Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Inspirational Stories of Success

Last month I wrote an article about the excuses most of us use to avoid being successful.  Yes, read that again - most of us actually try to avoid being successful and then have to give ourselves excuses why we didn't achieve success.  We have to find those excuses as really it is very easy to be successful, so when we stop ourselves from realizing our dreams we need some good excuses that will convince both ourselves and those around us.  That isn't quite how I put it then, but that was the essence of my article.  If you missed it, check it out at

In my article I referred to a number of people who have achieved success against all the odds.  A lot of you contacted me and said how much those snippets of others' success stories inspired you, so today I thought I would expand a little on some of them.  So here are a few inspirational stories of success.  If you like reading this kind of story let me know and I will occasionally give you a few more such motivational stories.

Ingvar Kamprad

When you read this name you may have said "who?".  But try another name - IKEA.  Heard of that store?  Well it was founded by Ingvar Kamprad.

Ingvar was born and raised on a small farm, Elmtaryd, in Småland, Sweden.  Like most farmers, his parents were not particularly wealthy.  In fact, they were really quite poor, as were most other farmers around the rural village of Agunnaryd.  But that did not stop Ingvar!

At the age of six, Ingvar discovered he could make a profit by buying matches in bulk and then cycling round the village selling them to his neighbours.  This was just the start of his business career, a very early start.  He graduated to buying and selling fish, seeds, pens, Christmas decorations - in fact anything he found people around him wanted.  All while still a young child.

When he was 17, Ingvar founded IKEA (Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd).  He began it as a mail order business, supplying mainly furniture made at low cost by local craftsmen.

What Ingvar learned very early on is that the way to become wealthy is to help other people achieve their own dreams.  He helped local manufacturers find a good outlet for their work and he helped people all over the world furnish their houses and apartments with good but inexpensive furniture.  This simple concept led to IKEA becoming a multi billion dollar business known all over the world.

Glenn Cunningham

Perhaps another name that is not familiar?  But certainly a great success.

Glenn suffered severe leg burns at the age of 8.  His family were told by his doctors that he would never walk again.  But Glenn simply did not accept this.

Every day he got out of his bed, the bed to which his doctors had condemned him for life, and began forcing his legs to work again, little by little.  This caused Glenn great pain, but he refused to give up.  He refused to accept the invalid life everyone told him was all that was left for him.

Gradually he not only began to walk again, but managed to jog.  Then to run.

Not content with simply achieving the miracle of walking and running, Glenn announced he intended to run faster than anybody else in the world had ever run.

In 1934 he fulfilled his dream, running a mile in 4 minutes and 6 seconds, a world record.

Anthony Burgess

Have you heard of Anthony Burgess (born "John Burgess Wilson")?  He is perhaps best known for writing the novel "A Clockwork Orange", which was turned into a hugely successful film by Stanley Kubrick in 1971.

When Anthony was 40 he was diagnosed with cancer, a brain tumour, and was given less than a year to live.  He was penniless at the time, and didn't want to leave his wife, Lynne, with nothing when he died, so he decided to write and publish some novels to give her a legacy.  Notice the plural here.  He wrote not one but FIVE novels and was halfway through the sixth by the end of the year he had been given.

Fortunately for us, the prognosis was wrong.  Anthony Burgess did not die of cancer at the end of that year.  He went on to live for nearly 40 more years, writing more than 70 books, as well as translating into English the classic works Cyrano de Bergerac, Oedipus the King, and the opera Carmen, and composing more than 250 musical works.

How about you?

These three stories of success show you do not need to be wealthy, or lucky in order to achieve your dream.  All three achieved their dreams against all the odds.  What is your dream, and why not go out there now and turn it into reality?


  1. Beautiful stories which give hope and bring light to those who are on the path to success. Thanks and Blessings!

  2. Sir,

    Thank you for this article. All I can say is; God bless you.

    Francis Kingoo