Sometimes life gets in our way towards our dreams. Shit happens. And then it hits the fans.
And we start craving for that extra dose of motivation which can make us keep going for another day before the natural cycle of commitment and positive takes back the control of our commitment.
15 Best Short Inspirational Stories
For dark moments, we have collected these 15 best short inspirational stories. Read alone or share it with friends. Just keep going!
You are destined to succeed.
1. Naysayers or Cheerleaders
One day some frogs came across a creek while traveling. Fortunately for them, the creek was not too wide. They jumped to cross it and all reached the other side except two of them who fell down.
What now?! The creek was too deep for any frog to climb back. And the worst part was a steep opening that could throw the frog in open grave if it managed to fall in it.
But the two frogs had to jump to climb back up and they did.
The frogs from above the ground warned them about the danger and asked them to stay there and accept their fate. There was no way they could manage getting out.
They kept shouting at the fallen frogs. But the two frogs kept struggling for the dear life.
It, however, didn’t take much time before one of the two accepted his fate and let himself fall into deeper ditch.
But the second frog didn’t give up. And soon its struggles paid off and it jumped out of the creek. All the frogs were very happy for this survival and welcomed it back to life.
But they did ask the fallen frog why it didn’t listen to their warnings. The survivor simply replied that it is deaf so could not comprehend their warnings and thought they were cheering it.
In the quest of pursuing your dreams, lend deaf ear to naysayers and believe in practicality of your dreams.
Also, check out our collection of 15 best Short moral stories
2. Poor Guest
Once a boy entered into an ice cream parlor and inquired about the price of an ice cream sundae. When the waitress told him it was 50 cents, the boy appeared crestfallen.
His facial expression told the waitress the complete story. She got agitated knowing that she cannot count on this poor guest for a generous tip.
He had to settle for a plain dish of ice cream because of the cost involved. The plain dish was of 30 cents.
Soon, to the utmost pleasure of the waitress, the boy finished his dessert and paid his bill.
The bill included 30 cents of ice cream and 20 cents of tip for the waitress. The waitress now knew that he wasn’t short of money to buy the sundae rather he wanted to save those extra cents to pay for her service.
Never judge a book by its cover.
3. Four Seasons
The next story among our collection of best short inspirational stories also relates to judgment.
A father had three sons. He wanted them to be open-minded and non-judgmental.
To do this, he sent each of his son see a pear tree in four different seasons.
Once all the visits were complete, the father inquired about the tree and its features.
The son who saw it in winter described it as an ugly creature with no leaves, flowers, or fruits.
Spring traveler son praised its floral beauty and bright colors.
The third son also had some good features to talk about. He spoke of tree’s graceful standing and green appearance.
The fourth son was best admirer. He had eaten the fruit of the tree.
Father pointed out how one single tree appeared differently at different stages of its life. He then explained that oftentimes what we see in a person or thing is not the inherent feature of that object but an acquired quality that appears because of its season.
We should not judge a person by looking at one phase of his life.
4. A Shepherd Traveler
Once upon a time, there lived a shepherd in Cairo.
One night, an old man visited him in his dream and told him about a treasure in a deserted house in a distant city.
When the shepherd woke up in the morning, he ignored the dream and went on with his everyday business.
But the old man visited him again in next two nights.
The boy became curious and decided to travel. His friends and family warned him against this decision. After all, the journey was long and made him to sell all his assets except his house.
Shepherd paid no heed to these people and started traveling.
Once in the new city, he had no trouble finding the deserted property the old man showed him in dreams.
Shepherd searched every corner of the house for the treasure. But he didn’t find any hidden treasure.
After many days of searching, he gave up and sat in the house weeping. A passerby heard him crying and asked his problem. The shepherd told him about his dream, journey, and disappointment.
Hearing this, passerby made fun of the shepherd and told him he was a fool to travel such a long distance only because of his dream. Then he told the shepherd that he also had similar dreams in the past about a hidden treasure in Cairo but he never paid attention to these visions.
