Everyone gets a little down in the dumps sometimes. Rather than searching the internet for cat pictures or drowning your sorrows in junk, check out these motivational short stories. We have put together the best inspirational short stories, both real and fictional, to pull you from your slump, make you smile and inspire you.
Browse by Category: Click any of the links below to jump to each category.
- The Best 5 Motivational and Inspiring Short Stories About Life
- Inspirational Short Stories About Business and Work
- Motivational Weight Loss Stories
- Funny Inspirational Short Stories
When life has got you in a slump, turn to these inspirational short stories. Not only is reading them like getting an internet hug for the soul, but they just may spark an idea or a change in you for the better. Read on and get ready to smile.
1. Everyone Has a Story in Life
A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…
Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…
“Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”
The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…
“Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.”
Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.
2. Shake off Your Problems
A man’s favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice. He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries. He therefore decides to bury it alive.
Soil is poured onto the donkey from above. The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it. More soil is poured.
It shakes it off and steps up. The more the load was poured, the higher it rose. By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures.
After much shaking off (of problems) And stepping up (learning from them), One will graze in GREEN PASTURES.
3. The Elephant Rope
As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” 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.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.
4. Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?
5. A Dish of Ice Cream
“How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“50 cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
“35 cents,” she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.
Succeeding in business is no easy feat. It’s too easy to let business knock you down. Instead of throwing in the towel when there is a business problem, pick yourself back up, buckle down, and get to work. These motivational stories prove that with a little hard work, any amount of business success is possible.
1. Colonel Sanders | Kentucky Fried Chicken
Once, there was an older man, who was broke, living in a tiny house and owned a beat up car. He was living off of $99 social security checks. At 65 years of age, he decide things had to change. So he thought about what he had to offer. His friends raved about his chicken recipe. He decided that this was his best shot at making a change.
He left Kentucky and traveled to different states to try to sell his recipe. He told restaurant owners that he had a mouthwatering chicken recipe. He offered the recipe to them for free, just asking for a small percentage on the items sold. Sounds like a good deal, right?
Unfortunately, not to most of the restaurants. He heard NO over 1000 times. Even after all of those rejections, he didn’t give up. He believed his chicken recipe was something special. He got rejected 1009 times before he heard his first yes.
With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the way Americans eat chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, was born.
Remember, never give up and always believe in yourself in spite of rejection.
2. The Obstacle in our Path
There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.
The first people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.
Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort but he finally succeeded.
The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he say a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed full of gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said the purse’s gold was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.
The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.
200 hands went up.
He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up.
He then asked, “Who still wants it?”
All 200 hands were still raised.
“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.
He picked it up, and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.
“Now who still wants it?”
All the hands still went up.
“My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!
4. A Very Special Bank Account
Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day!
We all have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back.
There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.
Losing weight feels like a constant uphill battle. Shedding stubborn pounds and getting healthy can be a lot of hard work. During a plateau or at the beginning of the a weight loss journey, it’s easy to be discouraged. Find ways to motivate yourself, like reading these inspirational weight loss stories. Know if they can do it, so can you!
Extreme Makeover features a celebrity trainer helping very overweight individuals reach their weight loss goals. Sometimes, their attitudes aren’t great, but other times, the people on the show are truly amazing, like Sara. Sara is a little person, standing at only 4’5″. She was a nutrition speaker on local television shows at the start of her journey, but ashamed of herself. Not only had she spent her life dealing with her short stature, but she had suffered greatly at the hands of her sister. She turned to eating and by the time she was 37 years old, weighed over 200 pounds.
When she began her time on Extreme Makeover, her first challenge was to climb the stairs of an amphitheater holding an 80 pound weight. The stairs came up past her knees. But she didn’t complain once. She kept going. Slowly, all the people in the theater started to watch her. By the time she reached the last step, the crowd cheered for her.
Her trainer gave her the goal to run a half marathon 6 months after starting her diet and exercise program. Sara said no. She wouldn’t run the half. Instead she would run a full marathon. Her trainer advised against it because it would be extra hard on her body. She’d have to take many extra strides due to her short stature. Sara didn’t care. She ran the whole marathon.
She succeeded in loosing more than half her body weight and becoming a runner, like she had always dreamed.
2. Winning the Battle
Adrienne Brown shared her weight loss journey with Good Housekeeping. Adrienne loved to eat and was a bit food obsessed. As an adult, she owned two refrigerators stocked with food. She was already overweight at 180 pounds when her weight shot up as she battled breast cancer.
Adrienne got serious about her health during her battle with cancer. Inspired by Jennifer Garner in Alias and determined to be healthier, Adrienne lost 90 pounds in a year by eliminating processed foods and exercising. She made it manageable by breaking her goal into 10 pound increments and keeping a positive attitude.
3. The Weight Was Wrong
Drew Carey has spent much of his career in the spotlight. Fans of the comedic actor remember him as the overweight star of the Drew Carey Show. He shocked his following by appearing on his new job as the host of the The Price is Right, a full 80 pounds lighter. There was no magic trick to his weight loss. Carey lost weight the old fashioned way, by counting calories and logging 45 minute cardio sessions on the treadmill.
Remember, you don’t have to try the newest fad (The 3 Day Military Diet). Find what works for you and just stick with it. Little by little you will reach your goals.
These funny motivational stories will give your attitude a little nudge in the right direction. They are also guaranteed to put a smile on your face and may even make you chuckle.
1. The Dean Schooled Them
One night four college kids stayed out late, partying and having a good time. They paid no mind to the test they had scheduled for the next day and didn’t study. In the morning, they hatched a plan to get out of taking their test. They covered themselves with grease and dirt and went to the Dean’s office. Once there, they said they had been to a wedding the previous night and on the way back they got a flat tire and had to push the car back to campus.
The Dean listened to their tale of woe and thought. He offered them a retest three days later. They thanked him and accepted his offer.hat time.
When the test day arrived, they went to the Dean. The Dean put them all in separate rooms for the test. They were fine with this since they had all studied hard. Then they saw the test. It had 2 questions.
1) Your Name __________ (1 Points)
2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Points)
Options – (a) Front Left (b) Front Right (c) Back Left (d) Back Right
The lesson: always be responsible and make wise decisions.
2. The Right Place
A mother and a baby camel were lying around under a tree.
Then the baby camel asked, “Why do camels have humps?”
The mother camel considered this and said, “We are desert animals so we have the humps to store water so we can survive with very little water.”
The baby camel thought for a moment then said, “Ok…why are our legs long and our feet rounded?”
The mama replied, “They are meant for walking in the desert.”
The baby paused. After a beat, the camel asked, “Why are our eyelashes long? Sometimes they get in my way.”
The mama responded, “Those long thick eyelashes protect your eyes from the desert sand when it blows in the wind.
The baby thought and thought. Then he said, “I see. So the hump is to store water when we are in the desert, the legs are for walking through the desert and these eye lashes protect my eyes from the desert then why in the Zoo?”
The Lesson: Skills and abilities are only useful if you are in the right place at the right time. Otherwise they go to waste.
3. On God’s Time
A man walked to the top of a hill to talk to God.
The man asked, “God, what’s a million years to you?” and God said, “A minute.”
Then the man asked, “Well, what’s a million dollars to you?” and God said, “A penny.”
Then the man asked, “God…..can I have a penny?” and God said, “Sure…..in a minute.”