Inspiration is great on its own, but it’s even better with real-life examples. As we train and study and reach for our goals, we can rest assured that we’re following in somebody’s footsteps, standing on somebody’s shoulders. Those who have successfully found their way in life can be the light that guides us to our own victories.
Michael Oher was one of 12 kids in a broken home, with both parents absent for prolonged periods. He bounced from foster home to foster home, with bouts on the streets in between, before Leigh Anne Tuohy took him in.
In the stable environment of the Tuohy family, Michael flourished both in the classroom and on the football field. After a successful college career, he was drafted to the NFL, where he won a Super Bowl in 2013. His story was made into the film The Blind Side.
Facebook | Michael Oher
Usain Bolt is on top of the world now, but he grew up in a tiny, almost primitive village in Jamaica, with no street lights and little running water.
His high school bought him his first pair of track shoes, and he has never forgotten it, donating spikes to his school and bringing more running water to his village.
Facebook | Usain Bolt
Manny Pacquiao left home and lived on the streets of General Santos City when he was just 12. He supported himself by selling doughnuts on the street for a nickle more than he paid for them.
When he was 16, Manny made his way to Manila, where he boxed for the Philippine national team. After his professional debut he started rattling off strings of wins, and his rise to greatness had begun.
Facebook | Manny Pacquiao
LeBron James wasn’t always the King. He was born to a 16-year-old mother and never met his father. Between the ages of five and eight, he moved 12 times.
His mom did her best, but LeBron needed a stable home, so he went to live with his basketball coach when he was nine. By the time he was in high school, he was already a star.
The RootJason Miller | Getty Images
Whose story inspires you the most?