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    8 Successful Creative People Who Overcame Immense Hardship

    It's hard to keep up with society, wondering if we'll ever find true success among unrelenting competition. This list of eight wildly successful people who overcame unfavorable odds is sure to inspire you to press on despite the obstacles in front of you now. For these people, it only took persistence and a little bit of luck.

    1. Salvador Dalí

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    "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."

    Born in Spain, Dalí came into this world in 1904, nine months after the death of his brother. His parents christened him "Salvador” after their deceased firstborn, believing their second child was Salvador the First's reincarnation. He credited the very lack of his own identity as the reason for his atypical approach to both creating and living in the 20th century. His paintings allowed him the luxury of fame and riches and an ever-inflating ego as he rose to the height of the surrealist movement, producing perhaps the most famous painting of the style, The Persistence of Memory.

    2. Ernest Hemingway


    "There is nothing noble about being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."

    Hemingway published 15 books in his life and six post-humorously. Prior to his successes, the Old Man and the Sea author survived World War I, malaria, pneumonia, and anthrax. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1952. Two years later, he'd claim the Nobel Prize in Literature. Later that year, however, Hemingway would experience two plane crashes on consecutive days while flying to a safari in Africa. Although these crashes didn't exactly contribute to his successes later in life, survival is a feat in itself. He lived another six years.

    3. Andy Warhol

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    "People sometimes say the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually, it's the way things happen to you in life that's unreal."

    Warhol, the leading figure in the pop art movement of the mid 20th century, was not always a popular guy. During middle school, he was an outcast at school due to Sydenham's chorea, a disease of the nervous system that caused involuntary movements of his extremities. Fearing the bullying of his classmates, he preferred instead to stay at home with his mother, who was his best friend. While bedridden, he created, drawing and painting to pass the time. Frequent hospital visits as a child left him with a paralyzing fear of doctors, and though he was a known hypochondriac throughout his life, he still managed to be a raving success.

    4. Jay-Z


    "Successful people have a bigger fear of failure than people who've never done anything because if you haven't been successful, then you don't know how it feels to lose it all."

    Shawn Carter, better known by his stage name Jay-Z, couldn’t get a record deal to save his life. After a year of selling CDs out of his car, he started his own label, which eventually turned into the insanely profitable Roc-A-Fella Records. Forbes has estimated his net worth at $520 million. He has sold more than 75 million records, and his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, is included in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time."



    "I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, 'Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.'"

    When Carey was 15, he dropped out of high school to become a janitor. His father lost his job and he took over fiscal responsibility for his family. Eventually, the Careys lost everything. Eviction forced them out of their home and into their van. Carey wanted to pursue comedy, but his initial bits bombed and he doubted his capabilities as a professional entertainer. After years of economic hardship, things turned around. The family moved into a new home and Carey polished his act. He has since received two Golden Globe Awards and an additional two nominations.

    6. Chuck Palahniuk


    "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever. The goal is to create something that will."

    The author of Fight Club lived a pretty average life before he hit it big, working as a diesel mechanic and writing technical manuals for extra cash. His first attempt at a novel, If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Already was rejected across the board by mainstream publishers, along with his second work which would become Invisible Monsters. His work, they said, was too dark, and no one was willing to take a chance on him. But Palahniuk threw caution to the wind and wrote a piece even darker which would eventually become the cult classic, claiming the title of Fox's top-selling DVD.

    7. Steve Jobs


    "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

    Jobs was fired from his own company in 1985, but he had experienced seeming defeat once before in his life. After attending Reed College in Portland for only six months, he dropped out, preferring instead a nontraditional path. Although he didn't know what he was going to do, and had no degree and no money, he stayed true to himself and listened to his gut. This article itself is a by-product of his contribution to modern technology. He had been known to say his failures led him directly to his success.

    8. Frank Lloyd Wright


    "The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes."

    The famous architect’s parents felt he lived too comfortably and wanted to toughen him up, so Mr. and Mrs. Wright shipped their young son to his uncle’s farm each summer to work. As an eleven year old in rural Wisconsin, he hated pretty much everything. He took over financial responsibility for his mother and sisters at the age of seventeen, after his parents divorced. Wright never went to architecture school, graduated college, or even received his high school diploma. When he was twenty, he moved to Chicago and was so poor he only ate bananas until he found work. He’d eventually design more than 1,000 buildings and build 532, along the way developing a style called organic architecture. In 1991, Wright was recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest architect of all time.”

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