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Old 08-30-2007, 02:17 AM   #1
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Famous people who overcame obstacles

I am looking for success stories of well-known people who have used their willpower, never giving up, and have finally reached their goals...
If you can think of someone, please pitch in...

I can name a few.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 yrs in prison. After being released, he dedicated himself to ending apartheid in South Africa, received the Nobel Peace Prize and was elected president.

Michael Jordan did not make it to his high school basketball team, later becoming the #1 basketball player in the world.

Clark Gable was told in Hollywood he would never get to play 'the leading man'. He later became known as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.

The early works of Dr Seuss were rejected by 23 publishers. The 24th said yes.

Dr. Wayne Dyer spent his childhood in foster homes and yet he always envisioned he could get anything in life that he set his mind on. His self-help books have sold millions.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:01 AM   #2
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John Kennedy was administered the Catholic last rites three times before becoming President of the United States.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tseno
John Kennedy was administered the Catholic last rites three times before becoming President of the United States.

Tseno,

I didn't know that! Thanks for the link and for your help!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:32 AM   #4
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Joanna Rowling was rejected by many publishers and when the first edition of the first Harry Potter novel was published the print run was only 1000. She was advised to disguise her feminine identity - hence the "JK", the K being an invention for the purpose.

Einstein failed his school maths exams.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:40 AM   #5
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Lightbulb

Abraham Lincoln failed, a dozen times, to achieve some government office before becoming president. That is a story most motivational speakers love to use.


The problems is that most of these people had some kind of reliable support to encourage them to overcome their problems. The rest of us get no support, or are even ridiculed for our efforts.


There are too many beings who have completely narrow views of how life could be for everyone. I am greatly disappointed because from my earliest memories, I thought only in terms of great potentialities awaiting me, already in place amongst the peoples of the world, when I became an adult. Boy, was I wrong.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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Thank you, Wade and DG, you are a big help and maybe others are inspired by your posts too. I know I am.


Quote:
Originally Posted by divine_gypsy
The rest of us get no support, or are even ridiculed for our efforts.
DG,
I have always loved the saying "I am grateful to all the people who said no. It is because of them that I could." I always say that it would be so easy for me to tell my lifestory as a very tragic story, but I choose to think of it and talk about it as a wonderful adventurous journey full of so much help along the way.
It is kind of like washing the elephant (Wade mentioned that story in another post) - what part am I washing? - what do I see? Much support to you!
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:06 AM   #7
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knut hamsun was recected many times before his first book was out -and he was wery poor when he was young and lived in cristiania .to day oslo norway
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:38 PM   #8
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Rosie, an article I was reading in the paper today about the Dole Foods CEO reminded me of your post. David H Murdock, now 84 years old, was a high school dropout.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:04 AM   #9
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Marion Bartoli, unexpected ladies finalist at this year's Wimbledon tennis championships.

This gives the flavour well:

From http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/...OLI.php?page=2

As a child, Bartoli said, she finished last in sprints and ball-throwing competitions at school.

Recognizing that he needed to make an athlete out of her if she wanted to play tennis, her father set up targets on the court and rewarded her with candy if she hit them. If she looked bored, he switched to volleyball, to keep her mind sharp. "I believe that even when your muscles are not so fast, with the brain and with concentration , you can compensate," she said.

They are known for their grueling practices, even on the day of a match. Her father, who was once a family doctor in Retournac, a village in the Haute-Loire region of France, has attached tennis balls to the arches of her feet to force her to stay on her toes.

"A lot of time, the persons are laughing at what I am doing, but now they are starting to get interested in what I'm doing," Walter Bartoli said. "They are thinking, 'Perhaps there is another way.' "

At home in Switzerland, Bartoli's mother, Sophie, complains that this other way is taking up too much of their garage. There are homemade ball machines and short children's rackets to force Bartoli to adjust her shots.

There are multicolored balls to improve hand-eye coordination: huge green ones, tiny black ones and medium-sized brown ones. "If she can play with these balls, then perhaps she will be able to take the difficult balls that come to her in a Grand Slam someday," Walter Bartoli said.

At Wimbledon, the crowd fell in love with her. She joined them in doing the wave. She made tennis look real: her chest heaved as she struggled for breath; her serves were not smooth. But she found a way to win.

Bartoli became the U.S. Open junior champion in 2001, at 17. The French tennis federation asked Bartoli to leave her father and train with a coach who had official credentials. She refused.

