It is tough to put together a list of inspiring people. Lists like this are biased and based on what the writer considers inspirational. They can also be limited by society’s view of gender. These men are all inspiring in some way, whether or not they are the typical male role model. In general, an inspiring human is someone who has accomplished something spectacular. It can be as big as making a million dollars, or selflessly motivating others - or as simple as being an amazing parent. To become inspiring, all you need to do is follow your heart and aspire to be a positive force in the world.
Last week, we talked about 10 inspiring women, and so many others, who are slowly changing the world. The following list of 10 inspiring men proves that men can flourish in any role they take on and they can make a huge impact on those around them.
Standing at just 3′ 3″ or 99 cm, Nick Vujicic isn’t your typical definition of ‘short.’ This Australian-American motivational speaker was born with a rare disorder. Tetra-amelia syndrome is characterized by the absence of arms and legs. Today, Nick is 37 years old and he is married with four children. Despite his physical disadvantages, he focuses on his abilities rather than disabilities. He can comb his hair, brush his teeth, use a computer as well as play football, surf, swim and skydive.
Despite suffering from bullying throughout school and having suicidal thoughts as early as eight years old and attempting to drown himself just two years later, Nick managed to turn his life around. His belief that God had a plan for him was a relief growing up. Nick began living his best life and eventually inspired others by becoming a motivational speaker. He did not only adapt to his disability but he lives a fuller life than many fully-abled people. His unbelievable story helps others discover their potential in whatever body they were born with.
Everyone knows that a CEO has the power to make change happen, but a financially successful career isn’t the only way to make a difference. Charlie Dark is a DJ, creative influencer and poet from East London. He founded the highly successful Run Dem Crew in 2007, an alternative running club made up of creative minds that meet weekly to exchange ideas, explore the urban landscape and move.
Through his poetry, community activism and initiatives with Run Dem Crew, Charlie has created a space for people of all ages to come together, express themselves and explore their full potential. Charlie has created a safe, unique and supportive space for people of all genders, races and opinions. His goal is to connect communities and encourage togetherness. However, his work has also helped provide people with skills to navigate and survive all sorts of challenges brought on by daily life.
Leonardo Di Caprio
Leonardo needs little introduction since he is famous for his success in the film industry. In fact, he is considered one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. When asked how he did so well, Leo responds with ‘by doing what I love to do.’ But that isn’t where the inspiration ends. When he’s not working on the next blockbuster, he’s busy trying to save the planet. Right after filming Titanic at 23 years old, Leonardo founded an organisation in 1998 to address some of the globe’s biggest environmental concerns.
In the past 20 years, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) has awarded over $80 million in grants to more than 200 environmentalist projects working in 50 countries. LDF has helped animals tremendously and has worked with localised programs to protect endangered species. In addition to this, Leonardo has used his fame to speak publicly about the environment to raise awareness. He has even invested in plant-based food companies and done a lot of humanitarian work. Plus, his social media isn’t all shirtless selfies but is also used to help the planet.
Khaled Abou El Fadl
Khaled Abou El Fadl proves that anything is possible by having an unlikely combination of titles. Khaled is a prominent Islamic jurist, an American lawyer and a well-known male feminist. Despite being a devout believer in his religion, he speaks out against the role of religion in government because the divine law is not a moral code. He is considered to be controversial by many due to his modern interpretations of the Koran. Khaled believes strongly in equality and is known for being one of the world’s leading Muslim feminists. He rejects all requirements that put women at a disadvantage, such as wearing a hijab.
In case you haven’t read it, the Koran does not prescribe to any one specific form of government. Instead, it defines fundamental social and political values: justice, mercy, tolerance, and non-autocratic, consultative methods of government. Therefore, Khaled concludes that a constitutional democracy that protects the rights of the individual has the greatest potential to actually promote these values.
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— The Usuli Institute (@usuliinstitute) October 2, 2020
Joe Panz should be in the dictionary under the phrase ‘do not judge a book by it’s cover.’ If you ran into Joe in a dark alley, you might feel nervous at this man’s large muscles, multiple tattoos and leather clothing. Especially when he’s leaning against his motorcycle and holding a large pit bull, or two, on a leash. However, there is no safer place to be than in Joe’s presence, especially if you are an animal lover. In 2007 Joe and two friends started a biker gang called Rescue Ink. It is dedicated to rescuing dogs.
Although it is no longer active, this a Long Island-based animal welfare organization made up of heavily tattooed motorcycle riders who work to combat animal cruelty and rescue animals in need. Joe developed a passion for animals after being hurt by countless humans. He was even betrayed by so-called friends who lured him into a bar and shot him five times. Joe has a lot more trust in animals because, unlike humans, they are unconditionally loyal. This led him to save many abused dogs and inspired the world to not judge people based on how they look, live, or choose to dress.
