Inspiring Comeback Stories

How To Handle Adversity

There was an article a few years back that asked the reader which person in a courtroom they identified with most, and the answer indicated a lot about the reader’s makeup.

Between the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant, witnesses, jurors, the court reporter, clerk, deputy, and gallery members, I chose the defendant—whom I surmised was innocent.

What this revealed was I often root for the underdog—and see myself that way, too. That’s why I love a good comeback. Someone who gets beat down or can beat the odds and bounce back is inspiring to me.

So I compiled some of my favorite underdog and comeback stories and created a mini book. The “Comeback” book is free for the asking ( and below are a few excerpts.

Credit Cards Kept Her Idea Alive

As a sales trainer for an office supply company, Blakely was required to wear panty hose—which she hated. So she set out to design what would become Spanx. She kept her day job while shopping her idea around—with no luck for four years—and worked at Danka (her employer) until Spanx sales reached $4 million, then she went out on her own.

Don’t quit your day job.

Was Found Passed Out in a Stranger’s Home

Downey’s addiction problems were legendary—even by Hollywood standards. In 2000, he spent a year in prison for drug possession after multiple arrests. After he cleaned up, he became one of the most respected and highest paid actors in Hollywood. “I don’t drink these days. I’m allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs,” Downey said.

It is possible to overcome addiction.

Lost Her Left Arm in a Shark Attack

While surfing her home break on Kauai, Bethany had her left arm ripped off by a Tiger Shark. Within weeks she was surfing again, then competing (and winning) with only one arm. “Soul Surfer,” a feature film and best selling book about her ability to bounce back have inspired millions. “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you,” Said Hamilton.

Don’t make excuses, make things happen.

Barely Able to Pay The Bills on His Teacher’s Salary

As a teenager, Morris was a top pitching prospect until his arm gave out. After several surgeries he hung up his cleats and became a teacher and baseball coach in a small town. His players encouraged him to attend a tryout where he dazzled the scouts with 97 mph fastballs and made it to the major leagues at age 35 as a left-handed reliever for the Rays.

It’s never too late to try.

Master Studio Tapes for New Album Were Stolen

Green Day’s 1994 debut album “Dookie” was an enormous success—one they couldn’t match with their next three releases. In 2003, they recorded a new album, but the master tapes were stolen from the studio. They started from scratch and the result was “American Idiot,” a Grammy-winning smash hit.

Bad things happen for a reason, often a good one.


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Inspiring Comeback Stories

Unmasking The Truth

Many of us still dress up for Halloween. (What, you don’t?) It’s the one time of the year we can be whatever we want to be. Too bad it wasn’t the other way around—where we are who and what we want to be every day except October 31st. A lucky few do get to live out their dreams every single day. The rest of us get a glimpse of what life could be like if everything was just the way we wanted it to be.
I’m a big fan of HGTV and the series of shows that do makeovers of homes. On one show in particular, The Property Brothers, the homeowners get glimpse of what life could be like showing them a home with everything on their wish list. The brothers then show the homeowners the plans and renderings of what their home will be like after a redesign and remodel. It’s powerful stuff (as is the before and after footage.)
What if we did the same thing with our lives? We could create a blueprint or brochure of what we want our career or business to be like. We could do a “before and after” of what we want to look like by taking a photo of our current self and then find one with what our ideal level of fitness and fashion would look like. We could create a mock up of a bank statement with our ideal amount of money in it. We could design a book cover of what our novel will be like when it’s completed. We could . . . you get the picture—and that’s what it’s about, being able to picture it.
This Halloween I am dressing up as Rocky Balboa. I love what Rocky stands for (and overcame to make it) as well as what the real Rocky went through–Sly Stallone persevered against all odds as a writer and actor. Since seeing is believing, I’m hoping the costume motivates me to not have to wear a fake set of ripped abs and bulging biceps next year when I wear the same outfit the next Halloween.
Unmasking The Truth