Some students will have a drive from inside to learn new things and explore new ideas while some others look into successful persons around them and get self motivated to learn hard.
However, this is not the case for all students and many of them will need immense motivation and inspiration from teachers and parents to work hard.
Stories are always a favorite area for students that invoke their love and interest. This is one of the reasons why teachers use this as a tool to motivate them on many areas.
This includes many common folk stories with a good moral at the end, real life examples of successful persons and simple stories of normal people who have been part of their life journey.
Here we can have a look at a few motivational stories that help students to work hard and lay their foundation for a successful life.
1. The Elephant Rope: A man was walking nearby to a group of elephants that was halted by a small rope tied to their front leg. He was amazed by the fact that the huge elephants are not even making an attempt to break the rope and set themselves free. He saw an elephant trainer standing beside them and he expressed his puzzled state of mind. The trainer said “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
Moral: It is the false belief of the elephants that denied their freedom for life time. Likewise, many people are not trying to work towards success in their life just because they failed once before. So keep on trying and don’t get tied up with some false beliefs of failure.
2. Kentucky Fried Chicken: The real life story of Colonel Harland Sanders who was disappointed umpteen times in his life and still made his dream come true late in his life is really inspiring. He is a seventh grade dropped out who tried many ventures in life but tasted bitter every time. He started selling chicken at his age of 40 but his dream of a restaurant was turned down many times due to conflicts and wars. Later he attempted to franchise his restaurant. His recipe got rejected 1,009 times before the final approval. And soon the secret recipe, “Kentucky Fried Chicken” became a huge hit worldwide. KFC was expanded globally and the company was sold for 2 million dollars and his face is still celebrated in the logos.
Moral: Have you stopped your attempts to a venture just because you were rejected or failed a few times? Can you even accept a failure of 1009 times? This story inspires everyone to try hard and believe in yourself until you see success despite how many times you have failed.
3. Shark Bait: A marine biologist put a shark into a big tank at the time of a research experiment. Followed by that, he released some tiny bait fishes into it. As expected, the shark didn’t wait to attack those fishes and ate them. Later, a clear fibre glass was inserted into the tank which partitioned the tank into two and the shark remained in one side. A similar set of bait fish was sent to the other side of the tank like before. And the shark attempted to attack those fishes but failed by hitting on the fibre glass. The shark attempted for several days until it gave up. Later, the biologist removed the glass from the tank but the shark didn’t try to attack the small fishes. The shark always continues to see a false barrier in the tank and stopped his attempts.
Moral: It is quite common for many people to give up after many setbacks and failures. The story is an example for keep trying always and to never give up despite multiple failures.
4. Thinking Out of the Box: Once upon a time, a merchant named Sam owed a huge sum of money to Tom, a money lender. The time came when the merchant ran out of the last chance given to him to give the money back. Sam had a beautiful daughter who was very affectionate with her father. Tom asked the merchant to give all the money back failing which he will marry his beautiful daughter. Tom was not at all good looking and ill minded and so the merchant was in dilemma. Tom proposed a new condition. There was a mix of black and white pebbles on the ground where they were standing. He will take two pebbles on both hands, one will be white and the other will be black. If the daughter correctly chooses the white pebble, then Tom will write of all the debt and leave the marriage proposal too. But if she chooses the black pebble, he will write off the debt but will marry the daughter. Tom bent down to pick the pebbles from the ground and the daughter noticed that he took black pebbles on both hands. The girl had three choices- to notify the same to her father which may provoke Tom, take the black pebble and sacrifice her life or simply refuse to take the pebble which might land her father into trouble. But what she did totally surprised Tom. She took the pebble from his hand and ‘accidentally’ the pebble fell off from her hand to ground. She then asked Tom to see which colour pebble was left in his hand to identify the colour she picked. Tom had no other choice but to show the black colour pebble in his hand and set both of them free.
Moral: Sometimes, life offers you situations which not only demands hard work and perseverance but some creative thinking which saves the situation.
5. The Group of Frogs: Some frogs were travelling through woods and two of them accidently fell into a pit. The other frogs which were safe upside understood how deep the pit was and saw no hope for the frogs to escape out of it. Both of these frogs started trying to get out of the pit but failed many times. The frogs on the safe side shouted at them to give up the pain of trying as it was not possible. Eventually one frog heard the other frogs and decided to stop trying and fell down to death. However, the other frog went on trying and at last managed to reach the top. The other frogs asked him, “Did you not hear us?” He explained that he was deaf and thought other frogs were encouraging him to get out.
Moral: Some people around you may ask you to be on safer side always and stop trying and taking risks. However, there is no gain without pain. So try hard to achieve success in life despite what life offers you.
6. Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand: Once a professor entered the classroom with a glass jar, rocks, pebbles and sand. The students were amused to see what he was up to. First he started filling the rock parts into the jar until he couldn’t add anymore. He asked the students if the jar was full and everybody nodded yes. He then started putting the pebbles inside the jar which went inside through the small gaps and he shakes the jar to allow the pebbles to get into those vacant spaces in between the rocks. He asked the same question to the students and they again said that the jar was full. Finally he poured the sand inside the jar which went through the minute gaps and got filled in the jar. The professor explained that this is how you should set priorities in life. Rock is like your family, while pebbles are like your career while sand is like the least priorities in life and unnecessary quarrels and egos. If you put sand on the jar first, it will get easily filled up leaving no space for rocks and pebbles.
