Inspiration from History
A Collection of write-ups that bring the lessons from the legends who walked the earth & events that shaped history.

February 9: 5 POWER Lessons From 5 Leaders Who Made History On This DAY!

These thoroughly inspiring lessons from 5 of the most inspiring leaders born today, are sure to transform your perceptions about life, into a more positive one.

1. “It certainly takes years to climb up the ladder. Your commitment and patience, on each day of these years decides your destiny.”

Ronald Colman
Many people quit at a time when they almost reach their goals. A bit more patience and a little more commitment is all that would be needed. These attitudes are believed to be 2 of the most important qualities to succeed in life, rather, continue to grow in life. Such were the attitudes of this British actor of the 20th century, whose commitment and patience paid off years after his continuous efforts. Ronald Colman, popular during the 1930s and 1940s, bagged several awards during the course of his career.

 He was educated at a boarding-school, but had to leave abruptly at the age of 16 due to financial reasons when his father died of pneumonia. He started working as a clerk in the British Steamship Company and later joined the London Scottish regiment as a territorial soldier in 1909. He was severely wounded, fighting at the Battle of Messines.  Duly decorated, he was invalided out of the army.  Feeling at a bit of a loss, Colman began his acting career, which had fascinated him since amateur dramatics in childhood. He made his debut at the London Coliseum in 1916. He had to continue to play supporting roles for nearly 7 odd years until he got his first break in the movie ‘The White Sister.’ The film launched Colman’s screen career in Hollywood and defined his image as a gracious, self-sacrificing hero. He became a star of the silent cinema.

Colman has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures and television making him one of fewer than a hundred male actors in Hollywood history to receive both an Academy Award and induction into the Walk of Fame.

2. “Staying strong even when you aren’t sure of coming out alive of what you’re getting into, is real courage. Courage is what helps you unfold the unknown.”

Today, everyone wants to do the impossible and invent the unknown. The reason that, not everyone is able to do it is because of the fear hidden within themselves. The fear of failure or probably, the fear of society or the fear of the pain due to negative results, stops them from moving. Those that do not worry about the results, but wish to explore everything possible, become discoverers. Such was the stories of hundreds of thousands of discoveries in history. Those who pushed away the fear and moved forward at work, truly moved ahead in life too. Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith can undoubtedly be thought of, when thought about courage. Smith was renowned as Australia’s boldest pilot, pioneering routes that include the first trans-Australian, trans-Tasman and trans-Pacific flights.

In 1897, he was enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF. In his first month as a pilot, he brought down four enemy planes, before being brought down and wounded himself. Awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, he then became a flying instructor. After the war, Smith piloted joy flights and joined an aerial stunt team before setting up an aerial transport service in Australia. They completed a record-breaking around-Australia circuit in 10 days, 5 hours, with minimal navigational aids. After many such records, he was knighted for services to aviation in 1932, but didn’t stop pushing the boundaries, making the first west–east trans-Pacific flight in 1934. As well as completing other record flights, he helped usher commercial aviation into Australia.

3. “There will be challenges, failures, criticism, rejections, oppositions and ignorance. What you do at such times, matters.”

Norman Shumway
They say ‘It’s about the journey, not the destination.’ Your end results are also important. As ironic as it sounds, remember that, if you are able to face every obstacle that comes your way, you are sure to achieve the end results. To be able to push through hard times isn’t easy but isn’t impossible either. Such was the journey taken by the man who performed the first successful human heart transplant.

Surgeon Norman Shumway obtained an M.D. degree from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. degree in surgery from the University of Minnesota. In 1958, he joined the faculty of the Stanford University School of Medicine. As a member of Stanford’s cardiovascular research surgery program, Shumway began conducting heart transplants on dogs. About one month after South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human heart transplant, Shumway performed the operation on a 54-year-old man whose heart had been damaged by a virus infection. The surgery was a success, although the patient died 14 days later. There was a very low long-term survival rates - most patients died soon after surgery because of organ rejection or infection, and this led many doctors to abandon the procedure by the early 1970s.

Shumway, however, continued to improve the operation and advanced a drug that prevented organ rejection. Largely through his efforts, heart transplantation became a viable operation in the 1980s. In 1981, he performed the first successful heart-lung transplant. Later, he also performed the first combined heart-lung transplant, having established that it was impossible to transplant the lungs without also transplanting the heart. It was his decision to continue, when everyone decided to stop, that led him to be called as the father of heart transplantation.

4. “Never form conclusions on your future based on what you are today. Dream BIG, decide what you wish to see yourself and Act NOW!”

Ernest Tubb
It’s in fact true that many conclude about their future just because of the lack of resources or the comments of others. Nothing can truly decide your future, except your actions. We have heard a lot of stories of those who grew from nothing to becoming superstars and yet, there is lack of confidence within, which results in lack of good results. This journey of Ernest Tubb is sure to assist you to be more hopeful.

Tubb was born on a cotton farm and spent his youth working on farms throughout the state. He was inspired by Jimmie Rodgers and spent his spare time learning to sing, yodel, and play the guitar. At age 19, he took a job as a singer on San Antonio radio station KONO-AM. He later clerked at a drug store. In 1939, he was hired to do a 15-minute afternoon live show for a radio station. He drove a beer delivery truck in order to support himself during this time, and during World War II, he wrote and recorded a song titled "Beautiful San Angelo". After this, his career took off. The incomparable Ernest Tubb became a legend as much for the half-century career that stretched from his first radio date in 1932 to his death in 1984.

Tubb and his Texas Troubadours played around 300 dates a year, for more than 30 years. They were one of the first touring country bands to add electric guitar. Ernest Tubb’s ‘Walking The Floor Over You,’ a self-penned composition, was a million-seller and is regarded as the first major honky-tonk hit. It started a whole new country music sub-genre and laid the foundation for later honky-tonkers. Though other singers with better voices and more raw musical talent have created a journey themselves, none has inspired greater love from fans for over 6 decades

5. “Energy and passion has the power to transform anything in the world!”

C. P. Krishnan Nair
A person’s utmost potential is disclosed when he/she is able to work with utmost energy and passion. The Journey of C. P. Krishnan Nair, Founder of Leela Hotel Group, serves as the best example of this lesson.

A perfectionist to the core and an ace hotelier with finest taste, Captain Nair was born to a family of modest means but was able to complete his studies because an impromptu poem he composed in school in honour of the ruler of Chirakkal so impressed the king that he gave him a lifetime scholarship. He received his early education at a small elementary school in his native village and soon joined the Freedom Movement at the young age of 14. In 1942, Nair was commissioned in the army as a wireless officer at Abbottabad.

Educated in Chennai, Captain Nair after independence volunteered for the Indian Army and rose to the rank of Captain in the Maratha Light Infantry before quitting in 1951 to join his father-in-law’s handloom textile business. He was instrumental in the formation of the All India Handloom Board for modernisation and promotion of handloom textiles. He was instrumental in inventing the “Bleeding Madras” fabric which helped place Indian fabrics on the global map. Captain Nair, at a prime age of 65 when people normally retire, ventured into the hospitality sector, and in 1986, set up The Leela Hotel at Andheri, Mumbai’s first five-star hotel in the suburbs. From a single property, he expanded the chain and currently, The Leela currently has eight luxury properties four other projects are under way . He had also ventured into business parks. Nair was known for his determination and ability to micromanage — he was known to scan every line of ledger sheet and scrutinise every publicity document. Even in his last days, his indomitable spirit and enthusiasm saw him working on elaborate plans for the future. (Sources:,,,

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 9th February 2017.
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