10 Amazingly Inspirational People That Still Inspire Us Today

When I was at school, the teachers asked us who inspires us the most. I didn’t know how to answer the question at first, because it wasn’t something I thought about it too often. But remembering that I wanted to be a dancer and a pop star, I said “Destiny’s Child.”

I was asked the same question again recently, and while my answer is now very different, it got me thinking about some of the world’s most inspirational people. I started to ask my friends and family who they think are the world’s most inspirational people, and while each answer was different, a closer look at each inspirational person reveals very similar characters.

To be inspirational you must be unafraid to take risks and think outside the box. You must be willing to lead and to take charge. You must be honest, ethical and make decisions based on your values. And you must be capable of extraordinary acts that no one else but you is able capable of.

There are also inspirational people who have lived a life of adversity, bad luck and tribulations – but have come out fighting. Let’s take a look at 10 truly amazingly inspirational people that share all these qualities and more, and who continue to inspire us today.

Muhammad Ali

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will achieve nothing in life.”

     – Muhammad Ali

You don’t need to have read books on Muhammad Ali’s life to figure out that he oozed self-belief. The man whose mantra was “I am the greatest” was easily one of the most confident sports stars of all time whose self-belief never wavered.

A champion inside the ring, Ali was also a champion outside of it. A conversationalist who had something to say on everyone, he championed peoples’ rights and became known for his humanitarian efforts once he had retired.

Patrick Henry Hughes

Patrick Henry Hughes was born with crippled limbs in 1988. He was also born blind.

At the age of nine months, his father bought him a piano and Hughes began to play. Now, he is a supremely gifted musician who, despite all the odds that were so heavily weighed against him, performs across America.

Winston Churchill

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

     – Winston Churchill

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

     – Winston Churchill

Remembered with awe as the man who helped the world defeat Germany in the second world war, Winston Churchill will always be remembered as the archetypal British bulldog who never bristled in the face of adversity.

As well as being a great leader, Churchill was also a great public orator who kept a nation’s spirits up during the most testing of times. Possessing an unrivalled never-say-die attitude, Churchill continues to inspire those of us today who are left staring at success against the odds.

Sean Swarner

Sean Swarner gives hope to everyone who is besieged by setback after setback that, no matter what the gods decide to do with you, you should always fight back and live your life on your own terms as much as possible.

Sean has beaten cancer twice against impossible odds, and has since gone onto become the first C survivor who reached the peak of Mount Everest.

Neil Armstrong 

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.”

     – Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong is known the world over as the first man to ever step foot on the moon. It was quite an extraordinary feat, and one that could only be achieved by someone who was determined to do it. And Neil was that man.

Not only did he achieve his goal, he did it with a stoic tenacity that should be a lesson to us all. When he was directing his lunar craft towards the moon’s surface, warning alarms were blaring out from the cockpit. Worse still, the craft’s computer was failing, which the proposed landing site was populated with giant boulders.

Instead of panicking, Armstrong hardily landed the ship and became the first man to step foot on our moon.

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is the author of bestselling book The Four Hour Workweek, which has redefined the way we work – as well as our ideas of freedom.

Tim’s aim in life is to learn and master everything and anything, from tango dancing to running successful businesses and writing bestsellers. He’s interviewed billionaires, and his name is synonymous with working hard to create the life you want.

In an age obsessed with celebrities who take daily selfies, Tim’s 1.3million twitter followers know that he’s the real deal.

Bruce Lee

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”

     – Bruce Lee

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

     – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee became a Hollywood star when tinsel-town was dominated by the likes of Charlton Heston, James Dean and Warren Beatty. He achieved fame and fortune thanks to his dedication to his art, and his unmatched work-ethic.

Training at least three times a day, Lee also spent numerous hours honing his nutritional methods and working on his personal techniques. At one point, he suffered a huge setback when a back injury led doctors to tell him that he would never practice martial arts again. Undeterred to accept the assessment at face value, Lee came back stronger than ever and stormed into Hollywood as both an actor and a martial arts virtuoso.

Jessica Cox

Jessica Cox is an armless pilot – but not you usually kind. Born without arms, she flies planes with her legs and is the first ever licensed armless pilot.

Jessica proves that obstacles don’t have to mean game over. If you want something enough, you will do your darnest to get it.

Michael Jordan

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

     – Michael Jordan

“I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something, but I can’t accept not trying.”

     – Michael Jordan 

Michael Jordan might not have made it into the NBA had he listened to the advice of coaches who decided he wasn’t good enough for his college varsity teams roster. Unwavering in his self-belief, Jordan ploughed right ahead and became a global icon. After breaking personal and team records with Chicago Bulls, Jordan went onto become the first ever sportsman billionaire.

James Franco

Many of us know James Franco the actor. But away from the big screen, James is something of a modern day renaissance man who can seemingly do anything. He studied for a PhD while starring in movies, creates art, publishes poetry and stories, teaches cinema in New York, and writes, directs and acts in movies. He literally doesn’t stop.

Stay happy!

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