10 Famous Success Stories That Will Inspire You - LifeHack (2023)

Failure happens every day, at school, at work, at home and in the family. It is inevitable, irritating and causes pessimism.

While the thought of throwing your hands up and walking away is all too appealing, take a second to connect with the people who were there and survived. In fact, once you've learned some of the famous success stories, you can change the way you look at failure.

Failure is simply an opportunity to start over, this time smarter. -Henry Ford

10 famous success stories that will inspire you

Here are 10 famous success stories around the world that will inspire you to keep going and achieve greatness:

1. JK Rowling

During a Harvard inaugural address,Harry PotterAuthor J.K. Rowling outlined the importance and value of failure.[1]

Why? Simply because she failed once too.

A few years after graduating from college, her worst nightmares came true. in her words,

β€œI had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded and I was unemployed, a single parent and as poor as you can get in modern Britain without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me and I for myself had come true, and by any standard measure I was the biggest failure I knew.”

Emerging stronger and more determined from this failure was key to their success.

2. Steve Jobs

The now revolutionary Applestarted with two men in a garage. Years later we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.

And yet, almost unbelievably, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he founded.

The dismissal made him realize that his passion for his work outweighed his disappointment at failure. Other ventures like NeXT and Pixar eventually brought Jobs back to the CEO position at Apple.Jobs said in 2005:

"I didn't see it at the time, but getting fired from Apple turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me."

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Did you lose your job today? Keep kicking and you could be just like this guy!

3. Bill Gates

Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. He co-owned a company called Traf-O-Data, which was a real failure.[2]

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However, skill and a passion for computer programming turned this failure from the pioneer of the famous software company Microsoft and the then 31-year-old to the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

In his own words:

"It's okay to celebrate successes, but it's more important to learn the lessons of failure."

That's not to say you'll be a billionaire when you graduate from Harvard, but maybe that glittering degree isn't worth as much as the drive and passion to succeed.

If you haven't found your passion like Bill Gates, this will help you:What is Motivation and How to Get Motivated (Your Ultimate Guide)

4. Albert Einstein

The word "Einstein" is associated with intelligence and synonymous with genius. However, it is a famous fact that the pioneer of general relativity, Albert Einstein, did not become fluent himself until he was nine years old. His rebellious nature led to expulsion from school, and he was refused admission to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

His earlier setbacks did not prevent him from winning the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. Eventually he believed that:

"Success is failure in progress."

To date, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art and even late night TV.

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Just because you haven't achieved anything great yet doesn't mean you can't be an Einstein yourself.

5. Abraham Lincoln

Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, and losing his presidential bid in 1856, Abraham Lincoln was no stranger to rejection and failure. Instead of taking these signs as motivation to surrender, he refused to do his best.

In the words of this great man:

"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure."

Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States of America in 1861.

The level of rejection you receive is not a determining factor. Success is still within your reach.

6. Michael Jordan

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I lost almost 300 games. I was credited with winning the game 26 times and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”

This quote from retired basketball legend Michael Jordan in a Nike ad speaks for itself.

It would be an easy misconception that Jordan's basketball skills revolve around natural talent. In fact, basketball coaches in his early years had trouble ignoring the fact that Jordan didn't reach the minimum height. It was years of effort, practice and failure that shaped the star we know today.

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Michael Jordan's success was all due to hisintrinsic motivation, one of the most invincible types of motivation that drives people to succeed.

7. Steven Spielberg

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Considered one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg is a household name. It is therefore surprising to realize that the genius is behind itKieferAndE.T.got bad grades in high school, which caused him to be rejected three times from the University of Southern California.

While in college, he caught the eye of Universal executives, who signed him as a television director in 1969. This meant that he would not complete his college degree for another 33 years.

After all, perseverance and acceptance of failure is the key to success.

"Even though I'm getting older, what I do never gets old and I think that keeps me hungry."

Bad grades in high school aside, genius is unquestionable.

To date, Spielberg has directed 51 films and won three Academy Awards.

8. Walt Disney

Mickey MausCreator Walt Disney dropped out of school at a young age while trying to join the army.[3]One of his previous companies, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt because he was unable to run a successful business. He was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for "not being creative enough."

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But today, the genius behind Disney Studios is responsible for generations of childhood memories and dreams. Out ofsnow whiteToFrozen,Disney will continue to entertain the world for generations to come.

The logic behind this is simple:

"We don't look back for long. We keep moving, opening new doors and doing new things, because we are curious... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

9. Vincent van Gogh

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Vincent Van Gogh suffered from mental illness during his lifetime, failed relationships and committed suicide at the age of 37.

He only sold one painting in his life, which doomed him to failure as an artist. However, this did not detract from his enthusiasm and passion for art.

He would never know that years and years after his death he would be known as a key figure in the post-impressionist world and ultimately as one of the greatest artists who ever lived.

He would never know that he was becoming a hot topic in art class and his image would be used on television, in books, and other forms of popular culture.

In the words of this great but tragic man:

"If you hear a voice inside you saying, 'You can't paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."

10. Stephen King

As a paranoid, restless child, plagued by nightmares and raised in poverty, it's no surprise that Stephen King grew up to be the Master of Horror.[4]

An addiction to drugs and alcohol were his mechanisms to deal with the dissatisfaction he felt with his life. The frustration he felt at multiple publisher rejections combined with illicit substances got him thinking about violence against his own children.

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It was these intense emotions that he focused on his writing. And that's why he said:

"We invent horrors to deal with the real ones."

Writing became his new coping mechanism, and so the master writer we know today became a success.

Fail more often to succeed

As Albert Einstein said,Failure is really only success in progress. If you'd rather not fail, chances are you'll never succeed.

Success comes from moments of frustration when you are most uncomfortable. But after going through all those bitter times, you become stronger and you get closer to success.

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If you feel like a failure and think you've failed all too many times, it's not too late to change things! How to turn your limitations into your possibilities:

  • 13 reasons why you should fail fast to learn fast
  • How to start and restart your life when it seems too late
  • 5 steps to jump back quickly when life gets you down

Don't be afraid to fail. Do indeed start to fail, and often start to fail; this is how you will succeed.

Featured Photo Credits:Unsplash via unsplash.com


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