If you ever find yourself entertaining the idea that the odds in life are heavily stacked against you, the way to resist this kind of defeatist thinking is to have the audacity to dream big. Don’t submit to the idea that your life is without purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth. But meaning is forged more than found. This happens in life’s gritty realities.

Here are ten examples of people who battled against the odds and impacted their world. 

1. Even though he became profoundly deaf, Ludwig Van Beethoven still continued to create incredible music and is recognised as one of the world’s greatest composers.

2. As a child, Thomas Edison was told that he would not amount to anything in life. Yet he went on to become a brilliant inventor of numerous patents, including the light bulb. 

3. Edmund Hilary was unsuccessful seven times before finally succeeding, becoming the first to conquer Everest. 

4. Rosa Parks stood up to racism by resisting the custom of surrendering her seat to bigotry, becoming an iconic symbol of the struggle for civil rights in America. 

5. His life was dogged by failure. Yet at 66, Winston Churchill became one of Britain’s most successful Prime Ministers. 

6. After years of research and hard work, Alexander Bell eventually succeeded in inventing the telephone. 

7. His teachers said that he was “mentally slow”. Yet Albert Einstein went on to became one of the most brilliant scientists in the world.

8. He lost both his legs in a flying accident in WW2. Yet amazingly, Douglas Bader went on to become a squadron commander and then a successful business man.

9. She had terminal cancer and was given just a few months to live. Yet despite ill health, Jane Tomlinson cycled thousands of miles and raised over ₤1.5 million for charity. 

10. He was born in a stable amid numerous attempts on his life by the authorities. Yet after his execution by crucifixion, he rose from the dead and changed the world. His name is Jesus.

So…no more pity parties. No more victim thinking. If these ten people (and countless others) battled the odds and impacted their world, so can you. God can use your life to make a difference. It’s time to start believing it.