I want to share an inspiring story of hope that completely changed my mindset during all this Coronavirus madness. It’s the story of the most inspiring man I know. This story has shaped my life in so many ways. It’s a story of perseverance and survival even in the hardest of times.

I hope this story can help remind all of us that we have so much strength inside. We just have to look for it.

Travel Sunset

When the quarantine first started, I must admit that I was feeling sorry for myself. I went into a few days of self-loathing thinking about all the negative things that I could possibly come up with: the fact that travel came to a complete halt after years of hard work, the fact that I am quarantined in a place that is so far away from my real home and that I don’t know when I will be able to see my loved ones. The list is long and I’m sure all of you reading this have a long list as well.

I think it’s human nature to immediately go into this mood of feeling sorry for ourselves, without realizing that our mindset and positive outlook on life is really all in our hands. It’s really the worst thing we can do in a situation like this, but sometimes it’s easier to get sucked into the negativity instead of fighting it. I hope this inspiring story can help you find strength in hard times.

how I get paid to travel

Inspiring Story Of Hope To Give You Strength In Hard Times

Here’s what happened that completely transformed my outlook:

I got an email from a travel magazine that wanted to interview me for a feature on their site. They sent me a list of questions to answer. One of the questions was: who do you look up to? Is there someone in your life that has inspired you?

I immediately thought about my Grandpa. I remembered the story he used to tell me about his life over and over again when I was a kid.

As some of you may know, I’m originally Armenian and my grandpa is actually a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. When he was just a young kid, he had to flee with his family after seeing horrible things that no human being should see in their life. He arrived in Lebanon with only the clothes on his back leaving absolutely everything behind.

They came to a country that was so different from what they were used to at a time where there was no technology like today. They didn’t speak the language, they had no money and they had no idea how to survive.

They were so poor that they used to share a piece of bread every day for the whole family. No one complained about it. They lived with it because they had no other choice.

My Grandpa didn’t have enough money to go to school, but he was so determined to change his reality. He used to sneak into a nearby school secretly and try to borrow books from other students during break time.

He told me that he used to look for pencils that other students used to throw away. The pencils were so small that he would barely be able to write with them because he couldn’t afford to even have a pencil of his own.

One day, a teacher realized what he was doing and she told him that he can come to school whenever he wants. She gave him a chance to attend classes even though he couldn’t pay for them.

A few months later, he was the top student in the whole school. The teacher was so proud of him, that she wanted to bring him up on stage to congratulate him in front of the whole school. Instead of feeling happy, my grandpa started to cry. The teacher didn’t understand why. She was holding his hand ready to take him up on stage, but he wouldn’t stop crying.

He turned to his teacher and told her that he was ashamed to go on stage because his clothes and shoes were so old and worn out. The teacher insisted that he goes on stage anyway and everyone started to clap for him. That was the day he realized that he can do anything even if all the odds are against him. 

Getting Through Hard Times

My grandpa told me this inspiring story so many times when I was a kid. I don’t know anyone who has been through what he has been through and still came outstanding. He eventually taught himself engineering (yes he learned it on his own without going to college!), he worked for the biggest ship manufacturer in Lebanon, and then started his own business. At some point, he had 100 people reporting to him. He got married, had 5 beautiful kids, and lived until he was 101 years old. 

He lived a long and happy life because he decided to fight to change his reality, even though his reality was so much harder than most of the world.

I remembered this story and started crying. I realized that I come from a family of survivors and fighters. If someone like him can find that amount of internal strength, then none of us have any excuses to feel sorry for ourselves.

Inspiring Stories Of Hope

I always remember this story in hard times and it helps me believe in myself. It gave me courage when I quit my corporate job to start the journey of becoming an entrepreneur when everyone around me thought I was crazy. It gave me courage now during the coronavirus when all our lives suddenly came to a stop.

We are all fighters in some way. We all have this strength inside of us. Don’t spend your time being negative. Spend your time looking for that strength and using it to change your reality.  

If you are reading this story, you probably have a roof over your head. You are sitting on your comfortable couch under your blanket, with a smartphone in your hand and enough food to last you a month.

You are luckier than 80% of the world. Take a moment to think about that. Appreciate what you have. Appreciate the people that are still in your life. I know you hear this expression all the time, but do you ever take the time to think about it for a minute? Maybe the Coronavirus can push you to be grateful for things that you take for granted every single day.

If you lost your income because of Coronavirus, I feel with you. If you are far from your loved ones, I feel with you. But let this be the last day you feel sorry for yourself. Wake up tomorrow with a new attitude. A fighter’s attitude. Trust me it will give you the strength to conquer the world.

Inspiring story
Grandpa and me when I was 3 years old
Inspiring Story
Celebrating Grandpa’s 100th Birthday