"They cannot accept that a doctor can be a tennis coach and put his girl to this level; it's just too hard for their mind," she said. "I always wanted to say to those persons, 'You know, I think you are bad, and I think my dad is good, and I always knew I would be a top player. You have to be a little more respectful to a girl like me.' "



I love her story. And especially what I heard during Wimbledon about her father, Walter. They said when he decided to devote himself full time to coaching Marion he knew "sweet F.A." about tennis coaching, but he read everything he could find about it and he listened to everyone experienced at it who would talk to him. And with passion, dedication and intelligence he succeeded.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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Franklin D. Roosevelt contracted poliomyelitis at age 39, which crippled him, yet he won four U.S. presidential elections and led America's transformation from a depression-stricken country into a superpower.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:09 PM   #11
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Edith Piaf - beloved French singer. Her life from the very beginning was riddled with one tragedy after another; her biography reads like a dramatic opera, and yet she managed to transmute all of that pain and passion into her art - one of the most soulful, memorable voices ever.

Wiki Edit Piaf
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:47 AM   #12
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Woodrow Wilson had to struggle with dyslexia. Despite his disability, he became President of Princeton University and the only U.S. President with a Ph.D.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:01 AM   #13
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I find these examples of real life stories so uplifting. :-)
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:09 AM   #14
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Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

Dr. Johnson was a famous British poet, essayist, and lexicographer. He wrote the Dictionary of the English Language and The Lives of the Poets. Dr. Johnson's unusual movements (most likely tics) and compulsive behaviors were observed by many of his peers at the time and described in such rich detail that there is little doubt that he had Tourette's Syndrome with obsessive-compulsive features or even full-blown OCD. Dr. Johnson was also reported to suffer from depression throughout his life.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:23 AM   #15
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I've noticed this thread is quite popular so I thought I might bump it up.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #16
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for a very inspiring story, and a spiritual one: www.jasonbecker.com
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:16 PM   #17
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Here is a story of a young man born wihout ears or the ability to hear, and how he overcame his obstacles to not only 'hear' and speak normally, but to help hundreds of others to achieve the same result.

http://www.salespractice.com/think-a...-mother-nature

He believed he would someday hear, as did his father, and nature accomodated him.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:42 AM   #18
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Thumbs up

What a great thread!
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:12 AM   #19
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Sometimes I think we tend to give extra value to people just because they are famous. Why do we need to have examples of famous people? There are plenty of just average people who are overcoming insane obstacles all the time. Why is it that we value fame and draw so much inspiration from stories about famous people? Does our society not tend to place more value on the lives of famous people than just a regular persons? What does this say about how we feel about ourselves? What does this say about our values? We tend to either de-humanize or super-humanize famous people...why is this? Just curious...
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:35 AM   #20
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Sometimes I think we tend to give extra value to people just because they are famous. Why do we need to have examples of famous people? There are plenty of just average people who are overcoming insane obstacles all the time. Why is it that we value fame and draw so much inspiration from stories about famous people? Does our society not tend to place more value on the lives of famous people than just a regular persons? What does this say about how we feel about ourselves? What does this say about our values? We tend to either de-humanize or super-humanize famous people...why is this? Just curious...

Inferiority complex
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:54 PM   #21
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Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers and Pixar Animation - See his famous speach to Standford Graudates:

http://news-service.stanford.edu/new...bs-061505.html
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:26 AM   #22
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It is natural for people to look up to famous/great people -- people who (have) achieved a lot -- this is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita -- it is not an inferiority complex.

Last edited by pathfinder; 03-19-2009 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:38 AM   #23
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I don't think that it is so natural. I think that it can be unhealthy too. You can start to place your whole self worth on achievement or fame, and thus, only value yourself and others in terms of achievement. And we can send the message to our children that "you don't have value like a famous person" and suddenly you have created a neurotic.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:48 AM   #24
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Jamesb May Be Correct.
Every Child Is Born With A Unique Personality,which May Not Be Bloomed In Full Glory,if We Ask Him/her To Follow A Certain Famous Personality.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:50 AM   #25
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Famous Figures

For purposes of this thread, I'm happy to cite the famous for their achievements as they're a handy index to refer to for folk on this forum from around the world, plus we can ascribe a quality to someone who already has made an impression and with whom we're familiar with;

My entry;

Stephen Hawking, author of "A Brief History Of Time"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking#Illness

Lost the use of of his limbs which proved to be no impediment in blazing a trail in the field of physics.

