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15 Real-Life Examples To Motivate Yourself

When everything seems impossible and you are dangerously close to just giving up, you can remember these 15 motivation examples:

#1 Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh sold only one painting during his life. It was to a friend’s sister, at a very low price. However, that didn’t stop him from creating more than 800 paintings.

Note – his brother would anonymously purchase and stockpile van Gogh’s paintings when everyone else ignored them.

#2 Elvis Presley

In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance.

He told him:

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

#3 Ludwig van Beethoven

His teachers called Beethoven ”hopeless as a composer.” But he didn’t listen to them and wrote five of his best symphonies while completely deaf.

#4 Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 and didn’t read until 7 years of age. One teacher described him as being:

“mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.”

He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

However, he did eventually learn to speak and read, even do a little math and physics – didn’t he?

#5 Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was a shy and fearful child early in life. He was also small and thin, not very good at sports, mediocre in school and unable to master the multiplication table.

Even so, he became the greatest leader of India, bringing independence from the English.

#6 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan was kicked out of the high school basketball team. Jordan once said:

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

#7 Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was booed on stage when he first presented his ideas to the scientific community of Europe. He returned to his office and kept on writing.

#8 Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was ”too stupid to learn anything.” In addition, he was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.”

As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, ”How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied:

”I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

#9 Jeanne Moreau

At the age of 21, French acting legend Jeanne Moreau was told by a casting director that her head was too curved, she wasn’t beautiful and photogenic enough to make it in movies.

She then took a deep breath and said to herself:

”Alright, then, I guess I will have to make it my own way.”

After making nearly 100 films her own way, in 1997 she received the European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

#10 Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was shy, antisocial and had speaking problems. His father never encouraged him, more than that, he pulled him down. Nevertheless, he became one of the greatest war leaders of the British Army.

He later wrote:

”Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up.”

#11 Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin was initially rejected by Hollywood studios because his pantomime was considered “nonsense.”

#12 Enrico Caruso

Enrico Caruso’s music teacher told him he had no voice and that he couldn’t sing at all. His parents wanted him to become an engineer.

#13 Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was a shy girl, with a painful childhood, that made her lack self-confidence as a child. Her parents made her feel ugly constantly, reaching to the point of nicknaming her “Grandma.”

She had few friends and the only ones were those in school. At 15, she began to develop personally, with the effort and encouragement of her mentor Marie Souvestre that helped her regain self-confidence and changed her way of thinking.

Among other things, she became a leader in the civil rights movement, helping in the creation of the United Nations.

#14 Pablo Casals

When Pablo Casals reached 95, a young reporter asked him ”Mr. Casals, you are 95 and one the greatest cellist of all times. Why do you still practice for six hours a day?” Mr. Casals answered:

“Because I still think I’m making progress.”

#15 Diego Corrales

Diego Corrales’ comeback is considered by many coaches, critics and lovers of boxing one of the finest matches in history, the fight between Diego Corrales and Luis Castillo from 2005, for the world boxing title, resembles life in many ways

For 9 rounds Corrales and Castillo fought in their usual aggressive fighting style. It was one of the most brutal and intense boxing matches, each of the athletes giving everything he could and not trying to spare at all.

Since the beginning of the 10th round Castillo sends Corrales to the floor with a left hook, but on the count to 8 Corrales is up and continues the game. After a few seconds Castillo strikes again leaving Corrales on the floor. When the counting reaches 9, Corrales is up again spitting his prosthesis.

For everyone, the game was as good as finished. Corrales’ coach advises him to stop but he returns to the ring.

I have never seen so much anger, determination, and suffering one with another. With his last resources, Corrales attacks Castillo and you can see yourselves what happens at the end of that game in the video below.

Final Words

Don’t ever give up! Don’t let today’s limitations dictate your future. Dare! Believe in yourself!

And, as Confucius said:

„Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”