Moral: You should identify your priorities in life and develop a good strategy to work towards fulfilling it rather than wasting your time and effort on unnecessary aspects of life.
7. Struggles develop strength: One day a man was passing by a garden when he saw a butterfly cocoon which was about to get open. He saw a small opening on it and watched the several hours of struggles the butterfly came through to get the body out of it. After many hours, it seemed that the butterfly stopped trying as there was no progress. He thought to help the butterfly by cutting the cocoon with a scissor. So the butterfly came out easily but the wings were shrivelled and the body was tiny and withered. Unfortunately the butterfly was not able to take flight and spend the rest of life crawling with a wounded body.
Moral: This is nature’s way of telling the importance of struggles in life. Sometimes, different kinds of struggles are needed in life to make you stronger in future. Never feel disappointed in life and stop trying when life offers you struggles but keep on fighting until you see success.
8. Seeing opportunity in obstacles: Once there was a king who was curious but wealthy. He decided to test his fellow people to know who has a got a good attitude in life and who would spare some time for country’s progress. He placed a huge boulder right at the middle of the road and hid in a nearby place to see if anyone would make an attempt to move it off. He saw some wealthy merchants and courtiers passing by the road. None of them made any attempt to move it off but simply walked away while some others blamed king for not maintaining roads. Later, a peasant came the way with a load of vegetables and saw the boulder. He kept his load down and tried to move the boulder away. After strenuous effort, he succeeded in moving it away. He saw a purse lying in the place of the boulder. It contained many gold coins and a note from the king which read ‘this is the reward for the person who moves the boulder away’.
Moral: It is quite common for people to run away from problems and obstacles. But the story clearly shows the importance of seeing an opportunity in every obstacle which might improve our condition. Invest some time to remove obstacles on your way and experience many unseen presents.
9. Shake off problems: A man and his donkey were on the way to grazing while the donkey fell into a huge pit. The man was shaken and tried hard to pull off his favourite donkey up to the ground. Despite his strenuous attempts, he failed to bring the donkey back. But he can’t leave the donkey to starve and die with pain for days. So he decided to bury him alive and make his death smoother. So he started pouring soil over the donkey in the pit. When he poured the soil, the donkey felt the load and shakes it off and he steps on it. He does the same every time when the soil was poured on his body. In the end, he reached the ground level and easily walked away to graze in the green pastures.
Moral: Don’t choose to live with your problem. Just shake off your problems and stand on it and step up in life after learning from them. Every bad experience is a new learning. So get the positives out of it and work towards your goals.
10. Let go of your stresses: A psychology professor entered the classroom with half a glass of water in his hand. The students expected the old common question “was it half empty or half full?” But to the surprise he asked them “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers given by the students ranged from 7 oz. To 25 oz. But the professor replied that the actual weight of the glass with water doesn’t always matter but how long you hold the glass is what matters. If you hold the glass for a minute, you won’t feel much weight. But if you hold for 10 minutes, you will feel a little more weight and it gets heavier for you with hours. If you hold it for the entire day, then your hands would go numb and paining. Similar is the case when you carry stress with you. If you think about it for a while and leave it, then there is no problem but if you think about it for hours, it starts becoming a problem and it becomes worse if you sleep with it.
Moral: You should learn to let go of your stresses and never sleep with it. If you can do something about it, just do it. In the other case, just leave it and work towards your goals or else it just kills your productivity.
11. Value yourself: A speaker started off his seminar by showing a $20 to the public. He asked the people “who wants this?” There was no surprise to see that all of them lifted their hands. He offered to give the money to one of them but insisted that he will do something to it. He crumpled the paper money and showed it again to the crowd and repeated the question. Still, everyone raised the hands. He then put the money into the ground and stepped on it and then raised it again and offered it to the public. The people gathered there still showed interest to take that money despite seeing how dirty the note was. He told the public” No matter what I did to this money, you all still wanted this. You all went in favour of my offer just because the value of the money never decreased despite what all I did to it. Similarly, value yourself despite the painful conditions or failures”
Moral: Believe in yourself and work hard to achieve success. Value yourself irrespective of the failures or obstacles and don’t degrade yourself just because of the temporary setbacks.
12. Sharpen your ‘axe’: There was a newly joined wood cutter and the king was really impressed by his dedication towards his work. Out of encouragement, he started giving his best in work and cut 18 trees in the first month and the king was glad. The next month he put in the same effort but could cut only 15 trees. And the third month, he still tried his best but could cut only 12 trees. The king visited him the third month and talked about his decrease in productivity. He explained that he might have lost his strength or got too old to do the work. The king asked him “when was the last time you sharpened your axe?” To the surprise, he has not even done it once in the last three months. That was the only reason why he couldn’t cut more trees.
Moral: It is good that you put in a lot of effort and hard work to work towards your goals. But you should balance your life priorities and invest time with your family and save some time to relax yourself which would boost up your productivity.
These are just a few among the many motivational stories that guide students to work hard on many aspects of life and grow successful. Such inspirational stories can help students to keep moral values in life despite whatever life offers them.
Also Read : 20 Amazing Books on Creativity and Innovation
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