Top 10 Real Life Inspirational Stories Of Success

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

When trying to make it in the world, sometimes it can feel like you're against an impossible wall. You want to get by, but the only thing standing in your way is yourself: fear of failure, success, a fear of being judged. It's exhausting!

But what if I told you that there are people out there who have made their dreams come true and lived to tell about it? They were just like you and me—people with families and friends and bills to pay? Wouldn't that change something for you?

Real-life inspirational stories of success

The concept of success is quite popular these days. But how often do we see real-life stories of people who have made it?

Here are some of my favorite real-life stories of success:

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Politician, actor, and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger (born August 30, 1947, in Thal, Austria).


In bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger was known as the Styrian Oak or Austrian Oak. 1967 saw the first amateur Mr. Universe.

He won three additional Mr. Universe titles and six Mr. Olympia championships after coming to California to train and compete in 1968. He retired in 1975. 

He shocked the bodybuilding world by competing for Mr. Olympia in 1980. Arnold's books include Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder (1977) and Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding (1978). (1998; written with Bill Dobbins).

Arnold Schwarzenegger followed his childhood passion of becoming an actor. Schwarzenegger's lines in Hercules in New York (1970) were dubbed.

Pumping Iron (1977) demonstrated Schwarzenegger's charm and comedic abilities, paving the way for Conan the Barbarian (1982). 

Arnold Schwarzenegger emigrated to the United States in 1983 and married Maria Shriver in 1986. He was elected governor of California in 2003 after becoming more involved in the Republican Party in the 1990s.

Schwarzenegger attempted to impose restrictive restrictions, which the labor movement strongly opposed. In 2006, he was re-elected. He supported ballot initiatives to change the state's redistricting process and political primary elections.

In 2009, as governor, he faced a $26 billion deficit. Yet, despite service cutbacks and income cuts, Schwarzenegger's popularity remained low, despite the state's deteriorating economy. 

He was unable to run in 2010 due to term constraints. After announcing his divorce from Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger had an affair with a housekeeper. Shriver requested a divorce.

Schwarzenegger returned to acting in 2010 with The Expendables after taking a hiatus from acting to concentrate on politics.

In Schwarzenegger's childhood home in Austria, a museum devoted to his life opened in July 2011. The following year, he released Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney overcame many hurdles on his journey to becoming a successful businessman.

After serving in the Red Cross during World War I, he had plenty of time to consider the many options he may follow after the war. He aspired to work in the animation business.

As a result, in 1920, at the age of 19, he founded his own firm and started producing cartoons of the animals he had drawn as a youngster.

In addition, he was forced to share a room with a buddy, and since he had so little money, he often went hungry. As a result, nobody ever bought one of his cartoons.

He became bankrupt at the age of 22 due to the spectacular failure of a cartoon series he made in Kansas City.

He declared and exited bankruptcy many times. Another of his ambitions was to become a successful actor in Hollywood; unfortunately, this aim was never realized. 

He was once sacked from a newspaper position owing to charges that he lacked ambition, originality, and innovation. The editor made these charges.

After three years, he finally departed Kansas City to chase his boyhood goal in Hollywood.

But, of course, five years is a long time when you don't have any money. Still, he had little success with short cartoons like "Alice in Cartoonland" and "Oswald the Rabbit" despite setting up a studio in a converted garage.

However, many of his cartoonists quit the firm again in 1928, taking Oswald with them. Disney was taken aback. In the end, his triumph was brief, and he returned to the streets without a home or a means of support. He was starving.

On the other hand, he knew the key to his success. Walt developed the original Mickey Mouse character as a direct result of the accident, which acted as a springboard for the remainder of his career.

Cristiano Ronaldo

While Cristiano was growing up, his family struggled a lot financially. As a child, he had to share a bedroom with three of his brothers since their family didn't have enough money to purchase their own rooms. 

Top 10 Real Life Inspirational Stories Of Success

Due to a lack of funds, it was sometimes hard to buy anything as basic as a soccer ball for him to use when playing on the streets. On the other hand, Ronaldo was resolute about not allowing his surroundings to impact his life path.

Instead, he would create a system that would enable him to participate in his favorite sport even if he didn't have a ball. To be able to play in the game, he would make a ball out of bottles, rags, and many other materials.

Cristiano was obliged to make the greatest sacrifice at 11 by traveling more than 500 miles away from his home to train with a top soccer academy. This decision he took at the age of 11 would have far-reaching consequences for the rest of his life. 

The Portuguese Football Federation has announced that Cristiano Ronaldo is the finest player in the history of Portugal's national team football. And many soccer fans worldwide believe he is the greatest player in the game's history.

