Stories about other people's lives haven't always been among my favorite books. To be honest, I only discovered a taste for them while I was finishing up my study program at university a few years ago.
So why am I blogging about them now? Because there is so much to learn from the lives of real people and their success stories or even the mistakes they've made! They can almost be like friends that tell you a story and you can pick little things to learn from or end up highlighting the whole thing!
One of the biographies that have had a permanent impression on me was the biography novel about the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann by Heinrich Alexander Stoll. Born in 1822, Schliemann was one of five children of an empoverished preacher. Not having much - or any - financial resources to count on as a child, he went on to be an archeologist. I'm no expert in archeology, and I don't claim to be, but this man was the archeological excavator of Hissarlik - which presumably is the site of Troy. He was so fascinated by the works of Homer, which he had read as a child, that he formed a definite life goal and everything he did in his life was aiming towards this goal. He wanted to find and dig up the remains of Troy - and so he learned more than 10 languages and climbed up the career ladder as a business man so he would have the knowledge and funds to find and excavate 'his' Troy.
There is a lot of criticism regarding the authenticity of his claims and his methods, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend his work. Also, he wasn't a very good father to his children and he might have made some of his fortune by applying tricks, but I don't find his life impressive and notable because he was or was not a good person. In the biography written as a novel, the author Heinrich Alexander Stoll described and told Heinrich Schliemann's story of his childhood dream and life goal in such a fascinating way that it just stuck with me.
Although there are many notable biographies and success stories involving childhood dreams, I mention this book today because it is set in the 19th century; long before adults cared about children's dreams and aspirations, and the fact that this person went and did it anyway; beating all odds and proving a whole society of scholars wrong.
The way he pursued his dreams really resonated with me and has influenced me positively to go on and continue writing stories - at the very least I don't need to study that many languages just to get started with pursuing my dream.
Now that you know my thoughts, I'd love to hear yours! Let me know if there are any biographies that have inspired you in the comments below.