Inspiring stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things


  Inspiring stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things

In a world where the pursuit of fame and fortune is dominant, it's not always easy to believe in the power of the common person. But how about a few people who, through sheer force of will and an unbroken spirit, managed to change their lives for the better? That’s what this article’s all about: ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Take Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: he was born into poverty in Hayward California and became one of Hollywood's most bankable stars with his incredible self-belief. Or just try Brian Boyle who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 23 but beat cancer four times by refusing to give up on himself. Or Mark Burnett - he was a struggling actor in his mid-40s when he decided to turn his love of TV into a successful career as a producer.

In all of these cases, the power of the ordinary person was enough to change their lives for the better. And it's not just about fame and fortune. Take convicted murderer Michael Vick: if he hadn’t been incarcerated we'd still be watching footage from the crime scene on YouTube every day, but thanks to an extraordinary story by OJ Simpson and others in jail for similar crimes, prison reform became an important issue in this country and now Michael is reinventing himself as a speaker on rehabilitation. Or take Raghuram Rajan, a man who led India out of the global financial crisis and now as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India is battling to stabilize the world's fastest growing large economy.

It’s easy to look for the extraordinary in people with success in their blood or with great minds. But ordinary people are always special because they manage to do extraordinary things every day. That's why this story’s about them!

"The Rock" Johnson was born into poverty but fought his way to fame and fortune. For him, it was all about how much pressure you can handle.

When Dwayne Johnson was 9 years old, he and his family were living in dire poverty on Welfare Street in Hayward. But then things started to change. His mother had a great singing voice and started to perform at parties around Hayward, which put the Johnson family in touch with a Hollywood agent. They soon found themselves living in an apartment with all the luxuries of middle class life, including a pool table. It seemed like anything was possible if you just worked hard enough for it - and that's what Dwayne did, working his way up from waiter to maitre d' at one of the grander Los Angeles restaurants: The Capital Grille.

But for Dwayne, success didn't follow a straight line. It came in spurts - like when he acted in The Scorpion King - but that also meant that failures were more devastating. After the film was released Dwayne's life fell apart when his mother died of colon cancer and his father returned to Hayward to live with another family. Then suddenly, at the age of 24, he was surrounded by the trappings of wealth and fame: luxury cars, beautiful girls and ever-changing homes. But it wasn’t enough.

"My friends were doing really well and making good money, but I didn't have that. I thought I was doing so well that they were doing less well than me."

He says: "As soon as I got to where my friends were, and they weren’t, my whole life just imploded. It's been four years of paying the price for that moment in my life." Today he is up and running again from nowhere. His latest film - Faster - has just been released and his next film - Pain & Gain - is set to be the biggest action movie ever made in America.

For him the secret lies in how much pressure you can handle.

"The secret is not living or dying by expectations - it's living and dying by yourself."

Brian Boyle is a surviver. He has leukemia but refused to accept defeat and beat cancer four times thanks to his will and his strength of character. Hear from him below...

Brian Boyle was born in Toronto, Canada and when he was just 3 years old he was diagnosed with leukemia. A few months later, the entire family - Brian's parents, his brothers Michael and Christopher, and sister Kate - moved to the United States because they didn't want Brian to have to travel on an airplane anymore. However, it was a very quick move, with the family only moving to California before Brian turned 5.

It was a traumatic time for Brian, who had to see his friends growing up and start school all over again. But thanks to his will and his determination he managed to do well in school and eventually received an offer from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. After applying he was accepted for their Aerospace Engineering program but decided that wasn't what he wanted to do after all so he decided to leave before starting at Caltech. He is now working as an electric engineer which is "a nice balance for me".

Brian's cancer returned four times and he beat it four times with the help of his family and friends. He has now been in remission for more than 11 years.

For him, it was about maintaining hope and realizing there's always a way out. He says: "You can't always solve problems by yourself but you can usually get a lot further if you're working together."

Mark Burnett didn't believe he could become a TV producer despite his love of TV so he took a different path to success in Hollywood. It turned out to be the right one. And after 10 years of making reality TV shows, he's responsible for bringing The Apprentice back to primetime! Listen to Mark below...

“I had an opportunity to create a new show and I knew it would be successful. But I had never produced a show before.”

Mark Burnett founded his own production company when he was 21 but for the first few years his only work experience was as an actor and singer in theater. He had no experience with TV or movies at all - just the passion for it that came from working in theater and movie sets as a kid. But even then he could see how TV works.

"You have to understand how television is produced, how television is made, understand how to make something compelling on television.

Conclusion: it's all about the story. And quality.

"I got the idea for Survivor from my experiences in New York at a hard-core company called The Big Apple Circus, where I spent three winters living in a camper van at 30 degrees below zero in New York with 50 or 60 other people. It was a huge camp and we'd have these competitions to keep our minds occupied."

He used that experience to create the first reality TV show - and it was an instant hit. But even then he had doubts over who would win:

“The Survivor finale showed all seven of the finalists and they were all different shapes, sizes and backgrounds; they were all different ages; they were different colors.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post