Most people who inspire us due to their courage did not start out wanting to be an inspiration to the world. They simply wanted to fix one thing wrong in their world or show people how to make changes themselves. For others, it was just being in the right place at the right time.

1. Helen Keller – The first deaf and blind person to get a Bachelor of Arts degree, she was made famous initially due to the story she wrote in her book about the journey to learning. She’s been an outspoken supporter of women’s suffrage, labor rights, and other social issues without fear.

9. Irena Sendler – After Poland was invaded by the Nazis, Irena knew she had to do something – even if it meant death. She and her group were responsible for saving about 2500 children who were gotten out and sent to Christian orphanages and given new identities. That’s not all; after being caught and having both her legs broken and being imprisoned and tortured, she worked on reuniting the families after the war.

3. Rosa Parks – She stayed in the front of the bus and refused to give up her seat to a white male passenger because it was wrong. Many people of color fighting discrimination like this died in the fight, but Rosa Parks did this through her fear in hopes that the good it would do would outweigh the problems.

4. California Female Inmates – Some female inmates have been trained as firefighters. They get paid two bucks an hour to fight fires in California. The program is completely voluntary, and due to the laws, there is no guarantee of getting hired when they get out of prison. They do it because they want to do something helpful and good with their lives while serving their time.

5. Indra Nooyi – She was the first female chief executive of PepsiCo and was able to boost revenues by 80 percent during her work with them. When she stepped down after 24 years, she posted on LinkedIn some amazing and courageous advice to others about prioritizing time with family and children.

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6. Christiane Amanpour – This woman has traveled the world as a CNN Chief International Consultant. She’s interviewed in war zones and seen a lot of controversies. She has an amazing and courageous ability to cut through the fear and look honestly and transparently at world situations that most would run from.

7. Yoani Sanchez – Imagine being a journalist but not being allowed to work as one. She reports her observations about Cuba, her home country online, via her blog Generacion Y – giving readers a view of the totalitarian regime and what it’s like to live there.

8. Mary McAleese – Elected the second President of Ireland, she dealt with issues such as social equality, social inclusion, and other issues that made her a favorite president and loved by all sides. She was so well loved that she ran unopposed the second term. However, she did often have to deal with some Irish Catholics who did not like her being in office. She and her husband were awarded the Tipperary Peace Prize in 2012.

While these examples are extraordinary indeed, anyone can be an example of courage too. Whether you are fighting cancer or fighting in a war or changing diapers, you have courage in you to do amazing things.