Know your weaknesses but don’t let them stop you.

We are not perfect, no matter how great our social media feed may look. We all have strengthens and weakness, some of them are inherit some are because of external circumstances. What ever the reason we need to be cautious of our weaknesses, but not let them restrain us. Self awareness is key if you want to be successful in any area of your life. You need to know your downfalls and the areas that you need to improve, however being cautious of your weaknesses should not discourage you from doing new things. Here is a list of 10 people who didn’t let their circumstances or weaknesses hold them back.

Nelson Mandela grew up in apartheid South Africa. The system of racial segregation limited opportunities for black South Africans. In spite of the circumstances Nelson Mandela became the first black lawyer in South Africa, as well as the first democratically elected president of the country.

Hellen Keller became blind and deaf in her early childhood, in spite of her disability she became the first blind and deaf person to get a bachelor’s degree. In addition to this she became a forceful voice about human rights.

 Marie Curie is a noble prize winner for both her contribution to physics and medicine. She grew up  in an era where the opportunities for women to be educated were scarce. Nevertheless, she became a leading scientist who work contributed to the development of the X-ray and radiation technology.

Albert Einstein is known as one of the smartest people in history. He contributed to ground breaking physics principals like the theory of relativity. However, Albert Einstein could not speak until he was four years old, and ironically he could not get a job in physics for two years.

Benjamin Franklin is one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and also a primary school drop out. Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at the age of 10. In spite of being considered “stupid” by his teachers he became a leading author, inventor , businessman, statesman…just to name a few of  the things that he accomplished.

Olaudati Eauians grew up during the Atlantic slave trade , and was a former slave. Once he was freed from slavery he wrote the book ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano‘. This book won a literary merit as well as changed the British perspective on slavery and contributed to the overall abolishment of slavery.

Oprah Winfery is  a phenomenal women and a personal hero. She is the first black female billionaire in the world. But her road to success was not easy. She had to overcome the trauma of being sexually abused as a child, and having and loosing a child at the age of 14.

Mala Yusafazai is another personal hero. She is the youngest Nobel peace prize winner, who risked her life and the life of her family , by fighting for the right for girls to be educated.

Howard Schultz is the executive chairman of the infamous Starbucks and a listed billionaire with a networth of $3.1 billion. However, his life wasn’t always as smooth as a cup of coffee. Howard came from a very poor family and he grew up in a housing complex for the poor.

Jesse Owens is an American athlete who stuck it to Adolf Hitler. Jesse Owens had an extraordinary performance in the 1936 Olympics that were held in what at the time was a Nazi Germany.

To end this article I leave with two inspiring quotes from Jesse Owens:

 “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.”


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