18 Incredibly Inspiring Lessons About Work & Life from Successful People

Your job hunt or career path has likely been a winding road… a road that is perhaps even littered with flooded roadways, bad weather, and speed bumps. But that’s all the more reason to seek as much positive inspiration and motivation that you can get your hands on.

Since we know a thing our two about using other people’s real experiences as a source of inspiration to make our own lives better (that’s what we help job seekers do with our company reviews), we figured it would be great to gather a big list of great life lessons from some successful, remarkable people — some you’ve heard of due to their popular success and some you may have never heard of before but found success in their own rights and have an inspiring lesson to share.

Here are our favorite inspiring lessons about work and life. Use them as motivation when things gets tough in your work-life, job hunt or life in general!:

4 inspiring real life stories

Ralph Braun

Ralph Braun — whose name you might not know — was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a young boy. Following this life-altering news, Ralph quickly lost his ability to walk. Although doctors never thought he would be able to function independently, Ralph decided otherwise. At a young age, he went to work designing and engineering the first battery-powered scooter in the world. He didn’t stop there; despite his youth and physical limitations, he went on to engineer the world’s first wheelchair lift.

Ralph’s determination and hard work eventually evolved into the launch of BraunAbility, a leading manufacturer of mobility equipment worldwide. He’s become known as such a pioneer in the mobility space that some people even call him “The Father of the Mobility Movement”. For Ralph to achieve such overwhelming success despite such tough challenges.

While we think Ralph’s overarching life lesson to share with the world is, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” he shares the following important lessons that contributed to his success:

  1. Put the customer first.
  2. No excuses
  3. Surround yourself with good people
  4. Never stop improving
  5. Believe in your God-given ability

Walt Disney

Walt Disney dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, but when he got his foot in the door at the Kansas City Star and put his skills to the test for the first time, he was fired for lack of imagination and creativity. His failure wasn’t over yet; he left the Kansas City Star to acquire an animation study called Laugh-O-Gram, which he drove directly into bankruptcy. Finally, he moved to Hollywood and opened Disney, which led to his eventual win of 22 Academy Awards.

Walt Disney said it best himself: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” -Walt Disney

Benjamin Franklin

After hearing all of the reasons your friends, family members, and employees weren’t able to become what they wanted to be, you might really believe that family money or a college degree are necessary steps in the step-ladder of success. But the truth is that only you can choose which obstacles you’ll allow to prevent you from learning and growing.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a wealthy family. Nonetheless, he chose to pursue education and greatness without stepping a foot into a college or university. His hunger for knowledge and prolific reading and research empowered him to eventually invent bifocals and the lightening rod and even become one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

What can you learn from Benjamin Franklin? You need nothing but determination and grit to pursue the knowledge and resources you need to be successful.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani school girl born in 1997, faced the Taliban head on to fight for the right to education for girls in Pakistan. As a result of her resistance, she was shocking and devastatingly shot by the Taliban. When she recovered, she dove back into human rights head first, dedicating her time to advocating for others.

The lesson here: sometimes, a tragic or unfortunate event is the catalyst that helps us to do powerful things we never would have done otherwise.

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