Survival of the Fittest Success Stories

Feb 5 08:29 2010 Genyfer Spark Print This Article

It can be demonstrated that success is determined by two main factors. Firstly, in order to become successful one must have the ability to change their characteristics and habits, so as to adapt and survive through the changes in circumstances, events and experiences that occur during one's life. Secondly, one must have the ability to connect with others who will encourage, support and offer opportunities that allows one to achieve success. The following four unique individual success stories prove this to be the case.

Waris Dirie- A runaway,Guest Posting all alone in the Somali Desert at 13 who became a Supermodel: Waris as a little girl endured the extreme pain and horror of female circumcision, her mother held her down while her labia and clitoris was cut completely out without anesthesia, her vagina would then be stitched closed with thorns. Her older sister bled to death and her 6 year old cousin died of an infection from the same procedure. At 13 her father sold her to a much older man to be one of his several wives. Her new husband planned to cut her vagina open with a knife or penetrate it until it broke. Waris was so scared like any little girl at 13 would be and ran away. She ended up in the Somalia desert with no food or water and was surrounded by wild beasts such as lions. She had eventually hitchhiked a ride where the driver tried to rape her, she grabbed a rock and threw it at him and jumped out of the back of the truck and ran for her life. Her famous quote is, "As long, as I was alive, I knew I could make it." With the help of her aunt she would immigrate to London in 1983, where she worked as a cleaner for two years and later worked in a fast food restaurant where she was discovered by a famous photographer. This connection led Waris to be on the cover of a calendar and by the 1990's she was modeling for top designers such as Chanel. Waris is now a strong activist and has used her success to establish the Waris Dirie Foundation which has assisted more than 40,000 victims of female circumcision since 2002. This is a true testimony of the power one has to change the outcome of their life when they refuse to give into adversity.

Howard Schultz- CEO of Starbucks: the largest coffee house in the world: Howard grew up in poverty living in a government subsidized housing unit with his parents and two siblings. Howard's father had become very ill when Howard was just a boy, and these tough times called for desperate measures. Howard to support his family would sell his blood to local blood banks. This constant struggle made Howard determined to escape poverty and make a better life for himself. His famous quote is: "I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny." And he did exactly this, starting with becoming the first in his family to graduate with a degree in business and marketing. Howard after graduating would work several jobs, and would eventually connect with Gerry Baldwin one of the owners of Starbucks, who would make Howard the director of the then 12 coffee shops. Howard saw a huge need for a place where people could get together and connect over coffee like they do in Europe. Howard presented this idea to the owners of Starbucks; they did not like the idea. Therefore, Howard started his own coffee house, it was two years later Howard made an offer and purchased Starbucks for 3.8Milliom. As of today Starbucks is the largest coffee house company in the world with 16,635 stores. Howard Schultz as of 2010 has a net worth of 1.1Billion, not bad for a boy who sold his blood to put food on the table for him and his family.

Joan of Arc- An uneducated peasant barely a child led France to many victories: Joan was born during the 100 year war in 1412. As a child Joan experienced several raids and witnessed her entire village be burned to the ground. Joan would achieve incredible success in her life of only 19 years. She was determined to take charge of her country and lead it to victory, due to France being extremely divided and being defeated over and over again. At just 16, Joan would gain the respect of some of the most powerful heads of the French army, and at 17 would be given complete control of the French army. Within one year Joan would lead the French army to many victories including Orleans, Troyes and Patay, this allowed many towns to become liberated from the English power and dominance. Joan had an amazing ability in connecting with others, she not only gained the respect of the most powerful heads of the French army, but also won the hearts of the soldiers of her army who looked up to her as an incredible leader. Joan was captured and sold to the English and was imprisoned in a tower where she would be sexually assaulted. Joan was placed on trial for witchcraft, she pleaded she was not practicing witchcraft, but was doing the work of God. Joan was found guilty of witchcraft and was ordered to be burned to the stake. In complete distraught she confessed to witchcraft to prevent the inevitable disaster that was about to occur, however a week later she reversed her confession and faced her accusers with dignity, a true example of the power of the human spirit to overcome extreme adversity. Joan would be tied to a pillar and burned to death and then burned two more times to reduce her body to complete ashes. 26 years later Joan would be found innocent and was designated as a Martyr. A remarkable achievement for a girl that came from nowhere!

Nelson Mandela- From a prison to the first elected black President of South Africa: During the 2nd world war Nelson became a member of the African National Congress (ANC) to create equality for all races and improve the conditions of the poor. Nelson was extremely passionate about his cause to put a stop to discriminatory law that prevented equal rights; he would travel through the country organizing campaigns for defiance of inequality laws. As a result of his campaigning and gaining the interest of so many people, he was charged and brought to trial for his role in such campaigns. His trial prohibited him from being apart of any political campaigns and the ANC was outlawed. It seems this trial and conviction only made Nelson more determined to seek justice for all of humanity, as black people did not even have the right to attend universities. When the ANC was outlawed Nelson would be forced to have no contact with his family or friends as he carried out his mission underground to avoid an arrest. He would illegally leave South Africa in 1952 to get the support of foreign leaders, who would receive Nelson warmly and offered to assist him in his mission. In returning to South Africa Nelson was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. Nelson refused many offers where the government offered to release him from prison, if he agreed to not participate in any political action. Instead of giving into these offers and giving up on his mission, he decided to stay locked up in his prison cell all day and became a prison bound Martyr, writing, communicating and connecting with many people through the walls of his cell. Nelson eventually gained the respect of the South African President F.W. De Klerk who lifted the ban off the ANC, and as a result Nelson was released in 1990 after serving more than 25 years in prison. In his release Nelson would form a new multi-racial democracy with President De Klerk and would make history in by becoming the first elected black President of South Africa in 1994. It is because Nelson never gave up under any circumstance, and adapted to the changes he was forced to endure that he would forever change South Africa, and free her people from extreme discriminatory law that allowed one to be discriminated based on race.

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Genyfer Spark
Genyfer Spark

Clue Hut allows one to connect with others who they would otherwise never meet, yet who share the same dream. Clue Hut connects people who can offer different sets of skills, where together one can make each others dream a reality. It's Free to Join, visit

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