Are you in constant fight to whether follow your heart or go by what your rational mind say. Or is there always a tussle between what you do and what you want to do. Here are three such stories, that would encourage you to take a plunge and makes you feel that listening to your heart is indeed very advantageous.
- Mother Teresa , from a Convent Teacher to Beacon of Humanity
If there is one name you definitely identify in serving humanity, than it will be Mother Teresa. Born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, was youngest of the three siblings in her family. At the age of 12, she decided to be a missionary and serve the humanity. At 18, she left her parental home and joined Sisters of Loreto in India.
Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in India. However, she was deeply impacted with the poverty in the town; and in 1948, she left the convent school and devote herself in serving the poorest of poor in slums of Calcutta.
Rest is what world knows and recognized. She said, “Hands that help are holier than lips that pray”. She followed her heart and became the beacon of selfless service to humanity. She was awarded with Nobel Peace Prize and Bharat Ratna in year 1979 and 1980 respectively.
2. Walt Disney, from Newspaper Editor to Imaginist Entrepreneur
Born as Walter Elias Disney in Chicago, Illinois; Walter was always in deep love with his passion for drawings. He dropped out of High School at the age of sixteen in order to join Military Services. However, he was rejected for Army because he was too young to be enrolled into the service. In his early career, he decided to pursue his career as an artist with newspaper for drawing political caricatures or comic strips. He was rejected stating that he lack imagination and original ideas. Later, he Walter assumed the position of an artist with Pesmen- Rubin Art Studio. His contract got over soon and was thrown out of the job.
Later, he established Walt Disney Studio, which became bankrupt because he could not manage the finance was burdened with heavy debt and eventually had to pull down its shutters. After this disappointed failure, he eyed the glamorous world of Hollywood, California. With the finance assistance of Walter’s brother Roy, he opened a cartoon studio in Hollywood in October 1923 and was named as Walt Disney Company. And as they, rest is the History. He created Mickey Mouse and gave us dream destination like Disneyland. He convinced us that Imagination is boundless and cannot be caged with world’s rejections.
- Aung San Suu Kyi, the crusader for democracy
Born on 19 June 1945 in Rangoon (now named Yangon) to Aung San and Khin Kyi, her father was assassinated by his rivals when she was 3 years old. She grew up with her mother and two brothers. She was educated for much of her childhood in Burma. Her mother became a political figure Burmese government where she was appointed Burmese ambassador to India and Nepal.
Aung San Suu Kyi studied in the Convent of Jesus and Mary School and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi with a degree in politics and later at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. When she returned to Burma in 1988, the long-time military leader of Burma and head of the ruling party had stepped down and there were mass demonstrations for democracy what came to be known as the 8888 Uprising.
Later she addressed half a million people at a mass rally and started her journey to call for democratic government. She was put under house arrest in July 1989 and was offered freedom if she left the country, BUT she refused. She has been placed under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years, on numerous occasions, since she began her political career. It was November 2010, when she was released on the account of International pressure from various countries.
She became one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners during her house arrest. She is awarded with Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. As of 2014 by Forbes Magazine, she is listed as the 61st most powerful woman in the world.
- Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother on January 29, 1954. Winfrey was named “Orpah” but was misspelt on her birth certificate as “Oprah”. She was raised by her grandmother, spending her first six years living in rural poverty. Oprah was so poor that she often wore dresses made of potato sacks. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, saying she was raped at age nine and became pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.
In 1972, Oprah switches from performing arts to media at Tennessee State University. She leaves her first broadcasting job, as a reporter for a Nashville radio station, to become the first African-American and youngest anchor on the city’s WTVF-TV station.
She then moves to Baltimore to co-anchor the six o’clock news, but was head-hunted to co-host a local TV talk show, People Are Talking which was premiered on August 14, 1978. Turning point came in 1984 when moved to Chicago to host WLS-TV’s morning talk show, AM . It became the number one talk show just one month later. The show is renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and was nationally expanded to a full hour on September 8, 1986. Show was number one talk-show and was declared for 14 seasons.
In 1991, Oprah initiated the National Child Protection Act which she testified in front of the US Senate Judiciary Committee in a bid to establish a national database of convicted child abusers. Landmark point came when President Clinton signed the ‘Oprah Bill’ into law, establishing a national database of convicted child abusers in 1993. And as they say, rest is history.
She has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century by Time magazine. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. She has been constantly named as the world’s most powerful woman by various media houses. The Wall Street Journal coined the term “Oprahfication”, meaning public confession as a form of therapy. She is truly Inspirational and a living legend in work she does.
- Malala Yousafzai
Greatness doesn’t come with age. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest in our list and why not! She became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate when she was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for human rights advocacy for education in October 2014. Born on 12 July 1997 in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Yousafzai was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner and an educational activist himself, running a chain of private schools in Pakistan.
At the young age of 11, Yousafzai started writing a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley.
Her life took an unprecedented turn when she boarded her school bus on 9 October 2012. She was already in news, giving interviews in print and on television, advocating right to education for young girls in the province. A Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai, which the bullet went through her head, neck, and ended in her shoulder. Following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition of Coma, but later her condition improved and was send to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in England for rehabilitation.
The assassination attempt received worldwide media coverage and sparked a national and international support for her and her cause. On 12 July 2013, Yousafzai’s 16th birthday, she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. UN named the event as “Malala Day”. Till now, she has been facilitated with numerous awards and recognition like Sakharov Prize, Simone de Beauvoir Prize, etc. For her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education, she was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest to win Nobel prize its history.
I hope you have started working on your dreams and if not then this post must have given you the motivation to pursue your dreams. Share your thoughts and you can also tell us what you believe and want to pursue as your dream goal. Share it with your loved ones and tell them how important it is to dream to make it a reality. Your heart calls out for the dreams that don’t let you sleep, so go for that one dream that you always wanted to achieve and live by.