We all face disappointments and discouragements. The key is to find it within ourselves to be an
overcomer and not allow our dreams and visions to stagnate. It does not matter how many
disappointments we had or how many failures we have experienced, we must be willing to forget them
and not live on the backdrop of yesterday’s pain. If someone told you that it was easy, well they misled
you! The prize of pressing on takes courage, determination and focus of both mind and body.
Let us look at seven inspirational growth models that provide motivation and encouragement.
1. Shah Rukh Khan, an Indian film actor who had to overcome life’s overwhelming
discouragements which included the death of his parents. He rose to success through self-
motivations and allowed these circumstances to shape the humble and well established
person he is today. Recently he established the Meer Foundation, named for his father
which focuses on supporting victims of acid attacks. It encompasses a 360-degree
approach which assists with the medical treatment, the cost legal aid, rehabilitation and
even livelihood support.
2. Malala Yousafzai, Bravely turned her traumatic attack around and became the voice
of the oppressed. Malala, a superhero, exposed the realist world by bringing to our attention
in The Malala Fund website: “The shocking truth is that world leaders have the money to fully
fund primary AND secondary education around the world – but they are choosing to spend it
on other things, like their military budgets. In fact, if the whole world stopped spending money
on the military for just 8 days, we could have the $39 billion still needed to provide 12 years of
free, quality education to every child on the planet.” She has taken her fight for education to
a whole new level. In August 2017 she herself began her own pursuit of education by
enrolling in Oxford University studding philosophy, politics and economics. To be the
youngest Nobel Prize laureate is most deserving. She had to overcome psychological”,
physical as well as gender violence. Her bravery against the violence that she was
exposed to speaks volumes of her bravery and her will to succeed and by her extending
it to the entire world shows that is a voice of the oppressed.
3. Helen Keller, was known as an author, political activist and a lecturer. She was the first
blind and deaf person to graduate from Radcliffe College and earn herself a Bachelor of
Arts degree. She overcame the barriers of her physical disabilities hence transforming
the world around her. She was not disillusioned by her disabilities but used it to propel
her from empty, confused alienation to a meaningful existence that shines through the
pages of history. Her teacher Ann Sullivan played an important role in her life. Ann had
patiently helped her to make leaps and bounds in her ability to communicate. With the
assistance of motivated teachers this is always possible.
4. Margaret Thatcher, Raising in high and above in the political world to be known as
the “The Iron Lady ”- Superwomen move aside! This lady of power was still held the title of
mother and a wife. She is still tremendously admired for her strength and tenacity in
propelling Britain as a super power.
5. Oprah Winfrey, Raised above her circumstances of being molested as a child to the
mega star that she is today. Oprah is known for her love for education, she opened a school
for girls in South Africa. Here girls from all different social and cultural contexts can apply to
her school. This school is strongly committed to the development to South Africa in the
African context. These programs assist in establishing girls in their community. By keeping it
within the South African context Oprah has allowed these young ladies to embrace their
difference. By embracing and accepting your difference from another assists in progressive
mental development. A person that lives a life in a victim mentality cannot assist another.
One has to overcome that victim mentality to be a survivor of circumstances.
6. Suzan Boyle, The star of Britain’s Got talent show in 2009. This star battled against the
glitz and glamour of the entertainment world to shine bright as the noon day sun. Her career
path has been soaring to new heights ever since.
Her humble background, her age and everything about her are a motivation to everyone
across the globe to keep on being persistent in their endeavors
7. Denzel Washington, Comes from a humble background and openly motivates the
youth to pursue education. As a motivational speaker he openly shares his fears, his
discouragement and failures. His lived experiences allow the youth to see that dreams can
come true. He allows his lifestyle as a husband and father to encourage the youth to take
family seriously. His growing motivational talks have inspired the youth to seek out meaning
and the true essence of life.
These 7 Inspiring figures were normal everyday people. It took grit which is courage, resolve and strength
of character to persistently pursue their dreams. These inspiring figures are aware that people are
focused on idolizing their lives. By allowing us to see their humane qualities, it allows to see that big
dreams do come true. Regardless of the nature of our discouragement we can create realms within our
reach to achieve.
GT Scholars not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and
weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our
programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-
18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.