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When life gives you lemons, it can pretty much suck out all of your energy. But taking some time to read motivational messages from friends—or even successful people—whom by themselves didn’t have a smooth ride either, make the weariness a little bit more easy to bear. Here are some driving words from people who didn’t give up on life.

  1. Stephen Hawking
    “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up—there’s a way out.”Known for his superior intellect and great scientific endeavors, Hawking also had a way with words. For him, his ALS was never a true black hole—albeit it was his personal one. He thought of his condition as an opportunity to motivate people that no matter how hard a situation can be, there’s always a way out.
  2. J.K. Rowling
    “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”The Harry Potter creator knows about failure just as much as her famous boy wizard do. Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the US and India) was rejected by publishers 12 times until Bloomsbury and Scholastic Corporation green-lit the manuscript and published the first of seven books in 1997 and 1998. Rowling’s real-life Potter-esque ups-and-downs will teach us to live life without fear of failure.
  3. Walt Disney
    “First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.”All it took was a single leap of faith for American cartoonist Walt Disney to change the world of entertainment. His empire grew from Mickey Mouse to integrated resorts, movie studios, and altogether a powerful media conglomerate. He dreamed about how his pet mouse can make animation be known not just in America but in the whole world—and that he did.
  4. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do…keep moving forward.”American civil rights’ most important figure Martin Luther King defied the odds and persevered to solidify equality between races in the United States. He never stopped fighting for his cause, even at the cost of his own life when he was assassinated in Tennessee in 1968. Even at the face of many adversities, he strived to move forward—believing that one day, the world will remember him with a grateful heart.
  5. Paulo Coelho
    “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”Enlightened by his many ‘ pilgrimages’ around the world, Coelho’s rebellious personality was suddenly overturned when he wrote his first book in Spain about a boy whose dreams are prophetic. Readers of Coelho’s books are often inspired, awakened, or rejuvenated after reading his works. He believes that everything around us is in synergy with our desires, as long as it is proper and selfless.

These people went through difficult times but outmaneuvered the obstacles. As long as you stay positive, having a healthy mindset, and equipped with the right motivation, you can make lemonades from the lemons life throws at you. Add sugar to taste, if you will.

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