by Ewan Mochrie
Most of us live humdrum lives without a real shot at the big time, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t aspire to make a difference. In fact, all of us have aspirations… This post presents five incredible human beings who fought against the odds to stamp the world with their legacy. Quietly conquering the globe in their own unique ways, we want to take a look at five truly inspirational people who can teach us all something.
JK Rowling shot to fame as the unassuming face behind the mighty Harry Potter dynasty. Rowling once faced nothing more than a broken marriage and empty bank account. Confronted with the prospect of single motherhood and a lifetime of regret, this indomitable author instead took to her battered old typewriter and began punching out the story of the century. The book was turned down left and right before one publisher took a chance…and the rest is history.
Chris Gardner takes us from children’s fiction to the chasing of an American Dream. Canonised by Will Smith in the recent biopic The Pursuit of Happyness (no, not a typo), this incredible man went from rags to riches by pure grit and hard work. Gardner slept rough with his child in an underground station and presented himself each day at the office, training industriously to be a stockbroker. He always wore a suit and somehow kept his child fed and clothed in nursery each morning until one day his luck turned and the ceaseless hard work paid off. He now leads as CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings.
Jessica Cox is not your household name. She gives talks around the world on persistence in the face of adversity. Jessica is the Guinness World Record holder for being the very first individual on earth to qualify as a pilot…with no arms. Jessica is determined to overcome any obstacles with positive attitude and positive thinking and has never let her disability get in the way of her dreams, leading her to be seen as a shining light in the fight for the rights and opportunities for disabled people in our society. This girl has a degree, flies aircraft, drives cars, and plays piano… just like many others. The only difference is that she is doing all this with her feet. She also gives a great after-dinner speech.
Malala Yousafzi is only fifteen and she has already been called one of the future leaders of global unity. After the Pakistani schoolgirl was shot in the head by Taliban activists for challenging those in power, she survived and came back even stronger. Her reply to the rise of gender-based violence and terror was one of awe-inspiring defiance. ‘I want every girl, every child to be educated’ resonated across the world’s media and we certainly hope that she will continue fighting for women’s rights and equality in Islamic world and will have successful career in world politics.
It may be a cliche but no list can truly be complete without homage to Nelson Mandela. We can all learn something from the iconic leader’s gentle resilience and unceasing devotion to end the apartheid. He spent almost thirty years in jail for political rebellion and arose from mire to become South Africa’s first black President and to win a Nobel Peace Prize. His smiling image is well known all over the world and his refusal to condemn those who took away his freedom makes him a legend of inspiration across the globe.