What Inspires You to Overcome Challenges?

What Inspires You to Overcome Challenges?

What Inspires You to Overcome Challenges?

Exploring the intricate relationship between inspiration and resilience, we gathered insights from entrepreneurs and leaders, including Co-Founders and CEOs. From viewing freedom as a resilience catalyst to discovering how the joy of teaching dance can inspire lifelong passion, we present the diverse perspectives of ten professionals on what drives them to confront and surmount life’s hurdles.

  • Freedom as the Resilience Catalyst
  • Faith and Self-Reflection Drive Strength
  • Growth and Desire Shape Resilience
  • Discipline Reignites Motivation
  • Passion and Purpose Fuel Overcoming Obstacles
  • Obstacles as Stepping Stones for Growth
  • Community and Mutual Passion Inspire Ambition
  • Raw Need for Success Overcomes Challenges
  • Hardship Transforms into Empowerment
  • Joy of Teaching Dance Inspires Lifelong Passion

Freedom as the Resilience Catalyst

Whenever I encounter obstacles, I remind myself what I am truly seeking through my hard work: freedom. This inspires most of my resilience, as it plays an active role in my day-to-day decisions and leads me to make the best decisions for my finances, mental and physical health, and so much more.

There is a Jocko Willink quote I return to often, which is “Discipline equals freedom.” This is an extremely powerful way to view freedom. It’s not being free to do whatever you want, whenever you want, but making the choices daily that give you the freedom that you’re truly seeking—financial freedom, freedom of movement and mobility, freedom from toxic relationships and poor mental health, etc.

Kristine ThorndykeKristine Thorndyke
Co-Founder, TEFL Hero

Faith and Self-Reflection Drive Strength

To be resilient, one must have a firm foundation. My faith has been at the forefront, but I also lean into past failures and successes. Take stock of who you are and what makes you different—not better than any other person. We all have suffered substantial loss, and what we decide to do in these defining moments will determine two things: whether we get back up or stay flat on our backs.

We should never cast away our confidence. Repeat that. We also should not step on others to move ahead. We should lean on others, ask for help and look within. There is a conqueror, and a person destined to stay the course. Our minds are so fragile, but on the other hand, they help provide us with the tipping point to change direction.

During my most low and not-so-great moments, I developed staying power. Like the Bee Gees sang: “Staying Alive.” What is your song when you need just an ounce more of courage, or when you can’t go a step further? Tap into that and use it also for when the moments are solid. Being resilient is a choice—today I will overcome it.

I will not let this get the best of me. I am wise enough and worthy enough to weather this storm. Once you do this and face the giant or eat the elephant, you will be more grounded to face many other moments. To be honest, you are coming out of a storm or getting your raincoat prepared for the next one.

Tanya Turner, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHRTanya Turner, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHR
HR Director, SALTO Systems, Inc

Growth and Desire Shape Resilience

I tackle challenges because I want to get better at what I do. Inspiration is like my cheerleader during tough times. It could come from personal goals, people I look up to, or past wins. Feeling inspired gives me a reason to keep going and not give up.

It turns problems into chances to learn and improve. Staying inspired shapes how I think, making me more adaptable and determined. I believe that facing problems helps me succeed in the end, and that keeps me going, making resilience a big part of how I deal with tough situations.

Perry ZhengPerry Zheng
Founder and CEO, Pallas

Discipline Reignites Motivation

The best way to overcome obstacles is by reinforcing your inspiration and motivation to push forward. This can only be done by being an adaptable yet disciplined person. As an entrepreneur, I face constant difficulties that hamper my ability to work.

At times, you can feel despondent about the efforts you are putting in because you are barely seeing results at first. But this is where discipline comes in. When you become more strict and less lazy, when you follow a routine and have an order to how you go about your day, that is when results will come to fruition.

When you finally see results, it will reignite your earlier motivation and drive to keep pushing forward to follow your goals. Discipline is part of being resilient; it is about getting up and going when you face a bump in the road.

Ashwin RameshAshwin Ramesh
CEO, Synup

Passion and Purpose Fuel Overcoming Obstacles

As an entrepreneur, I have faced numerous obstacles and challenges in the process of building my company. I’ve faced financial difficulties, naysayers who doubted my vision, and the constant pressure to succeed. However, my passion for helping students and my determination to make a difference in their lives have consistently driven me to overcome these obstacles.

Being a National Merit Scholar and having won numerous other national accolades, I have always been driven by a strong sense of purpose and self-motivation. This passion has allowed me to push through difficulties and setbacks, even when it seemed impossible.

I was inspired to start AdmissionSight by my educational journey and the obstacles I faced in college admissions. It was a struggle to navigate the confusing and competitive landscape, but it also fueled my determination to make a positive impact on future students. For me, inspiration is a crucial factor in resilience. It motivates me to keep moving forward, even when faced with challenges.

