Answer by Shikhar Agarwal:

In 1883, a German immigrant named John Roeblig was inspired to build a spectacular bridge to connect New York with Long Island. As is the case with most of the greatest of ideas, experts in this area mocked him for dreaming about the impossible. But like most of the greatest visionaries, he was not the kind of the person who would be disheartened by the mortals of the time. He successfully convinced his son Washington about the idea and the duo started working on the plan.

Few months into the project, there was a tragic accident on site and John lost his life. Washington was left with paralyzing brain injury which resulted him not being able to walk or talk. The people again started whining, "We told so", "Stupid dream" and so on. They even recommended to stop the project since only the Roebligs knew how to build it.

But Washington knew that a dream is not that one sees while sleeping, it is the one that doesn't let one sleep. He still had a burning desire to complete the project. All he could move was his finger, and he made best use of it – he developed a code of communication with his wife. Under his guidance, his wife learnt mathematics, cable construction, material strength, etc. He used to tap his wife's arm to give instructions to her and the engineers.

For 13 years, he continued giving guidance through tapping his finger on his wife's arm. Today the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as one of the most famous icons in New York. With a daily traffic of more than 100,000, this was the first steel wire bridge constructed.

This is one of the most inspiring success stories that I have come across. It shows how persistence, hard-work, belief in your dreams and never-say-never attitude can overcome brain damage and disability to deliver somethings almost impossible. It also shows true devotion and love of his wife who decoded his signals for 13 years.

Everyone faces obstacles while pursuing their dreams. But whether you give it up or convert the stumbling block into a stepping stone depends whether you listen to someone else or to yourself – and this creates the whole difference between what it is and what it could be.

Image credit and further reading: Brooklyn Bridge

What are the most inspirational success stories ever around the world?

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