Enduring Stories of Perseverance

Last updated on April 15th, 2022 at 09:49 pm

The most important thing in life is perseverance. It’s not always easy to keep going. But when you do succeed, it will be worth all of your hard work and effort.

Perseverance creates great people and sometimes you have to go through obstacles and failures before reaching your dreams. Whether a person experienced obstacles—like physical or mental health issues—these inspirational stories will have something for everyone which will hopefully inspire all of you to keep trying even when things get tough.

Keep reading this blog post to see how persistence changed the lives of 5 extraordinary human beings!

Short Stories About 5 Successful People for Inspiration

Here are some inspiring stories about some of the most successful people that show how hard work and passion can lead to success.

Story 1: Walt Disney

Who doesn’t know what Disney is? It’s considered one of the most recognized brands today. But did you know that Walt Disney had to go through a ton of adversity for a few years before he became one of the most successful people on Earth?

As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from his work in a local newspaper company because his boss thought that Disney lacked creativity — but that all changed when he went to Hollywood.

He barely survived when a failed animation company went under and even ate dog food to suffice his hunger. With the last few dollars he had, he attempted to make his way to Hollywood but faced rejections at the beginning.

He was even told Mickey Mouse—his trademark character—would fail. Despite all the setbacks and rejections, Walt Disney still persevered until his company grew into the empire we know now.

Story 2: Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, is one who embodied perseverance throughout his life.

He’s best known for failing thousands of times when attempting to create a light bulb. However, Thomas Edison never gave up despite lacking formal education. He kept staying true to his clear goals and poured a lot of dedication into his work.

One of his most famous lines includes this gem about perseverance and persistence:

“ I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Story 3: Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ held at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, USA on February 26, 2018.

Best known for her talk show of more than 20 years “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Oprah had to overcome her tragic past to achieve her success now. She grew up in a poor household and was sexually abused by members of her family. Due to this, she decided to run away from home at age 14 and delivered a son who died shortly after birth.

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When most people would have given up in these circumstances, Oprah persevered to finish her studies. And now, Oprah’s net worth is mind-blowing. She is one of the richest entertainers in the world thanks to her media empire.

Story 4: Bethany Hamilton

Famously known as the surfer who got attacked by sharks, Bethany continued to surf and join competitions even without her left arm.

She lost her arm as a result of the attack at the age of 13 but one month later after the incident, Bethany returned to the waters again thanks to her never-give-up attitude. After two years, she became the winner in the Explorer Women’s Division in the NSSA National competition. It’s a great showing of how tenacious and determined she was.

Story 5: J.K. Rowling

The author behind the famous Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, was once poor and had to depend on welfare. J.K. Rowling also has other challenges in life. She was jobless, penniless, and divorced while taking care of her daughter. It took a while before she was able to succeed.

Her manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by publishing companies 12 times before Bloomsbury accepted it.

She just kept moving forward until she willed her dream into existence.

Her Potter series became a cult classic and sold millions of copies, creating a fan base that is still relevant years after it was first published. Due to this success, J.K. Rowling is one of the perfect examples of a rags-to-riches story.

Other Personalities Worth Reading About

There are other personalities you can read about if you want inspiration. People like Howard Schultz, Colonel Sanders, and Abraham Lincoln are just a few. Not only did they show perseverance, but they also changed the future by making a difference in everyone’s lives.

More Stories: Two Inspiring Short Stories

Sometimes, reading a simple and inspiring story can change someone’s life. These stories can provide you with a different perspective that can help you walk through challenges and achieve your goals.

Here are some short stories that will help keep your hope alive when you thought that it’s already been lost.

How Do You React When The Waves Come?

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One day there was an upset little girl who came home from school. She was troubled after losing her number one spot on her chess team. Knowing how important chess is to his daughter, her father asked her what made her upset.

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The little girl explained how she worked hard for that spot and now it was taken from her by an older boy from another school. Hearing this, the father had an idea and decided to tell a story about two same situations but with different reactions.

There was a young boy at a beautiful beach scooping sands using his plastic shovel. While his other friends are playing the whole time, the little boy spent his day creating his sandcastle. He even made a moat using a spoon, a bridge with a popsicle stick, and even walls for his castle.

After a whole long day, he finished his dream sandcastle until the waves destroyed his hard work. The boy didn’t get mad and instead decided to study the waves that destroyed his creation.

Then there was another guy. He was a businessman living and working in a big city with many noises coming from the busy streets and traffic. The older man was always busy – he was shuffling his papers into stacks, constantly speaking on the phone, delegating tasks, and always punching words on his keyboard. He was good with numbers and words leading to success in signing contracts from clients – giving the businessman big profits every time.

Same as the little boy, the businessman spent his life building his kingdom and formulating plans. Both were resourceful, diligent, and determined in their respective tasks, however, they weren’t ready for the tide to come.

The boy was aware of the tide and saw it a couple of times already. He already knows how to do things better but the businessman couldn’t even though he tried to hold everything together.

The little boy felt no sorrow, regret, and fear whenever the tide came. He just smiles, pick up his tools, and was prepared to do things better next time. He knew that the tide was beyond his control and he couldn’t do anything about it. What he could control though is how to react to those situations.

On the other hand, the businessman fought the tides and waves for many years. When it became too overwhelming, just like the sandcastle being washed away, his business and courage crumbled.

After telling the story, the father asked his daughter which one does she prefer. His daughter replied that she wanted to be like the little boy that is why she continued to work hard and practice chess. Since then she never gave up and continued to believe that what she can control is how she would react to situations.

Moral of the Story:

No matter where you are, the waves of life will always find you. What matters most is how you react to those moments and what they teach about yourselves along this journey called life. Keep calm while looking at things from different perspectives because sometimes all it takes for change to happen in your life is by looking at things through different lenses!

See also
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Related: 3 Inspirational Stories: Overcoming Fear

The Three Sons and Their Work Skills

Once there was an old man from a small town known for his good work ethic and skills. When he died, he left all belongings he had to his three sons.

The oldest son received a house, the middle one a cow, and the youngest got an ax and a pair of gloves. The eldest settled in his house, the middle son traded cow’s milk, while the youngest earned his bread and butter with the ax and gloves he received.

After many years, the house became dirty like the eldest, the cow became lazy as its owner, but the gloves and the ax hadn’t stopped working since the beginning. The youngest used it to create cities, construct bridges, build dams, and raise mills. He earned enough money to buy his own house and cow.

The two elder brothers thought that the ax was bewitched so they decided to steal it. They tried using it but nothing special happened so they decided to steal the gloves as well – again nothing happened. The youngest didn’t mind losing his tools and being the skilled worker that he was, he just went out to buy a new ax and gloves for himself. Once again, he started working merrily while singing a song.

The older brothers finally realized that it was their younger brother’s work skills that made him successful. Because of this, they decided to persevere to become successful like their little brother.

Moral of the Story:

Success is not given to you – it’s earned. Some people may come across wealth in an easy way, but true happiness will come from creating something meaningful and committing yourself wholeheartedly towards achieving that goal with everything within your power.

The saying: “Give a man a fish and he will be full for a day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again” is very relevant. Learn to rely on your own skills instead of depending on other people all the time.

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