which were forms of cancer. Despite how gravely sickly he’s been his whole life, he managed to push forward and achieved the accomplishment of being the first cancer survivor to conquer the peak of the dreadful Mount Everest.
#7 Nando Parrado
After getting stranded in a remote area riddled by blizzards and blood-chilling temperatures because of an airplane crash, Nando Parrado took a surprising turn in his life. He managed to survive, alongside other passengers, for over two months, losing half of his family in the process. Despite the traumatic incident, Parrado chose to become a motivational speaker and make other people’s days and perspectives better.
#8 Randy Pausch
There is something bittersweet about Randy Pausch and his place among these inspirational people. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he chose to share some words of wisdom with others through a lecture that went viral on the Internet. His dying motivational speech inspired many people and is likely to remain in history.
#9 Liz Murray
Liz Murray reinforces the power of the “started from the bottom, now we’re here” saying. Her childhood was rough, mostly due to her not particularly caring parents and the poorness of her lifestyle. After her mother died because of AIDS and her father moved to a homeless shelter, she spent most of her time on park benches and in subway stations. Motivated by the encyclopedias she picked up from the trash, she managed to graduate Harvard University and is now a company owner.
#10 Patrick Henry Hughes
Fate didn’t take it easy on him. Born blind, with damaged limbs, and several other afflictions, he managed to find refuge in music. Being introduced by his father to the piano at the frail age of nine months, he grew up to have a passion for a wide array of musical instruments. Word reached of his talent in 2006, when Hughes played the trumpet from his wheelchair.