He not only has a net worth that totals over 1 billion dollars, but he also has one of the most incredible net worths of any professional athlete in the world.

Colonel Harber Sanders

Few people are aware of the obstacles Colonel Harland Sanders had to overcome in order to make Kentucky Fried Chicken a national brand and turn his narrative into one of the world's most inspirational business success stories.

Yet, despite the fact that his narrative is one of the world's most inspiring business success stories, he continues to struggle.

He was rejected multiple times during his life. He was charged with caring for his younger siblings in the kitchen when his father died suddenly while he was just six years old.

In the months that followed, he opted against furthering his degree and instead began working full-time. He was dishonorably dismissed after just one year in the service because he lied about his age.

He tried his luck at another job, but it was also fruitless. He also sought to start a ferry boat firm, but the venture was doomed from the start. He began working at a convenience shop selling fried chicken when he was 40 years old.

However, as he grew older, he became embroiled in a fight with his enemy. As a result, the hotel had to lock its doors four years after it was opened due to World War II.

His business was rejected for franchising hundreds of times until the franchise board identified the "secret formula" of KFC.

Colonel Sanders was eventually able to develop KFC to the point where he could sell it for $2 million after many challenging years. Sanders had accomplished a big feat.

He is now widely recognized as the KFC spokesman because he refused to quit in the face of several failures.

Stephen King

Despite the fact that Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, his writings garnered him worldwide acclaim.

However, critics believe he formed his character due to a tragic train accident that killed one of his boyhood pals. This would explain why the bulk of his writing is classified as dark fantasy.

Despite this, he did not mention it or its impact on his reaction. His artwork is primarily inspired by EC's horror comics, which he started reading at a young age and has been a fan of ever since. 

He had been met with various problems since he was a little lad and had found it difficult to conquer them.

When he was just a toddler, his mother was forced to raise him and his younger brother on her alone when his father deserted the family when he was only two years old.

His mother supported the family by doing several jobs, including that of a nursery nanny, to raise and financially support their children.

Because of his mother's difficulties, he has a tremendous capacity for empathy and the ability to sympathize with others

Unfortunately, in the 1970s, while working as a teacher at Hampden Academy, he developed alcoholism that would eventually seriously impact his personal life.

His personal life started to fall apart as he worked on his tales, and his health began to suffer.

After putting up with it for 10 years, he eventually decided to stop drinking and focus only on accomplishing his professional goals. On June 19, 1999, he was in a car accident that left him with serious injuries

Three months of rest was required due to the multiple fractures and lung damage, and it took him six months to return to his pre-injury state of health.

Initially, he intended to retire at this time. Still, the support of his loved ones aided him in fast rebounding back, and he is now continuing his successful writing career.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.'s career in the film business started at the age of five, with his first appearance in a film directed by his father.

Robert was six years old when his drug-addicted father gave him his first joint of marijuana. Robert's father was an alcoholic as well.

Robert's acting career began slowly, with little parts in village theaters, but he quickly ascended through the ranks. He was assigned a youngster's character on Saturday Night Live in the early years of his career and received a lot of flak for it. 

His job was terminated precisely one year after it began due to his constantly poor performance.

He didn't make a name for himself in the industry until he appeared in films like "The Pickup Artist" and "Less Than Zero." Finally, he portrayed Charlie Chaplin in the film Chaplin, which was released in 1992.

Despite being nominated for the prize, Robert was never able to bring home the coveted gold medal for Best Actor at the Academy Awards.

Despite appearing in a number of films, he has struggled to attain economic success. Between 1996 and 2000, he was arrested many times for his participation in illicit narcotics

His time in prison and rehabilitation had a significant influence on his personal life, making things challenging for him. His rocky marriage directly resulted from the massive quantity of drugs he was doing at the time.

Robert's first appearance following his comeback was in the television series Ally McBeal. His performance wowed the audience, and he received a lot of favorable comments as a consequence.

However, he was arrested again due to his continuous drug consumption. He first met Susan Nicole Downey, who is now his wife, in 2003, and the two of them have been together since then.

He was ultimately able to put his troubled past behind him thanks to her assistance, and he went on to star and appeared in films such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac. 'Support'

On the other hand, his career suffered a severe setback in 2007 when he was cast in the highly praised film Iron Man as Tony Stark. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been looking for a partner for some time and has finally found one. 

Because of the public's enthusiasm and support for Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark, the piece was a success in every aspect. Fans of comic books were also unaware of his status as Iron Man.

Robert Downey Jr.'s dynamic performance and upbeat attitude in the character of Iron Man contributed to the film's cult appeal.

