10+ Real-Life Stories That Prove We Have the Power to Change Our Lives For the Better

People
4 months ago

We’ve all likely faced moments when quitting seemed like the only option. Whether it’s heartbreak, betrayal, or losing a job, such experiences can be deeply unsettling. Overcoming them is tough, but challenges have a way of making us more resilient, even if it sounds cliché. On social media, people who’ve strived to turn their lives around have come together to share their inspiring stories. Although they have been through a lot, none of them ever gave up.

  • I realized that my quest to find love wouldn’t fix anything wrong with me. I stopped manipulating and using men to try to fill the void in my soul. I treated men like people instead of tools. Eventually, I fell in love and am married to the most wonderful person I’ve ever met. © RoxxyKaos / Reddit
  • I lived in Detroit. The skies are grey there. I was fired, so I sold my house, bought a van, and moved to L.A. I went to school there. Now I am doing some of the coolest things imaginable: several publications, trips to the jungle, exploring uncharted caves, meeting celebrities, jumping out of airplanes, and presenting at academic conferences. I’m also trying to get into a Ph.D. program in archaeology. That’s it in a nutshell. © b**tmike1 / Reddit
  • After being laid off from my factory job, I suddenly found myself on the streets of Toronto in the early 1990s with a 9th-grade education, no money, no friends, no job references, and not really any family. So what did I do?
    I found an unbelievably dirty, crappy, crawl-space basement apartment. I applied for Welfare and focused on stopping unhealthy habits. I got a gym membership and went four hours a day. I enrolled in an adult high school and ignored everyone and everything that would be a distraction. Then I applied to college. Got in. Moved to a different city and spent four years getting my BA in Philosophy. Then I applied to a graduate program and spent the next ten years getting my MA and my Ph.D. Then spent the next several years as a professor, making good money and having lots of fun.
    I am happy now and know that I would have ended up in a way worse position if I hadn’t done what I did all those years ago. Sooner or later everyone has got to take their life seriously. © lacks_imagination / Reddit
  • I was always chubby while growing up. I was sitting on a diet for almost a decade. It eventually got to the point where the dieting wasn’t effective, I couldn’t lose the weight and wasn’t even eating much. I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to beat this eating addiction. I cut the junk food, the snacks, and the irregular eating. Within two weeks, my body caught up.
    It’s been two years since then and I am proud to say that I’m actually in love with the way I look. And I don’t even look perfect. But I’m content. I am no longer addicted to food and do eat intuitively. It’s not just the food addiction though. As soon as I got that under control, every other aspect of my life improved significantly. I just feel happier overall. © HmCantPickUsername / Reddit
  • I got injured in a car accident. I lost my business and my wife of 19 years eventually left me for another man, leaving behind a 17-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. No job, no car, no money, two kids, and $2K a month in rent. Two days after she left, I took my real estate license test. I PASSED! I had planned to surprise her but had hidden that I was studying in case I failed. So, I found a job, another one on the night shift, and then another two. But then I was offered a job by a local developer.
    After a few months, they hired me away from my temporary broker, gave me a salary and commissions, and provided me with an opportunity to change my kid’s lives forever. I was able to go from working four jobs to just one, and I have learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined possible. It’s been three and a half long years, but I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. © NoDozDad / Reddit
  • I had dropped out of college because of depression. I was in a customer service job that I hated, I was in a relationship with someone who treated me poorly, and I had my share of dark thoughts under my belt. My boyfriend and friends told me there was no point in going back to school, and I believed them. Then I met a stranger who I talked to about books. He told me that he couldn’t believe I had dropped out of college because I was passionate. The next morning, I packed my stuff and left my boyfriend, then reapplied to college. Nearly 10 years later, I’m a qualified teacher, I love my job, and I own a house. I also married that stranger. © Ginger-Crafter / Reddit
  • I was a high school dropout, in a dead-end job, earning $30K per year. I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant when we were only 20 and had visions of being a deadbeat broke dad who couldn’t provide for the kid I had brought into the world. So I did a bridging course and went to college at 21, just as my daughter was born. I married my girlfriend at 24 and since then we have had two more kids. Currently, I comfortably earn $200K a year, have a great career, and feel like everything just fell into place. © whatwouldbiggiedo / Reddit
  • I grew up believing that getting married and marrying the right man was the greatest thing I could achieve in my life. As a woman, my ambitions were for my future husband’s career and for the children I would have with him. So I threw myself into relationships, erasing my personality to land the guy who checked all the boxes. Surprise, surprise, none of those relationships worked out. Finally, I realized I hadn’t been happy in any of them and decided to just be happy with myself. I fell into a relationship naturally a year later and we have been together for more than 10 years. © austenQ / Reddit