Friday, Johnny O and I are flying to Vegas to go for Rescue Ink disaster training.
— Joe Panz (@JoePanz) April 1, 2009
David Attenborough just recently joined Instagram at the astonishing age of 94. Not only did he join it, but he almost broke it. Well, at least he broke the speed record for reaching 1 million followers in just 4 hours and 44 minutes. At the time of writing, he is just shy of 5 million followers despite only having posted 6 times. The reason David is so loved is because of his environmental activism. His documentaries, such as Blue Planet and Planet Earth, are super popular on Netflix for their beautiful cinematography and their ability to raise awareness.
Sir David Frederick Attenborough is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitute a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth. David is a winner of the Green Star Award for over 60 years of dedication to environmentalism and for his work on climate change and environmental emergencies.
Dr. Raj Panjabi
Raj Panjabi is a 37-year-old physician, social entrepreneur and professor. He is the co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health. Raj is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Division of Global Health Equity at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 2017, Raj was announced as the prizewinner of the TED annual award for being “an exceptional individual with a creative and bold vision to solve a timely, pressing problem.”
He gave his $1 million prize to help community health workers who are non-medical personnel and college graduates who are unfortunately underappreciated.
Since Raj lived in Liberia until he was nine years old, he intends to start a Community Health Academy there. He hopes to provide well-trained workers to improve healthcare in more remote and underserved places in the world. Raj is also the founder of Last Mile Health, which supports 300 community health workers. In addition to his work as a physician and professor, Raj works with educational groups and works to raise funds to modernize medical information for easier access on a smartphone. His selflessness and dedication make Raj an inspiring man that leads by example.
#COVID19 has deepened inequities. The pandemic has exacerbated xenophobia. School terms ended suddenly leaving hundreds of millions of the poorest children without access to education. It’s placed heavier burdens and risks on women, especially those in caregiving roles…
— Dr. Raj Panjabi (@rajpanjabi) October 9, 2020
William Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor and author. But most importantly, he is proof that you can learn anything you set your mind to. At the age of 16, he gained fame in his village of Wimbe in Malawi for building a wind turbine. What makes it more impressive is that Wiliam was born into a family of hardworking farmers and had to drop out of school because his parents couldn’t afford the tuition. Between working on the farm, he went to the library and read books such as Using Energy by Hewitt Sally. It inspired him to use spare parts and materials found at a scrapyard to build a makeshift wind turbine to power his family’s home.
Since then, he has also built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village as well as two other wind turbines. William went on to speak at a TED conference and he wrote a book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. In 2010, his book was selected as the University of Florida and Boise State University common book, required for all incoming students to read. He went on to get his bachelors degree and was named one of TIME’s “30 People Under 30 Changing The World” in 2014. William continues to inspire the world and show that it doesn’t matter where you are born or educated – anyone can rise up and improve their community.
Grant Cordone is what the world typically considers a successful man. He is a millionaire, CEO and has various successful businesses. His beginnings, however, are humbling. He was in debt and addicted to drugs until his mom gave him some advice that ultimately helped him dig himself out of the hole. Grant ended up making his first million by the age of 30 and built five businesses as well as a multi-million dollar fortune. Today, he hopes to empower others and gives them the same advice that got him where he is today.
Today, the 62-year-old is a motivational speaker and a bestselling author. Some of his best know quotes include:
- “Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”
- “You won’t get much done if you only grind on the days you feel good.”
- “Luck is just one of the by-products of those who take the most action.”
- “Do what you are scared to do and watch your confidence grow.”
- “The ambitious are criticized by those that have given up.”
Sergei Urban is a stay-at-home father who started TheDadLab as a way to inspire fun and educational activities that can be done at home with children. TheDadLab is all about inspiring parents and giving them new ideas on how to spend more quality time with children. All of his ideas are inspired by his sons and by whatever he has lying around his house. The amazing thing about Sergei is that he is not a scientist or a teacher. He is a regular man who had to learn to be both to improve the lives of his children.
Originally from Latvia, Sergei lives in London with his wife and two sons. He has a master’s in economics however he is a stay-at-home-dad. Sergei runs TheDadLab while he raises his sons and it is all based on the adventures he has with them. Even though gender roles are finally beginning to blur, it still isn’t considered normal for young boys to aspire to the life of a stay-at-home parent. Sergei is not only helping parents discover new ways to bond and have fun with their children, but he is also proof that being an inspiring man can take all sorts of shapes and forms.
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