Upon inquiry, the passerby told about the building where he saw the treasure in his dreams.
After knowing the location of treasure from passerby, the shepherd happily returned to his hometown. Why wouldn’t he? After all, the passerby pointed towards the same home as his.
Believe in your dreams.
5. Unfound Treasure
This story makes the second one in our collection of short inspirational stories which talks about persistence of efforts.
One day, a man started digging a mountain after getting a reliable clue of hidden treasure in the place. He worked hard for many days and believed in his good luck and right direction. But as days turned into weeks, he lost patience and started worrying whether his clue was reliable or not.
When his time investment crossed two-week marks, he lost all hope and gave up on his treasure not knowing that the treasure lied only a few meters away.
Don’t give up on your dreams.
6. Baby Elephant
An elephant was befriended an ant.
There came a time when both animals became pregnant at the same time. Both eagerly waited for their babies.
After a few weeks, ant gave birth to her baby. But there was no news from the elephant.
Some time passed. Ant again became pregnant and later gave birth. But elephant’s pregnancy didn’t conclude. Ant asked the elephant if she was really pregnant or if she was just confusing some discomfort with pregnancy.
Elephant told her to wait and see.
It said: When I shall have my kid, it will be so big earth will shake under its weight. My baby is taking all its needed time before coming to this world. So, when he will be born, he will be well-developed and a lot more independent than your baby.
Great things take time.
7. Egg, Potato, and Coffee
Once, a daughter complained to her father about the hardships in her life. Father, being a chef, asked her to come to the kitchen to discuss the issue.
Once there, father asked the daughter to boil eggs and potatoes and to make coffee.
When all the three things were cooked, he asked the daughter to touch the potato.
Father: How are potatoes?
Daughter: They are soft.
Father: Now, check the eggs.
Daughter: They are hard.
Father: What about coffee?
Daughter: It’s refreshing.
Father: ‘Did you see? Every of these objects faced same circumstances. One of them hardened, other softened; while coffee transformed water to create a refreshing blend.
In wake of hardships from life, it’s our nature which determines what becomes of our life.’
Life happens. Our attitude towards it is what truly matters.
8. Starfishes on the Beach
A tourist was a visiting a beach once. There were millions of starfishes stranded on the beach because of cruel waves of the ocean.
That was not unusual given the recent storm.
What was unusual was a little boy throwing these fishes back into the ocean. Tourist was amazed by his kindness but also wanted to tell him how his efforts are not creating a big impact.
So, he advised the boy to let these fish on the beach as his efforts were insignificant considering the huge number of fish in need of help.
The boy responded that he knew that his efforts will not save every fish on the beach. Yet, these efforts are creating a huge impact on the fish he has managed to throw back into the ocean.
Every effort bears result.
9. Hungry Lion
One day, a hungry lion was searching for his prey.
He didn’t have to search too long before he could find a hare for food. When he was about the rip poor rabbits head off, he spotted a deer running away from him.
The sight of a bigger prey distracted lion. He thought how would a small prey like a hare would help him with is hunger. He should go for the bigger prey. So, he let go of the hare and started chasing the deer.
But it was too late now and within seconds, deer vanished into dense bushes.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
10. Sharpen Your Axe
A king hired a woodcutter for some government related work. Elated, woodcutter worked hard to earn goodwill.
In the first month of his service, woodcutter reported to the king that he had cut thirty trees. King was amazed at this productivity level. He ordered to compensate the woodcutter according to the work he has done.
Woodcutter became even more motivated to work harder and gave longer hours to his work. However, at the end of second month, he could only report 25 trees.
The third month was even worse. Even after increased efforts from the woodcutter, he could only present 20 trees.
The king showed concerned and wanted the reason behind this lost efficiency. Woodcutter replied maybe he is getting older and cannot show as much strength as he used to show in the past.
But king knew the real reason. He asked the woodcutter when he recently sharpened his axe. Woodcutter hadn’t invested time on his tools once in the whole three months. And blunt tools were the reason behind his diminishing efficiency.
