5 Most Inspiring People of the 21st Century
The 21st century has witnessed remarkable historical landmarks. Men frequent outer space; we now save massive files in the cloud, and everyone around the world can now watch live soccer matches. These landmarks were driven by men who rose through several challenges to inspire others to redefine impossibility. History will forever remember them. Here are five most inspirational people of the twenty-first century to look up to when life isn’t all sunshine and rainbow.
Top 5 Most Inspiring People
1. Barak Obama
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Born August 4, 1961, in Hawaii, Barack Obama was the 44th president of The United States of America. Before pursuing a political career, he was a civil rights lawyer. His impressive CV includes being an Illinois State Senator as well as, the first African-American President in American history.
On becoming the 44th president of America, he inherited a global economic recession; the lowest international favorability rating for the United States ever; and two on-going foreign wars. This definitely isn’t what you would want to inherit as a USA president. Nevertheless, under Obama’s guidance, his administration is most credited with eliminating FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist, Osama bin Laden, as well as passing the Health Care Reform Act.
In 2009, Obama became the fourth president to be awarded the Nobel Prize for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples
2. Elon Musk
When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.
Born to Engineer father and model mother on June 28, 1971, Elon Musk has a net worth of about $12 billion. Beyond his massive wealth, lies his brain and vision to change the world. Elon has not only started businesses in several industries, he has revolutionized industries by through his companies such as rocket technology (SpaceX), E-cash (PayPal), electric cars (Tesla), and energy services (SolarCity).
Despite being regarded as the Iron Man among entrepreneurs, Elon Musk didn’t have a smooth sail to success. As a child, he was bullied and in one incident, he passed out after he was dropped down a staircase. On two separate occasions, he was ousted as the CEO of his first two companies- Zip2 and PayPal. He was on his honeymoon when he was removed as CEO from PayPal. Nevertheless, he kept his shares in Zip2 and he received $22 million when the company was sold to Compaq.
In June 2002, Musk wanted to lower the cost of space transportation and make Mass colonization a reality and in founded SpaceX in the process. The company’s first three launches failed and as a result, he lost most of the money he invested in SpaceX which he got from the sale of PayPal. It was a very hard time for Musk nevertheless, he was resilient and proactive. The company’s fourth launch was successful. As a result, SpaceX was awarded a $1.6 billion contract from NASA. SpaceX would be sending men to space at a fraction of the cost of other agencies in the industry. By being persistent and creative, Elon Musk was able to turn around what could have been a total failure.
3. Nelson Mandela
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Born July 18, 1918, Nelson Mandela known for his massive work against apartheid in his home country, South Africa. He fought for equal rights for black people in his home country and later became president of his country.
As a member of the African National Congress party, he led both peaceful and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in South Africa. On 9 October 1963, along with 10 others, he was put on trial for sabotage. He narrowly avoided the gallows and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent about three decades of his prime years in the prison. Life at the prison was hard but he ensured that he utilized every bit of time there. He occupied himself with books, boxing and intelligent conversations with inmates. While in prison, he sent out political statements and a draft of his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom” which was published five years after his release.
When he was finally released in 1990, Nelson Mandela didn’t appear like a man who had been in prison for years. He led the ANC in its negotiations with National Party and other South African political organizations for an end to apartheid. His quest for peace and establishment of a multiracial government in an environment saturated with political instability Mandela the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1993.
4. Lionel Messi
“You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it.”
Born June 24, 1987, Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini is a world-renowned professional football player who is also the captain of the Argentine National Team and plays for Barcelona FC. Many regard him as the best footballer to ever grace the sport. For four consecutive years, he was voted the FIFA best footballer of the year. Messi has consistently broken numerous football records and he holds three Champions League cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and six Liga cups.
Even though it is pleasurable to see Messi kick the ball, He had an unpleasant childhood. He was diagnosed with having hormone deficient disease which required about $900 per month. Many local clubs who had shown initial interest in his immense talent, no one was willing to take care of the expenses for his treatment.
However, Messi kept displaying amazing skills with the ball. This caught the attention of the Sporting Director of Barcelona FC, who offered him a contract on a napkin to join the club. His medical bills were taken care of and Messi has never looked back since then. Gliding the club through several famous victories, he has become the face of the club.
Messi has not forgotten the hard times he faced in the past. In 2007, he established the Leo Messi Foundation which is dedicated to providing to education and healthcare of the poor and vulnerable children.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Born to a dentist father and psychiatrist mother on May 14, 1984, Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire. His Facebook shares are estimated to be worth $34.8 billion.
Mark was an instant success. In high school, he excelled in all disciplines and worked diligently throughout his classes. Before he moved into the arts, sciences, and literature, he was considered one of his school’s top students in the classics. His amazing performance earned him admission to Harvard University.
During his sophomore year, he created a website called Facemash which caused immediate controversy at the university. The photographs used were unlawful. Also, the site was hosted on Harvard servers. Eventually, he was forced to shut it down. The experience made Mark to launch a personal directory called ‘The Facebook’. Within the next year, the site grew rapidly that it attracted investment interest from American business magnate, Peter Andreas Thiel.
As of January 2012, the company has been estimated to be worth $100 billion.
If we stay true to our dreams, focused and hardworking, success will definitely come. Let these five men who have through the course of their actions, changed the world, inspire you.