Inspiring Stories

Here are some amazing inspiring stories and resources; that can motivate us, wake us up from our unhappiness, help us recognise what is really great in life, and maybe teach us a little wisdom along the way.  Some of these inspiring stories are not well known.

The Starfish Source:, adapted from 'The Unexpected Universe'

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset.  As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance.  As he drew nearer, he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water.  Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.  As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.  The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied "I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen.  "But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast.  You can't possibly make a difference."  The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied:-

"made a difference to that one".

Inspiring stories on video

I CAN'T - R.I.P. Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul

All the students in the classroom were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with 'I can'ts'.

  • I can't kick the ball past second base.
  • I can't do long division with more than three numerals.
  • I can't get Debbie to like me.
  • I can't do ten push ups.
  • I can't hit one over the left field fence.
  • I can't eat only one biscuit.

The Teacher was also writing her list:-

  • I can't get Johns mother to come in for a Teacher conference.
  • I can't get my daughter to put petrol in the car.
  • I can't get Alan to use words instead of fists.

Then, all were instructed to fold their papers in half and bring to the front to place in an empty shoe box on the desk.  The Teacher added hers, put the lid on, and then headed outdoors with the students following.  They picked up a shovel along the way and began to dig in the garden.  The box of 'I can'ts' was placed into position and covered over.

"Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads.  Friends, we gather today to honour the memory of 'I can't'.  Whilst he was with us on earth, he touched the lives of everyone, some more than others.  His name, unfortunately, has been spoken in every public building, school, city hall, library, and even the White House and the House of Lords.  We have provided 'I can't' with a final resting place and headstone that contains his epitaph.  He is survived by his brothers and sisters 'I can', 'I will' and 'I'm going to anyway'.  They are not as well known as this famous relative and certainly not as strong and powerful, yet.  Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world.  May 'I can't' rest in peace, and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence.  Amen".

Then they had a party and cut out a large tombstone, which said:-

I can't



This hung in the classroom for the remainder of the year.  On rare occasions, when a student forgot and said 'I can't', the teacher simply pointed to the R.I.P. sign.  The student then remembered that 'I can't' was dead, and chose to rephrase the statement.

Believing You Can Source: Will Craig

(one of my favourite inspiring stories)

A young man fell asleep during maths class.  He woke up as the bell rang, looked at the blackboard, and copied down the two problems that were there.  He assumed it was the homework for the night.  He went home and spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening knowing if he didn't complete the work he would surely fail the class.  He couldn't work out either one but he kept trying for the rest of the week.  Finally, he found the answer to one of them and brought it to class.  The teacher was absolutely stunned!  The boy feared he had done too little, too late, yet it turned out the problem he had solved was supposedly unsolvable!

How did he do it?  He was able to do what was thought to be impossible because he believed it was possible.  He not only believed it was possible, but he believed that if he didn't solve it he would fail the class.  Had he known the problem was unsolvable, he could never have done it!

    Further resources for Inspiring Stories

Here's a website that you can go to any day of the year for inspiring stories from around the world.  Positive News also publishes a newspaper that you can actually have delivered to your door if you wish!  Click on the picture for more inspiring stories............

inspiring stories

Scroll down for more inspiring stories on video.

Walt Jones Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul

Walt Jones outlived his third wife to whom he was married for 52 years.  When she died, someone said to Walt "It must be sad losing such a long time friend".  "Well of course it was, but then again it may be for the best" he said.  "Why's that?".  "I don't want to be negative or say anything to defame her wonderful character, but she kind of petered out on me in the last decade.  She just never wanted to do nothing, just kind of became a stick in the mud.  Ten years ago when I was 94, I told my wife we have never seen anything except the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  She asked me what was on my mind, and I told her I was thinking about buying a motor home and maybe we could visit all 48 of the states.  She said 'I think you're out of your mind, we'd get mugged out there.  We'd die and there wouldn't be a funeral parlour.  Who's going to drive?'  I am, I had said and she said 'you'll kill us"'.  "So now that she's gone Walt, what do you intend to do?".  "I buried the old gal and bought me a motor home, and I intend to visit all 48 of the states".

Walt got to 43 of the states that year selling souvenirs.  He hadn't had his motor home but a few months and his wife had only been buried for six months, when he was seen driving down the street with an attractive 62 year old woman at his side.  "Who was the woman sitting by your side?  Is this your lady friend?"  "Yep".  "Walt, you've been married three times, you are 104 years of age.  This woman must be four decades younger than you".  "Well I discovered that man cannot live in a motor home alone".  "I can understand that.  You probably miss having someone to talk to after having had a companion all these years".  "You know I miss that too".  "Are you inferring that you have a romantic interest?"  "I just might".  "Doesn't there come a time in a person's life when you knock that stuff off, no?"  "What, sex?".  "Yes".  "Why?"  "Well, because that kind of physical exertion could be hazardous to a person's health".  "Well if she dies, she dies".

Letting Go of the Past Source: well known Zen Koan

Two monks on a pilgrimage were walking along a muddy road.  They saw a woman dressed in all her finery trying to cross the road but she did not want to spoil her silk kimono.  Without more ado, one of the monks took her on his back, carried her across and put her down on dry ground on the other side.  The monks then continued on their way.

After an hour or so, the other monk started complaining "surely it is not right to touch a woman; it is against the commandments to have close contact with women.  How could you go against the rules of monks?".  The monk who had carried the girl walked along silently, and finally he remarked:

"I set her down an hour ago, why are you still carrying her?"

Taking Risks Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile spring soil.

The first seed said 'I want to grow.  I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth's crust above me.....  I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring.....  I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!'.

And so she grew.

The second seed said 'I am afraid.  If I send my roots into the ground below, I don't know what I will encounter in the dark.  If I push my way through the hard soil above me, I may damage my delicate sprouts.....  What if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them?  And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground.  No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe'.

And so she waited.

A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

Do check back as I will continue to add more inspiring stories as I find them.

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