Invest in maintaining and growing your core capabilities.
Other than the story of traveling shepherd, this is second among short inspirational stories that detail the importance of trust in your dreams and goals.
One day a man fell down a steep mountain top but could save himself from falling to death by grabbing a root of a tree. The problem was clinging to this root was exhausting for his arms.
Unfortunately, the place was far from population so he couldn’t count on help from his people.
He asked God to send him some help. To his surprise, he heard someone responding to him. The voice said, ‘Let go of this root.’
But that man was no fool. He didn’t want to fall down the mountain to death. So, he kept clinging.
A few days later, rescue team found the dead body of that man a hanging by arms a few feet above a raised terrace.
Sometimes, we have to let go of our current comforts to embrace success and life waiting for us in future.
12. Zoo Camel
Sitting under a tree, a baby camel asked his mother why he had long eye-lashes.
Mother (after pondering for moment): We are desert animals. And we need these eyelashes so we can keep sand away from our eyes.
Baby: So why do we have a hump?
Mother: It’s to store water because deserts don’t have many water bodies. We drink water once (and eat food once) and store it for days to come.
Baby: What about our rounded feet?
Mother: We have long feet so we remain away from desert heat. They are round so we don’t sink in the sand.
Baby: So, all our body parts are made for desert life. Then what are we doing here in the zoo?
If you can’t see a use of your talents, you are probably investing your efforts in wrong activities and passions.
13. Cookie Thief
This is another one among the short inspirational stories that talks about judgment and perception.
One day an old lady was riding a bus and a younger passenger was sitting beside her.
When she felt hungry, she took out a packet of cookies to eat. She soon noticed that her fellow passenger has also started eating from her packet of cookies.
She was shocked, ‘How could someone be so shameless!’
But she didn’t resist.
Soon, they both finished the whole packet. After some time, when the fellow passenger had gotten off the bus, the lady opened her bag to take out her mobile.
But she got astonished when she saw her own packet of cookies, half empty, tucked inside. She now knew that the fellow passenger was not eating her cookies but it was the other way around.
Don’t judge people or their actions with limited knowledge.
14. Step on Your Problems
Every one of us receives different sets of problems in our lives. These problems come as our test to develop an attitude towards these problems. The story of fallen donkey is the second story about attitude in our collection of short inspirational stories.
One day, a poor farmer faced a misfortune. His favorite donkey fell into a deep rift. He tried very hard to pull his donkey up to the ground but failed.
He knew that he has now lost his beloved donkey. He wanted to make his death less painful and decided to bury it alive.
He started pouring soil on his donkey. The donkey felt the load of the soil over it and shook it off. When this soil piled on the ground, the donkey stepped on it and rose a little.
This action continued until the donkey reached near ground level and climbed up.
When life present you with hardships shake them off and stand on them to rise.
15. 86400 Seconds
What would you do if you have $86400 in your bank account and someone stole $10 out of it?
Would you throw away the remaining $86390 because of that smaller loss? Or you would be grateful for the remaining amount and use them wisely?
Every day, life presents us with 86400 precious seconds. Oftentimes, people steal some of these seconds because of their negativity or conflicts of interest. Wise people decide to treasure remaining seconds by effectively utilizing them. But naïve people throw away the remaining seconds thinking about their loss.
Every second is a treasure. We shouldn’t waste it in drowning in negativity.
Every moment is a treasure.
This article tells 15 short inspirational stories that will get you out of your comfort zone and set you moving. These stories are:
- Naysayers or cheerleaders
- Poor Guest
- Four seasons
- A Shepherd Traveler
- Unfound Treasure
- Baby Elephant
- Egg, Potato, and Coffee
- Starfish on the Beach
- Hungry Lion
- Sharpen Your Axe
- Zoo Camel
- Cookie Thief
- Step on Your Problems
- 86400 Seconds
I hope these short inspirational stories will help you understand your true potential and move in the right direction.