Lessons in Positivity and Motivation from Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, Sara Blakely, J.K. Rowling, and Nelson Mandela

Aaron Bouren
4 min readMay 22


As someone who has trained many individuals on how to stay positive and motivated even in the toughest of times, I am thrilled to share some top tips and real-life examples with you today. Challenges are inevitable, but how you face them makes all the difference. By learning how to cultivate a positive mindset, practice gratitude, surround yourself with positivity, and find humor in any situation, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your goals.

1. Start with a positive mindset

The first step to maintaining a positive and motivated attitude is to start with a positive mindset. Focus on what you can control and let go of the things you cannot. When faced with a challenging situation, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” instead of “Why is this happening to me?”

2. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to maintain a positive mindset. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. This can be as simple as having a roof over your head or having food on your plate. By focusing on the good things in your life, you’ll be less likely to dwell on the negatives.

3. Surround yourself with positivity

Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people is essential to maintaining a positive mindset. Seek out those who lift you up and encourage you, and avoid those who bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself.

4. Find humor in the situation

Humor is a powerful tool for staying positive and motivated. When faced with a difficult situation, try to find the humor in it. This can help you maintain a sense of perspective and keep things in perspective. Plus, laughing is just plain good for you!

Real-life examples:

Now, let’s take a look at some new real-life examples of individuals who have stayed positive and motivated even in the face of adversity.

1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a world-famous actor, producer, and former professional wrestler. However, his journey to success was not an easy one. He struggled with depression and homelessness in his early years and was even cut from his football team. Despite facing numerous setbacks, he never lost his positive attitude or determination. Today, he is one of the most successful and inspirational figures in entertainment.

2. Serena Williams

Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but her path to success was not an easy one. She faced discrimination and racism throughout her career, but she never let that stop her. Despite facing numerous setbacks and injuries, she continued to train hard and eventually became one of the most successful athletes in history.

3. Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely is the founder of Spanx, a billion-dollar company that revolutionized the shapewear industry. However, her journey to success was filled with rejection and setbacks. She was turned down by numerous investors before finally finding one who believed in her vision. Today, Spanx is a household name, and Sara Blakely is an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere.

4. J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is the author of the wildly successful Harry Potter series. However, before her success, she was a struggling single mother on welfare. Despite the odds against her, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a writer. She persisted through numerous rejections and setbacks and eventually landed a publishing deal that would change her life forever.

5. Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who became the country’s first black president. However, his journey to success was filled with adversity. He spent 27 years in prison for his political activism, but he never lost his sense of purpose or his positive attitude. He used his time in prison to educate himself and plan for the future, and he emerged as a powerful leader and inspiration to millions.

Staying positive and motivated in the face of adversity is challenging, but it’s not impossible. By adopting a positive mindset, practicing gratitude, surrounding yourself with positivity, and finding humor in any situation, you can overcome even the toughest challenges. Just look at the examples above, they all faced obstacles, but they refused to give up on their dreams. And neither should you!

Originally published at https://aaronbouren.com on May 22, 2023.



Aaron Bouren

Aaron Bouren, CEO of Bouren Ventures, is an entrepreneur, public speaker, sales trainer, and marketing expert. Learn more at aaronbouren.com