For all you celeb-a-phobes;

My friend Eug who never took a day off sick despite receiving exhausting treatment for cancer - now in perfect health.

PB
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:23 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
Sometimes I think we tend to give extra value to people just because they are famous. Why do we need to have examples of famous people? There are plenty of just average people who are overcoming insane obstacles all the time. Why is it that we value fame and draw so much inspiration from stories about famous people? Does our society not tend to place more value on the lives of famous people than just a regular persons? What does this say about how we feel about ourselves? What does this say about our values? We tend to either de-humanize or super-humanize famous people...why is this? Just curious...
Good points, and you have made me think about this. For me, it is not so much their being famous that I personally admire, but what I do admire in people (famous or not) is the qualities of character which have led to their achievements or overcoming/managing difficulties with courage and dignity. Fame is not a measure of a person's greatness, IMHO.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:23 AM   #27
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Fame is not a measure of a person's greatness, IMHO.
Sure, but fame is a corollary of greatness. I think Yogananda mentions this and I think it is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:55 AM   #28
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Famous People Are Not Necessarily Great
Some Are Born Famous By Virtue Of Having Famous Parents
Some Become Famous By Hard Work
& Lastly There Are People Who Are Labeled Famous By Media
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:17 AM   #29
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Ashok is right. Some are famous because of their talents, hard work, etc. but are they not just as often destroyed by this fame? And many are not so great, though they are famous. To me the public eye is the most dual thing ever to be known. One minute you can be loved by it, but that same love can just as soon be turned into hate towards you. You can see how we continue to build up famous people and just when they almost are ready to become gods in our eyes we will tear them down and completely destroy them. And often it is the fame that destroys these individuals. Also, to say that fame is a corollary of greatness is only about half true. That shows me what is great in your eyes, what qualities you find to be great. But how many great ones have we not known because they have never been interested in public attention? How would we know? We would say that fame is great because fame is all we know. That is all we are looking for, that is what we are programmed to see as great. I don't see how it works any other way than that. Thats why famous people can give you an idol to emulate, but they can't give you yourself. They can't make you love yourself they can only make you love them. And if you love them so much, if you area building them up in your own eyes, how are you going to see yourself then?
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:26 AM   #30
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And if you will look behind your famous saints, you will always find 2 or 3 unfamous saints that were teaching them something. And you will find them talking about even more unfamous saints too. You will validate the unfamous saints with the famous saint, if that's how your mind is functioning. If your eyes are programmed to see that way, then it takes a famous saint for you to listen to the unfamous one. You probably would not listen to the unfamous saint without the famous one to tell you that he is okay. Because your eyes are programmed to need the famous saint to make you feel okay about it. You can feel more assured when you know that someone is famous, your ego comes down a little bit. But we have still been programmed for it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:42 PM   #31
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Edith Piaf - beloved French singer. Her life from the very beginning was riddled with one tragedy after another; her biography reads like a dramatic opera, and yet she managed to transmute all of that pain and passion into her art - one of the most soulful, memorable voices ever.

Wiki Edit Piaf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKgcK...eature=related



also, she sings 'autumn leaves' in english, strangely because it's a very French tune with lyrics written by the renowned poet Jacques Prevert:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2s2t...eature=related

I love Bill Evans' rendition o 'Autumn leaves'


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRhVI7cpcS4

And, for a definitely untamed version, you have Gonzalo Rubacalca at the M.Fuji Jazz Festival:



[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy_OxEk_w_A

Last edited by mccoy; 03-27-2009 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:03 PM   #33
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Thank you for the fantastic links McCoy! Eva Cassidy's rendition remains one of my favorites.... :votive: It does not have the melancholic might of Piaf, but exudes it's own sweet sorrow..

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Old 04-12-2009, 01:18 PM   #34
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:04 PM   #35
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How do you link straight to the youtube image? I haven't been able to find a way here.

Eva Cassidy's voice is superb, that particular arrangement is pretty sad though.

Tseno, didn't know JFK had those many probs. So good not to show'em at all.

One more link to Autumn lives, a breathtaking performance by the superlative jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, playing two guitars at the same time!! Rythm section is magnificent, bassist Charnet Moffet is breathtaking.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baDM3...eature=related

Have a great Easter everyone!
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #36
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This guy was a famous jazz pianist. He sure had to overcome lots of difficulties. Please click the link and youll' know why.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwpBP...eature=related
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