  • I got kicked out of home at 13. I was homeless for a few weeks until I found a little old lady willing to rent out her severely fire-damaged mobile home in her backyard to me for $100 a month. I did that for a few months until I found another little old lady willing to rent out a 1-bedroom apartment. I think that was $300 a month and I had to do yard work and repairs. I did that for years until I left to go to college. I struggled in college because I was a full-time student while working 2 full-time jobs. I met my future wife, got my degree, and tried to reconnect with my parents. It was tough.
    I got married and then struggled to find lucrative work for a year. Things have been improving exponentially since. I bought our first house for cash in 2017, had our first baby in 2019, and hit millionaire status in August 2020. Work like crazy, save and invest smartly, and you’ll be OK! © killacross4479 / Reddit
  • I went to college and graduated with a degree in graphic design and eventually landed a full-time design job that paid peanuts. It was an in-house job, with not much scope for promotion, on a very small team. I had dreams of working for a gaming developer but never did anything in my free time to pursue this.
    At around 25, I realized that it wasn’t right for me to lack any passion for my work. I decided to figure out what I wanted to do in life and realized that it was medicine. I started volunteering at my local hospital and then became a full-time healthcare assistant there. It was a baptism of fire and I nearly walked away early on, but I persisted.
    Unfortunately, I couldn’t just go to medical school, so I decided to do my Master’s degree to open up some extra options and hopefully make it easier. I’m in my final year of medical school now. I’ve managed to pass all my exams the first time and whilst I’m not going to graduate with honors or anything like that, I’m pleased that I’ve managed to find something I’m passionate about and that I am fulfilling my academic potential. © ChanSungJung / Reddit
  • I was in my mid to late 20s and working for a small design startup, where the owners were married and lived the job 24/7. I wasn’t comfortable doing that, but that was their mentality and any mistakes or negativity (like questioning something) was met with harsh reactions. I had insomnia for almost a year, getting 3-5 hours of sleep a night, until one day something just switched and I stopped caring about the anger and short temper they were projecting toward me. After a week I felt happier, less stressed, and overall more positive. It was still a negative work environment and I stayed there for a few more years because I didn’t recognize that I had value to anyone outside their company. Once I started freelancing again and getting some corporate-level workplace experience, I realized that my skills were not only good but very marketable, and I had a new job within 6 months. © clovisx / Reddit
  • After college, I got my first real job and I met a girl at work. She had a baby, but the daddy wasn’t in the picture. We got married, bought a house in the suburbs, and a couple of cars because that is what I thought you were supposed to do. Two years later, we were both miserable and she found comfort in the arms of another man. I was at a total loss. My marriage failed, my contract was running out at work, and I was super depressed.
    Then my father bought me an airplane ticket to Los Angeles where two of my close friends lived. That simple act changed everything. I went to LA and had a blast with my friends who convinced me to move out and live with them. I flew back home, filed for divorce, sold the house and the cars, packed up my things, and left. That was 20 years ago.
    Since then, I have remarried an amazing woman. We have two incredible kids. I lived in LA, NYC, and now Denver. I have traveled extensively, partied with rock stars, and laughed so hard it hurt. I can’t even imagine what my life would have been like if I stayed with my first wife. I saw her once, many years later at a wedding. She said she was sorry for what she had done. I said don’t be and thanked her for it. © tizod / Reddit
  • After my marriage broke down, I felt I had nothing to go on and nothing to offer to anyone, so what was the point? I had been in touch with an animal shelter a few weeks prior and I finally got the call saying my cat was ready to be picked up. He was 16 at the time and had been in the shelter for a year at that point. I knew if I went to get him, I’d have committed to him to keep going. So I went and got him. Alfred changed my life. He was my partner in crime and a bonus alarm clock. He loved life. One cat became 2, then 3. They gave me a reason to live and someone to love again. © AdrienneGrody / Reddit
  • My girlfriend, at the time, dumped me to get back with her ex and I remember asking her why, and one of the things she said was that she saw how hard I struggled with school and didn’t think she could be with someone who wasn’t going to be successful. After a couple of months of being depressed, I decided to drop out of school to focus on my culinary degree (I was already working in kitchens) and ended up doing well now as I run a pretty successful meal-prepping business and do private dinners on the side. © aszma / Reddit

People often look up to celebrities and they inspire them to be better. That connection is particularly strong when the idols they adore also manage to endure hardships and never surrender to adversity. It’s the case with Top Gun star Val Kilmer, who despite having lost his voice to cancer, hasn’t lost his will to live his life to the fullest and is more creative than ever. See how he’s doing here.

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