Nothing inspires me more than hearing testimonies and stories about people we know and love. As I’ve said before, everyone has a story and some will make you cry. I totally believe that no matter who you are, there have been some sort of setbacks in your life. But what we tend to do as humans, is look at successful people in a light of luckiness. When in fact, they just pursued their dreams, no matter what the sacrifice. I totally believe that the one thing that sets the successful a part from the others are two words: hard work. Luck sometimes plays a factor, but without hard work, nothing progresses.

When I see celebrities, I am star struck, mainly because they had a dream and they followed it. They were able to successfully get to dream island. But what people don’t realize is that they too, often dealt and overcame hurdles, struggles, hardships and tragedies. But they got back on their feet, back to the path and followed the yellow brick road to their successes. So I love these short, interesting facts about these celebrities.

It just goes to show, that we are all capable of following our dreams and we can’t let a setback or two be the reason we don’t get up and try, try again.

  • At age 8, Shania Twain started singing in bars to make extra money. Her parents divorced when she was two, and she rarely saw her father. Her mom and stepfather, to whom she grew close, often couldn’t make enough to get by. Sadly, when she was 21, her mother and stepfather were killed in a head-on car accident with a logging truck on the highway. Twain put her career on hold to step in and take care of her three younger siblings.
  • At age 15, Jim Carrey performed his comedy routine onstage for the first time—in a suit his mom made him—and totally bombed.
  • At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
  • Tyler Perry had a rough childhood. He was physically and sexually abused growing up, got kicked out of high school, and tried to commit suicide twice—once as a preteen and again at 22. At 23 he moved to Atlanta and took up odd jobs as he started working on his stage career.
  • At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
  • At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
  • At age 25, Tim Allen was arrested for possession of over 650 grams of cocaine and and served 2 years and four months at a federal correctional institution.
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
  • At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
  • At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
  • At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
  • At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
  • At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
  • Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
  • Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
  • Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders was fired from a variety of jobs throughout his career before he first started cooking chicken in his roadside Shell Service Station in 1930, when he was 40 years old, during the Great Depression. His gas station didn’t actually have a restaurant, so he served dinners in his attached personal living quarters.
  • Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
  • Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
  • Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
  • Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.
  • Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
  • Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.

Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it.

Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.

Never tell yourself you missed your chance.

Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.

You can do it. Whatever it is.