It’s hard to imagine a time when Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t an A-List celebrity, but twenty years ago he was a frustrated, little-known actor who couldn’t seem to breakthrough. Despite his prodigious talents, as of his 41st birthday Jackson could claim nothing more notable than a few minor cameos. Intensely discouraged, he turned to cocaine and quickly developed a dependency on the drug. Within a year, he hit rock bottom. When his wife and eight-year old daughter discovered him passed out on the kitchen floor, there was no denying that he had lost control.

After finding Jackson unconscious, his wife LaTanya immediately checked him into a rehabilitation clinic. For the first time, Samuel L. Jackson was forced to face up to his anger and discouragement, and he began to make life changes. To his credit, Jackson submitted himself to the recovery process, and with the encouragement of his family, he was able to break his addiction. Less than twelve months later, he finally achieved stardom for his supporting role in Jungle Fever. From then on, his reputation grew steadily, and his career flourished. Today, he is regarded as one of Hollywood’s finest and hardest-working actors.

What can we learn from Samuel L. Jackson’s journey?

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