Zero To Hero: 5 Inspirational Men and Their Stories

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Achieving your goals can be hard. Sometimes life will hit you right where it hurts and you may find yourself at rock bottom. However if at any point you feel like giving up, just think about these inspiring men and how they went from zero to hero.

Bear Grylls

This highly successful TV survival expert has an inspiring back story. After finishing school, Bear joined the Territorial Army and served as a reservist with the SAS. In 1996, whilst taking part in parachute exercise in Zambia, his canopy ripped and only partly opened. This was at 16,000ft, causing him to fall and land on his parachute pack on his back, which partially crushed three vertebrae.  His surgeon said that Bear came “within a whisker” of being paralyzed for life.

However in May 1998, only 18 months after his accident, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest! You’ll now see him on TV eating bizarre parts of animals and even sleeping inside other ones. Pretty impressive for a man who broke his back!

Bear Grylls filming Man Vs. Wild. Patagonia, Argentina

Richard Branson

You know Branson, he’s the blonde Noel Edmonds look-a-like that always seems to have a smile on his face. But when you see Branson on his own private tropical island, you probably think it may have all been easy for him. Think again. As a dyslexic child, Branson struggled at school; on leaving his Headmaster said Branson “would either end up in prison or be a millionaire”. He didn’t let his struggles hold him back though and started his first company from the basement of a church. Throughout he career Branson has lost millions on a number of failures, but his consistent drive and willingness  to try new things, has insured that he’s become one of the richest men in the UK.


Walt Disney

We’ve all seen a Disney film, and I’m sure we can all say we’ve enjoyed one, but the man who gave us Mickey Mouse and co had to fight hard to achieve his goal. He was fired from a job at the Kansas City Star newspaper as his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas” (wow, we bet he regretted that later!). His first animation company actually went bankrupt and apparently Disney was turned down 302 times before he finally got financing for creating Disney World. Think of what kids around the world would have missed out on, had Disney not kept fighting for his dream.


Sir James Dyson

James Dyson’s story is one of true persistence. While he was developing his now famous vacuum cleaner, he went through a staggering 5,126 failed prototypes and not to mention his life savings. However with his 5,127th prototype he cracked it and this led to the Dyson brand becoming the house-hold name it is today. To overcome 5126 failures and have the drive to continue every time is highly inspiring.

james dyson

Sean Swarner

Last but definitely not least, is a man you’ve probably not heard of but is possibly the most inspirational of all the man on this list. Sean Swarner is a man who had to overcome a hell of a lot to reach the top of the world, literally. This inspiring two time cancer survivor is the only person in the world to have been diagnosed with both Hodgkin’s disease and Askin’s sarcoma. During both of his two separate battles against cancer, he was given only weeks to live. This however did not stop him from later becoming the first cancer survivor to reach the peaks of the highest mountains in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Australia, and Antarctica. Oh and he did all of this with just one fully functioning lung! Incredible.


What an impressive set of men!  So the next time you feel you’re nowhere near achieving your goal, take inspiration from what these men had to deal with and what they ultimately achieved.

The road may be long and hard, but with persistence and effort you can reach your destination.

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