The most popular misconception in the minds of the people is that the more you fail, the worse you get. In fact, the more you fail, the stronger you get. It is rightly said that failures are stepping stones to success. The thing we should all remember is that a successful person is not one who has never failed but a person who dared to give it another try after each failure. Here are ten stories that demonstrate how some people never accepted defeat and this was the reason of them achieving their goals. Ten stories where people simply decided to rise after every fall.
10) Bant Singh
A Sikh farmer who belongs to a lower caste from Jhabhar village in Mansa District, Punjab is famous for raising his voice against powerful men after they had raped his daughter in the year 2000. Bant Singh’s daughter was raped by men who were rich and had political connections. Being a Dalit (person belonging to a lower caste), Bant Singh was encouraged by his then village Sarpanch to not take the matter to the court. Bant Singh wanted justice for his daughter and he struggled to get it. In 2004, three of the four accused were sentenced to life term imprisonment. It was the first legal victory of a Dalit over upper caste criminals. Bant Singh has since been involved in raising voices for social issues and in January of 2006, Bant Singh was almost beaten to death with iron rods and axes. Both of his arms and a leg had to be amputated because of gangrene. Bant Singh knows that he is an inspiration to the lower class people and this is enough for him to keep on challenging the corrupt system where the ‘well connected’ people abuse power through unfair means.
9) The Miracle of Istanbul
The only story featuring in this list not about the determination of an individual but the determination of a team. This is the story of the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. Liverpool was trailing three goals to nil at halftime. The match was supposed to be over for Liverpool, especially because it was a final and the immense pressure it brings with it. A six minute spell in the second half was enough to bring the score to level terms. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso scored the three important goals. Extra time was played and Liverpool was sure not to give away a goal this time. Penalties approached as Milan missed genuine chances. It was Andriy Shevchenko whose penalty was saved by the Liverpool goal keeper Jerzy Dudek to give Liverpool its fifth European Crown. The match is fondly remembered as ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’.
8) Lizzie Velasquez
Lizzie Velasquez suffers from a condition that is so rare that only two other people in the whole world are known to suffer from it. She cannot store body fat so she needs to take small meals about sixty times a day and has never weighed more than twenty seven kilograms. She has an extremely weak immune system, is blind in her right eye and has restricted vision in the left eye. Because of this condition, she has always been treated in a hostile manner and has been teased. She was also branded as the ugliest woman alive in an eight second long YouTube video. Despite being stared at mockingly wherever Lizzie goes, she considers her syndrome as a blessing. She believes that God has given her the strength to fight these challenges and she is a motivational speaker and an author too. Though she may not be beautiful to look at, what lies within her is truly remarkable. Her spirit and inner happiness is something her scorners can never achieve.
7) Sylvester Stallone
The story of Sylvester Stallone is truly an inspiring story, a story of rags to riches in every sense of the phrase. Stallone always dreamt of being an actor but he faced numerous rejections before he could finally get his break. Stallone was thrown out from his apartment because of lack of payment of rent and he had to sleep at the New York Port Authority bus station for three weeks. He was so broke that he had to resort to selling his own wife’s jewellery to be able to put food on the table. It was the fight of Chuck Weppner and Muhammad Ali that was the turning point of his life. The underdog, Chuck weppner fought with all his might and kept getting back on his feet after every fall. This fight was the inspiration behind Stallone’s script of the hit film Rocky. He faced many rejections during his attempts to sell it. He wanted to play Rocky himself but the one team who decided to buy it did not want Sylvester to be the lead actor. Sylvester, despite his acute poverty did not budge and was determined to play Rocky himself. Eventually he succeeded and then, as they say it, the rest is history!
6) Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was extremely talented as an inventor and an entrepreneur. Edison was not born in a poor family but he was sent back from school one day with a note in his pocket that said that he was too dumb to learn. His mother took the responsibility of educating Edison. The reason Edison features in this list is the failures he encountered during his attempts to invent the light bulb. Edison failed about ten thousand times before he could finally enjoy the happiness of inventing the light bulb. When asked about his failures, Edison’s reply was awe-inspiring. “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.” Now ten thousand failures are way too much. I think even ten failures are enough to make the most of us quit our pursuit but then most of us are not successful people. Only a few of us dare to try one more time.
5) Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was told by one of his teachers that he had no future career as a composer. Little did he know that Beethoven would go on to be one of the greatest classical music composers of all time. Beethoven lost his hearing and went deaf but continued to compose music. Hard to believe? It’s completely true! Beethoven used to hear a constant ringing in his ears and was unable to hear music. He even considered suicide because of his deafness and his inability to perform at public concerts which were a great source of money. After all, Beethoven too was a human. The important thing is that Beethoven did nit give up and realized that he had to face the truth and continue living his dream- composing music. Even Beethoven’s deafness was not enough to be an obstacle large enough to block his path of success.
4) Lionel Messi
Arguably the best football player the sport has ever seen, Lionel Messi did not have it easy from the beginning. No doubt Messi was a prodigy and he was born with exceptional talent. The thing people forget is that though Messi was born with a challenge too. Lionel suffered from the deficiency of growth hormone. Due to this disorder, Lionel was a lot shorter than the boys of his age and if he wanted to have a career in the sport he adored, he had to be treated. The cost of the treatment was nine hundred dollars per month and Messi’s family found it difficult to pay it. A trial was arranged in Barcelona and his talent made it sure that he was signed by the club. Football Club Barcelona also took responsibility of Messi’s treatment. For two years, Lionel was given injections of the hormone in each leg daily. Because of his siblings, Lionel’s mother had to fly back to Argentina and his father stayed with him in Barcelona. Finally, years of struggle and hard work have created the mesmerising player we all know about today.
3) Nick Vujicic
An evangelist and a motivational speaker, Nick was born with a rare syndrome known as tetra Amelia syndrome. Nick was born without arms and legs and has two small feet and only one of them has two toes. Although Nick was not mentally impaired, he could not attend a regular school because of the laws at that time. Vujicic used to pray for arms and legs and used to tell God that he would stop praising Him if his prayers were not answered. One day when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability, Nick realized that he was not the only one facing such a problem. He began accepting his condition so that he could be an inspiration to the others. He can type using his small feet, throw a tennis ball, hop and move and do many other things as well. Once suicidal, Nick is now married and has a son. Nick has gone on to be a successful motivational speaker and his immense faith in God has made him a great evangelist too.
2) Glenn Vernis Cunningham
Glenn Verniss Cunningham was an athlete who used to participate in distance runs. The recipient of James E. Sullivan award in 1933 for the best amateur athlete in the United Sates, Glenn Verniss Cunningham had to overcome a seemingly impossible challenge. Glenn lost his elder brother Floyd (thirteen) in a fire at his school because someone accidentally put gasoline instead of kerosene in a can. The explosion did not just take away Floyd from Glenn but the eight year old boy’s legs were severely burnt. The only thing that stopped the doctors from amputating Glenn’s legs was his agony and the denial of his parents. The doctors said that Glenn would not be able to walk again as he had lost all the flesh from his shin and knees and all of his left toes. It was Glenn’s determination and persistence that led him to walk again. A positive attitude and a strong faith in Christianity propelled him to success. In the 1932 Summer Olympics, he stood fourth in the 1500 m and in the 1936 Summer Olympics, he won the silver in the 1500 m. He finished a mile in 4:06.8 in 1934, setting a world record, set a world record. In the 800 m run, he set a world record in 1936. In 1938 he again set a world record, this time for the indoor mile run at 4:04.4.
1) Abraham Lincoln
Born in a poor family, Abraham Lincoln was a self educated person who went on to become the sixteenth President of the United States of America. His journey to being a successful President was filled with failures. It was Lincoln’s determination and the will to succeed that gave him his well deserved success. He lost his job and was defeated in state legislature in 1832. In 1833, he failed in his business venture. In 1835, the death of his sweetheart hit him hard. He suffered from a nervous breakdown in 1836. He was defeated for Speaker in 1838. 1843 brought with it a defeat for Lincoln in the nomination for Congress. He lost the renomination in 1848. He was rejected for the post of land officer in 1849. Abraham Lincoln experienced even more of failure when he was defeated for the US Senate in 1854. In 1856 Abraham Lincoln was defeated for nomination for Vice President. If one defeat for the US Senate was not enough, Lincoln faced defeat again in 1858. Though he enjoyed brief success in the midst of all these failures, the greatest achievement of all was his election as the President. It was only his ‘never give up’ attitude that gave him the strength to keep moving forward.