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The 10 Most Inspiring Comebacks

By Rick McDaniel
Comebacks are possible; in fact, they happen all the time. Yet, if you have had a setback, a comeback may seem impossible to you. Life is full of setbacks, no matter who you are. Financial problems, health issues, divorce, loss of a loved one — these and many more visit all of us. The challenge is how you can overcome your setback. How do you take a setback and make a comeback?

A comeback will always begin with change. If you want a comeback you are going to have to change. Unless you change what you presently are doing or not doing, things are going to remain the same; there will be no comeback. You have to be willing to do things differently from what you’ve done up to this point. Change happens when you receive new information or gain new knowledge — this is a change of mind. Change happens when you get a new attitude, when you decide that your way of thinking is going to change — this is a change of heart. Change always happens when choose to be committed — this will change your future.

I met a man recently who lost his job after many years of working for the same company. Without a job he could not afford a place to live so he moved from Baltimore to Richmond to live with his sister. She drove long haul trucks and was gone for extended periods of time. While she was gone the police came to the house and told the man that the house was being foreclosed. He had a truck and put all his belonging in the truck and lived in the truck as well. One day the engine lit on fire and his truck and belongings were destroyed. His setback was so devastating to him that he gave up twelve years of sobriety and began drinking again. He ultimately ended up at a homeless shelter.

The staff began to help him so he could get a full time job. He started to attend AA meetings and work on his sobriety. He opened himself up to what God could do in his life. God specializes in second chances, in new beginnings, in comebacks. As his hope was being restored, his confidence was being regained and he was able to get recertified as an automobile mechanic. Today he has a good job, a nice place to live and is well on his way in his comeback.

Comeback stories are inspiring and cause us to believe there is hope for our comeback. There have been many great comebacks throughout history. But there are certain comebacks that simply stand apart from all others because of their greatness. My top 10 list begins with number 10


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Robert Downey Jr.

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    Robert had great success at an early age including an Academy Award nomination for the 1992 film, Chaplin. But between 1996-2001 he was arrested numerous times on drug-related charges. His setbacks led to probation, jail time and court ordered drug rehabilitation. After five years of setbacks he decided to have a comeback. He now has the led role in two widely successful movie franchises, Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. Today Downey is one of the most popular actors in Hollywood.


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  • 2 Josh Hamilton

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    Josh was the first overall pick in the 1999 Major League Baseball draft. Unfortunately adversity struck his young life and career in the form of numerous injuries. In his first three seasons he missed a total of 236 games due to injuries and self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. Major League Baseball suspended him indefinitely in 2004 for violating their drug policy. He was later reinstated and has been selected as an All-Star for three straight seasons and was named MVP of the American League in 2010. He has also led his team, the Texas Rangers, to two straight World Series appearance