He was considered for an Academy Award consideration for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Tropic Thunder. Robert Downey Jr., who played both parts, won over audiences worldwide with his portrayal of everyone's favorite detective.

As a result of his performances in commercially successful films and the many accolades he received, he ascended to the top of the acting industry quickly. Downey Jr. is one of Hollywood's most brilliant and expensive performers.

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic was born with phocomelia on December 4, 1982, in the city of Melbourne, in the country of Australia.


This rare congenital condition left him without arms or legs. Vujicic grew up in Australia. Both his mother, Dusanka Vujicic, and father, Borislav Vujicic, worked in business before becoming parents. 

Both of them instilled in him an entrepreneurial mentality. Both of them have been regulars at Melbourne Church for quite some time.

It may be argued that his mother, who was also a midwife, did the best job she could as a mother. Because of his birth defects, millions of people across the globe have been moved by Nick's story.

Despite the abnormalities that afflicted his arms and legs, Nick persisted in acquiring new abilities. This makes him the first handicapped Australian youngster to be accepted into a regular school. 

Despite this, his contemporaries mocked, critiqued, and saw him as a distinct character. Nick, when he was just eight years old, had thoughts of taking his own life as a means to put an end to his pain.

For most of his life, Nick Vujicic struggled with accepting himself and coping with loss; nevertheless, his mother was able to help him recognize that his flaws are what set him unique as an example to others. 

It was a pivotal element in his journey through life when his mother read him an article about someone who is happy despite having difficult circumstances. Nick finally realized that the loss of limbs did not imply a life devoid of meaning for him.

Nick Vujicic, at seventeen, was given the opportunity to give a speech in front of his prayer group. When Nick was younger, he had some new acquaintances who urged him to travel the globe.

Nick, who was twenty-one years old when he graduated from Griffith University with a double degree in finance and accounting, attributed his success to both God's grace and his own hard work.

It's difficult to believe that Nick Vujicic is already a best-selling author, evangelist, and in-demand motivational speaker despite the fact that he lacks all of his arms and legs.

When faced with adversity, his brilliant life story serves as an antidote to despondency and a symbol of unwavering love and faith. 

The statement "You are a gift, but wrapped differently" was a common theme on his father's lips. Because of Nick's efforts, over six million individuals in 57 countries have been affected by his message of Jesus' love and hope.

Kanae Miyahara gave birth to a son, Kyoshi James, after her marriage to Nick Vujicic. The youngster was in good health. The couple had a second child, a son called Dejan Levi, quite fast.

Nick received the title of "Young Australian of the Year" in 2015 for his efforts in illuminating others' faith and optimism. He is a firm believer that altering one's perspective may result in changes in one's environment.

Nick Vujicic has spent the last ten years campaigning for Attitude is Altitude, a ministry he launched in 2005, and Life Without Limbs, a nonprofit organization he formed in 2005.

(Established in 2007) Life Without Limits: Inspiration for an Absurdly Good Life (2010), Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action (2013), Love Without Limits (2016), and a slew of other books are among his many publications.

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling first sketched down the plot of Harry Potter while on a train from Manchester to London in 1990.

While traveling between the two locations, she was inspired to write the book. But, unfortunately, with her mother's death the same year, she was obliged to put her writing on hold.

She traveled to Portugal in 1992 to teach English to speakers of other languages. But life had different ideas for her.

She married a guy after meeting him and finally gave birth to a child. In the following year, she filed a divorce petition with the guy who was functioning as her husband.

When she relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, with her baby daughter to be closer to her sister, she carried three Harry Potter books with her. Her sister was living in Scotland.

This event was both a watershed moment in her life and a defining moment for her as an individual.

It was the most challenging moment in J.K. Rowling's life since she was a single mother of a child and going through a divorce. Yet, despite her terrible battle with despair, she never gave up.

She persisted in the face of apparently insurmountable problems because, no matter how difficult life seemed, she could always see a glimmer of hope in the distance.

The year 1995 was a watershed moment in the life of author J.K. Rowling. The draft for Harry Potter was rejected by twelve big publishers, not one, two, or even five. But she refused to give up.

Instead, she discovered that contacting more outlets boosted her degree of success.

Although just 1000 copies were created, it was submitted to and approved for publication by tiny publishing businesses.

But then the book won significant awards, including the Nestle Smarties Prize and the British Book Awards for Children's Book of the Year, and everything changed.

As of 2022, the book had sold over 500 million copies worldwide and was translated into different languages. On top of that, the novel was converted into a film series, now a component of a brand name worth billions of dollars.