Inspiration can come from various sources—a mentor, a role model, or even a personal experience. Being surrounded by inspiring individuals and stories has continuously pushed me to strive for excellence and overcome obstacles.

Eric EngEric Eng
Founder, CEO, and Private College Admissions Consultant, AdmissionSight

Obstacles as Stepping Stones for Growth

The spark that ignites my resilience is the thrill of overcoming challenges, and the satisfaction of growth. I view obstacles not as roadblocks, but as stepping-stones to greater heights. Each hurdle is an opportunity to learn, to improve, and to come out stronger on the other side.

One incident that captures this spirit happened during a trek in the Himalayas. A sudden snowstorm had us stranded halfway up the mountain. With dwindling supplies and morale, it was a grim situation. But instead of succumbing to despair, I took it as a challenge.

Marshaling our resources, devising a survival strategy, and keeping everyone’s spirits high, we weathered the storm. And when we finally reached the summit, the sense of achievement was unparalleled.

This experience taught me invaluable lessons about resilience and leadership, lessons I’ve carried into all aspects of my life. When faced with an obstacle, don’t just look at the problem; look beyond it. See it as a chance to grow, to innovate, to become a better version of yourself.

Swena KalraSwena Kalra
Chief Marketing Officer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.

Community and Mutual Passion Inspire Ambition

What drives me to face and overcome obstacles is a deep-seated passion for what I do and the belief in the value it brings to our community. The motivation to create a platform that serves doodle enthusiasts and promotes responsible pet ownership and welfare is a powerful catalyst. This passion is the fuel that keeps me going, even when faced with challenges. It’s about seeing each obstacle not as a setback, but as an opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate.

Inspiration plays a critical role in my resilience. It comes from various sources—the stories and feedback from our community, the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing and pet care, and the successes and failures of fellow entrepreneurs.

These sources of inspiration remind me that obstacles are a natural part of any worthwhile endeavor. They provide the perspective and energy needed to persist and adapt. This combination of internal passion and external inspiration is critical to maintaining the resilience necessary to navigate challenges and continue moving forward.

Garrett YamasakiGarrett Yamasaki
Founder and CEO, WeLoveDoodles

Raw Need for Success Overcomes Challenges

It sounds cliché, but when I started my marketing business, I had just been let go from my mechanical engineering job. The boats had been burnt for me.

 I went all in. I had a new wife and a brand-new kid counting on me; there was only one way forward, and that was through the obstacles. Not a lot of inspiration, but just a raw need to succeed.

Lewis VandervalkLewis Vandervalk
Owner, Blue Crocus Solutions

Transforming Hardship into Empowerment

Born to addict parents, I grew up facing relentless challenges: living with grandparents, my mom’s entry into witness protection, losing my biological parents, and daily life struggles. Initially, my drive to overcome obstacles was fueled by a determination not to emulate my parents. I focused on not becoming a statistic and achieving early success.

Over time, my motivation evolved. I believe the turmoil I endured has a purpose. This belief inspired me to start ResilientStories.com after a layoff, transforming my hardships into a platform for shared empowerment. It’s a space to remind others they’re not alone and that the worst situations we find ourselves in can be our biggest catalysts for growth.

My journey shows that inspiration is transformative. It turns pain into purpose and loneliness into solidarity, continually driving me to embrace and share resilience.

Danielle DahlDanielle Dahl
Co-Founder, Resilient Stories

Joy of Teaching Dance Inspires Lifelong Passion

Dance has always been my passion. From the first time I stepped onto the dance floor as a teenager, I was hooked by the energy, the movement, the connection. Now, over a decade later, I’m an instructor guiding newcomers into the world of social dances.

My path has been far from smooth, however. Breaking into professional dance is tough—no steady paycheck, constant physical strain, and more days of empty studios than full ones. The temptation to quit was strong, but inspiration overcame every obstacle.

Where does this inspiration stem from? The sheer joy that radiates from my students when they finally nail a complicated combo or footwork and want more. The friendships forged on the dance floor that lasts for years and the nervous first-timer who gains confidence with each lesson. Witnessing personal breakthroughs, confidence boosts, smiles, and laughter every day inspires me past any roadblock.

My students inspire my teaching, which then further inspires them, a positive feedback cycle generating sustainable momentum. Inspiration fuels the passion, patience, and optimism necessary to teach elaborate rhythms.

Connecting people through my love of dance also connects me to the diverse, vibrant social community that thrives in every salsa club. This web of friendships and memories, on and off the dance floor, is a deeply personal source of inspiration and resilience for me over the years.

Sure, the late nights, self-marketing grind, and physical exhaustion test my limits. But with inspiration flowing from the pure joy of dance and community, no obstacle stands a chance for long. My passion pushes me onwards and upwards.

Roman BosqueRoman Bosque
Founder, Dancelifemap.com

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