History is full of remarkable people. In a world where mediocrity is the norm, some men and women have transcended. Fighting against impossible odds, making outstanding discoveries or pursuing a dream they have helped to change the world. In our own quest to success and to our own transcendence, learning and studying these people can be one of our greatest inspirations.
So below I present you five of the persons who have inspired me the most. The list, of course, could be endless, but I decided to finally condense it to just five. All these are remarkable and special in at least one specific aspect. Make sure you learn from them!
5) Aristotle (Greece, 384 BC – 322 BC)
No man in history has given so many contributions to our race as Aristotle. Not only he studied almost every subject possible at the time, but he also made significant contributions to all of them. He studied physical sciences, continued Socrates and Plato’s school of philosophy and also researched customs, literature and knowledge. It is said that he was the last person to know everything there was to be known in his own time.
The subjects he contributed to are, among others: anatomy, astronomy, economics, embryology, geography, geology, meteorology, physics, zoology, ethics, aesthetics, government, metaphysics, politics, psychology, rhetoric and theology. His work was so big and so important that his scientific method, astronomic theories and formal logic theories were the norm until the late middle ages. It’s hard to think about one man which such a record. Newton, Leibnitz and Leonardo were the closest someone could get, yet their work by no means compares.
Read more about Aristotle here.
4) Heinrich Schliemann (Germany, 1822 – 1890)
A German archaeologist and businessman, Schliemann is most renowned as the man behind the excavations and discoveries of the legendary cities of Mycenae and Troy. His story inspires me in my quest to discover Niceae and Bucephalia.
Born to a poor family in northern Germany, Schliemann was a self-made man. Firstly a company representative in the Netherlands, he later went to amass a fortune during the California Gold Rush. Once he had the resources, he followed his childhood dreams and dedicated the rest of his life to look for the cities described in Homer’s epics.
Few archaeological discoveries have been as important as the ones of Schliemann. His recoveries include Priam’s Treasure (right now at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow) and the famous Agamemnon Mask (at the Athens National Museum.) The passion he worked with and the enormous contributions he made are a big inspiration for all want-to-be archaeologists.
One other exciting fact about his life it that’s he was able to speak thirteen languages. To be precise, he spoke: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Latin, Russian, Arabic, and Turkish as well as his native German. Quite a feat, to be honest. If you want to follow his footsteps, check out the guide on learning languages here.
Read more about Schliemann here.
3) Martin Luther King Jr. (United States, 1929 – 1968)
Martin Luther King was an agent of change and hope. Before he started fighting for the Civil Rights, black people were still segregated and discriminated against in big parts of the United States. Luther King started the change and inspired a dream that was ultimately accomplished with the Civil Rights acts, making all men and women, for once, really equal.
He was one of the greatest orators in American history and a man whose legacy and work is often unmatched. Whatever the dream or cause you follow, to see how Mr. Luther King fought and rallied for his is very inspiring. His tenacity, wisdom and energy are something all great must have.
Read more about Luther King here.
2) Cleopatra VII (Egypt, 69 BC – 30 BC)
Cleopatra was a leader, smart, wise and the most powerful woman of her era. She embraced all the power of womanhood and seduced the one and only Julius Caesar and, after his assassination, one of his most powerful successors: Mark Anthony. She achieved so with her beauty, charm and majesty, all for the sake and well being of her Egyptian people.
She took a different path in a world where women often want to achieve their goals the men’s way. She instead pledged to use the powers and charms of womanhood to their greatest extent. She turned the tides in Egypt’s favor once her country was in the aim of Rome and was even able to expand and consolidate its position.
Any woman wanting to achieve whatever goals she had in life has to see in Cleopatra an inspiration. Embrace the power of womanhood, the beauty and seductive nature of the female sex and how far can it be used in the quest for a big and important goal.
Read more about Cleopatra here.
1) Winston Churchill (Britain, 1874 – 1965)
If there’s one person in history that I really admire, that has to be Sir Winston Churchill. Honestly, from all these he is the one I would have liked the most to go for a
beer whiskey with. Churchill was a leader and charismatic man full of humor, a genius of speech, a soldier, statesman and an amazing writer. He is that big.
He is most renowned for being the British Prime Minister during the hard days of the Second World War. Back then he guided and motivated his citizens to achieve the most important victory in British history. Through his speeches he inspired the British people and kept their morale high in the darkest of times. Back 1940 it was all certain that the War would end in Germany’s favor. Yet, under Sir Winston’s leadership the British Islands stayed safe.
He had a prolific career in government and in the military, many times recovering against all odds. He was, after all, partially responsible of the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign back in the Great War – This being one of the biggest (if not the biggest) British tragedies in war. To bounce back from such low points and achieve what he achieved is something remarkable.
There was much more into him though. He was renowned for his great humor, hard work and for being a great writer. He won the Nobel Prize of Literature for his work, something few have achieved. He was named one of the greatest men of the XX Century and The Greatest Briton of all time by his own people, ranking higher than big names as Newton, Shakespeare and Nelson. His importance and legacy made him become one of the only three people to have been awarded the Honorary Citizenship of the United States during his lifetime.
When I was in England I took a day off to visit Churchill’s grave at St. Martin’s Church in Bladon, near Oxford. It was an amazing experience and my very first pilgrimage. I felt powerful after staying for a while in front of him!
Read more about Churchill here.
Which are your 5 most inspiring people? Have your say in the comments below!