December 11, 2014

Believe It--you are Amazing and Capable!

My research for my next book has led me to about 70 astonishing stories of how all sorts of people conquer unbelievable odds to find success in their chosen fields. These people may overcome racial inequality, political and career challenges, a disadvantaged childhood, or medical trials.

My Own Victories

I have beaten many tests in my own life, so I know that triumph is possible. I have pushed beyond demeaning relationships. I have also dealt with an incredible amount of health challenges throughout my life. I know a few people who have more physical concerns than I do, but the majority of my acquaintances have no clue what it’s like to live with my limitations.

Achievements of Prominent Figures

Famous people do not find success through having easy lives. They triumph by turning their weaknesses into strength:
  • Sir Winston Churchill and King George VI of England worked so hard to overcome speech impediments that they became noted for their public speaking skills. Sir Winston Churchill is still noted as one of England’s finest orators. 
  • Albert Einstein’s genius mind could not be contained in the second traditional school that he attended. He clashed with authorities and didn’t appreciate rote learning. The developer of the Theory of Relativity refused to be buttonholed into a way of learning, or a career, for which he had no interest. 
  • Clara Barton (nurse during the American Civil War, founder of the American Red Cross) made medical care available to all people affected by war and natural calamities for the first time. She also began a long tradition of providing food, shelter, and clothing to victims. 
  • Florence Nightingale (groundbreaking nurse during the Crimean War) was an aristocrat who changed the world of medicine when she gave up her comfortable lifestyle. She fought for improved conditions and respect for all nurses and patients. 
  • Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee are cases of people who persevered against racial prejudice. Early in their careers, their thick Chinese accents were considered a drawback. They were more famous in their home country of Hong Kong than in the United States. When they did, finally, break into the American entertainment industry, they were confined to stereotypical action roles—at first. Eventually, Jackie Chan broke out into more mainstream roles.
How we can Fight the Odds

We need to cultivate persistence. As we persist even in dark times, we will add patience and humility to our arsenal of tools against a lack of motivation. Impatient, arrogant individuals do not easily move forward in life.

My Conclusion

We can reach for the stars in the manner of the prominent figures listed above. Stereotypes, minor physical limitations, gender bias, and a group that insists on following the status quo cannot be allowed to hold us down. 

Only we can hold ourselves down.

How are you holding yourself down?

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