Top 5 Most Inspirational Success Stories

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Everybody, at some point in their lives, has experienced failure. It could be something as simple as not getting the job you wanted, or getting fewer marks even after studying a lot. But what defines you is not your failure, but how you get back up after being hit.

As Henry Ford very rightly said, “ Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”  Here are the failures to the success story of some famous people all around the world, that will inspire you to keep going and achieve greatness.

1. Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Edison was America’s greatest inventor and also a great businessman. His inventions created and contributed to the modern night light, phonograph, motion pictures, and long-lasting practical electric light bulb. He was genuinely a genius. However, only a few know the struggle behind it. Well, he failed 1,000 times just to find the right filament for the light bulb let alone making a whole light bulb.

Edison's  childhood days were also not great either. When Edison was a child, his teachers used to call his parents regularly and used to tell them that their child is weak and that he can never succeed in life. His teachers were even convinced that he was mentally impaired.

Read more about how Thomas Edison’s mother inspired him

But no one had any clue that the same person would invent so many things that people won’t forget him even after centuries! And the biggest learning of his success story was his 1000 attempts when he failed at his job. But he never stopped. Instead, his drive to succeed led him to the astonishing success and now he is one of the world’s most famous success stories and one of the most respected scientists of all time.

2. Michael Jordon

Micheal Jordon is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. However, this status was not given to him overnight. When Micheal Jordon was 15 he was rejected from the high school basketball team because he was not tall enough. He was embarrassed and devastated by this decision. So he went home and cried for hours. But as it turns out, that rejection gave Micheal Jordon the motivation and will power to become the best.

The following summer, he grew 4inches(10cm) and trained harder than anyone else. Jordon decided that nothing will stop him. He decided that failure and rejection won’t discourage him and won’t get in the way of his dream. “Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it. That usually got me going.” His hard work paid off. That year he made into the team and instantly became their best player.

His professional career is very fascinating and one of a kind. It included 6 NBA championships, 14 all-star games, 2 Olympic gold medals. His NBA records are unreachable.

Here’s what he said about failure:
“ I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”

3. Amitabh Bachchan

Before a tall and slender man became what we know today as Big B or as the 'Frst angry young man' of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan went through multiple phases of extreme physical and financial challenges, which almost shattered him down.

When Amitabh Bachchan entered the city of dreams, he faced a lot of rejection.
Filmmakers rejected him for being 6 feet 3 inches and had no confidence in him. He auditioned for a voice test at All India radio but was rejected because of his voice. In 1982 Amitabh had a near-death experience, the doctors and his family had lost hopes after he met with an accident on the sets of the movie ‘coolie’. As Amitabh Bachchan once said” change is the nature of life, but the challenge is the aim of life. So always challenge the changes not change the challenges”. 

In his life and career, he faced a lot of ups and downs but he never gave up and kept facing the challenges. Bachchan, who was once considered a fully flawed figure, too tall, with a bad voice, very lanky and not appropriate for films, won numerous accolades in his career, including four national film award as best actor, Dadasaheb Phalke award as lifetime achievement award and many awards at an international film festival and award ceremonies just to name a few.

4. Walt Disney

Everyone knows Walt Disney for his movies, theme park and the fabulous cast of characters.
What most people do not know is when he first started he had no money, he had to live in his office because he couldn’t afford an apartment and he had to survive on a diet of cold beans because he couldn’t afford food.

One of his earlier ventures, Laugh-o-gram studios, went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. Not only that, but he was also fired from the newspaper animation job for “not being creative enough”. But instead of mopping around, Disney drew motivation from getting the boot. He started creating characters, one of them made him a fortune he couldn’t even dream of that time.

Today’s Disney’s Micky Mouse is so iconic that its popularity is more than 90% of humans that are alive. Think about that-a a cartoon character so larger than life that it overshadowed real humans!

Disney went on to win 22 academy awards (the most ever!)plus 4 honoraries, taking the tally to 26. He’s also the most oscar-nominated person in history with a total of 59. From getting fired to becoming wealthy for the same reason he was fired for, success stories like Disney’s should be taught in school.

5. J.K.Rowling

This woman needs no introduction. Her books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. But there was a time in her life when she was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child. She was so poor that she couldn’t even afford to support herself and her daughter.

Despite numerous setbacks, she found solace in doing what she loved- writing. When Rowling finally finished the first three chapters of Harry Potter, she sent the manuscript off to a publisher but they passed on the project. She sent it to another publisher. Again, the answer was no. After sending her manuscript to 12 different publishers and getting rejected by every single one, Rowling started losing confidence in her book. 

Finally, the editor at Bloomsbury publishing company sat down to read the manuscript. The publisher agreed to publish Rowling’s novel but advised her to get a day job since she had little chance of making money from writing children’s books. Once Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published, she proved everyone wrong. The Harry Potter series has earned over $400 million in the book's sales, and the last movie earned $476 million in tickets sale on the opening weekend which signifies Rowling’s success in itself.


If you have a dream or a passion and you keep getting rejected or running into failure, don’t let it stop you. If you are going through a tough time in your life, but working on something you believe in, don’t give up. If you do, you’ll never know what could have been. Who knows you might end up breaking records. Just don’t let success into your brain and rejection into your heart. It is very well said by J.K Rowling “ It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all- in which case, you fail by default.”
Read more: Dealing with rejection

Written By: Siddharth Shankar
Edited By: Neha Kundu 

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