Paulo Coelho

The novel "The Alchemist," released about 30 years ago, has received almost little attention since its release.


Paulo Coelho, the book's author and the first person to sell copies of it, asserts that one person only purchased his work after it was made accessible to the public.

Nevertheless, Coelho was undeterred by the depressing news, and he remained confident in his efforts in the face of it.

He expected significantly more excellent results, but they wouldn't be evident for another six months after the last copy was purchased and sold. The exact buyer who purchased his first book also purchased his second.

Because of the book's weak sales, the publisher chose to terminate Paulo Coelho's contract after the first year. Fortunately, Coelho was able to overcome this setback and continue. 

After deciding not to give up, he increased his hunt for a new publisher and kept working toward his goal with even more passion.

As a result of this, the hunt for a new publisher proved to be a difficult task. Nevertheless, he was well on his way to realizing his longtime ambition of being a published author when he ultimately found a new publisher.

From that point forward, Coelho's hopes and objectives began to come true one by one. In the beginning, he barely sold little more than 3,000 copies.

Then, sales continued to increase, and he eventually sold a million copies, first with 10 thousand, then one hundred thousand, and so on, until he accomplished his target.

The author Paulo Coelho has had ongoing success, with the number of copies sold of his novels increasing yearly, and "The Alchemist" has been bought more than 150 million times

It is even astounding when you consider that he has sold over 320 million books, including all of his works.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady did not enter the National Football League as usual as other athletes do. In contrast to most elite athletes, Tom Brady did not begin training for football until he was in the ninth grade.

In his sophomore year, he made his first appearance on the football field when the starting quarterback for the JV team chose to step down.

Brady had already established himself as the starting quarterback for the varsity team by the time he was a junior in high school. This was a stroke of luck for him.

Brady went on to play for the University of Michigan Wolverines after having excellent success in high school. However, even at this level, there was no assurance of Brady's success. Not at all; he worked hard to acquire the position.

When Brady originally arrived on the club, he was considered a long shot since the depth chart had seven quarterbacks rated higher than him

As a result, Brady pondered transferring to another school as a junior. He did not give up, and as a result, he was given a spot in the starting lineup as a reward for his perseverance.

Brady would confront a substantial rise in the level of the competition when he joined the professional football league

Brady was determined to play professionally, but teams did not choose him for their squads before the draft because he lacked a track record of past success.

The Patriots chose Tom Brady in the 6th round of the draft, giving them the 199th overall pick in the process.

There is no question that Tom Brady was one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game, and there is an even smaller question as to whether or not he was also the best athlete.

But, unfortunately, it wasn't only his stats or mechanics that were subpar; everything about him was terrible.

Yet, despite his many hurdles, Tom Brady demonstrated the most outstanding commitment and excitement throughout the game.

Quotes from some of the most inspiring people

It's no secret that success is all about the right attitude.

Whether you're an entrepreneur or just going through a rough patch, keeping your head up and thinking positively is the key to getting through it.

So we've compiled a list of quotes from some of the most successful people in history to remind you that anything can be yours if you just believe in yourself!

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

That's a quote from Walt Disney, and I think it's pretty inspiring. It's one that makes you want to go out and do something big. But I've also found it hard to know where to start.


I personally think pursuing your dreams is like having an itch you can't quite reach: You think about it all the time, but when you finally do get there, it feels like it was worth the wait. 

And then when you realize what kind of itch it was? It's not even really an itch anymore—it's just part of who you are now!

"If you think you're perfect already, then you never will be." -Cristiano Ronaldo

It's easy to feel like you've already got it all figured out, but the truth is that there's always room for improvement. I think Cristiano Ronaldo is right—if you think you're perfect already, you'll never reach perfection.

I know this from my own experience. I tend to get frustrated and upset with myself if things do not go according to plan or when others make mistakes.

But that attitude doesn't serve me well—it makes me feel frustrated and angry at myself and everyone else involved. After all, no one is perfect!

So now, when things go wrong (and they will), I try to come up with a solution instead of focusing on what went wrong instead of getting upset with myself or others.

That way, we can get back on track faster than if we'd let ourselves get stuck in an "everything sucks!" mindset.

The takeaway

Inspiring stories are all around us if we choose to look for them. Whether a stranger who helped you out on the street or someone you know did something amazing, we can all find inspiration in our daily lives.

It's up to us to choose what's worth remembering and what isn't. So let's ensure that the good stuff stays with us—and remember that we can all be good stuff!

It's been fun to look at some of the most inspiring stories in the world. These are just a few examples of how people have overcome adversity and turned their lives around. I can't wait to find out how you decide to spend the rest of your life!

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}