Friday, July 8, 2016

What Is Holding You Back From Achieving Your Potential?

The question is relatively straight forward and has been asked of people for generations.  Unfortunately, each of us do not always have the answer to achieve the success that we would like to or envision.  Why is this the case?  I believe the answer lies in looking within ourselves to work on "inner obstacles" that prevent us from moving toward the next level.  Why do I believe this to be the case?  I give you the example of a Paralympian Lex Gillette below as an example.

Identify The Obstacle!

Recently, I was in awe after watching a commercial of a ParaOlympian for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  Why?  These athletes are amazing to say the least.  Especially, since each have achieved an obstacle and moved forward to compete in the sport of their interest.

The example that I use is of Lex Gillette.  Here is the short (less and 1.5 minutes long) video of the advertisement titled "Raising An Olympian: Lex Gillette - U.S. Paralympian - P&G Thank You Mom" shown below:

Wow!  I cried the first time that I watched this commercial.  You might be thinking that I have over dramatized the video.  But each of us can learn from Lex's evolution.  Think about the video that is shown below in frames to illustrate my point of potential:

Here is a child who was bound to lose his eyesight as explained by his saddened mother.  Although, determined to support his interests, she pushes him to remain in a public high school and graduate as shown below:

During which, he showed an interest in the "long jump" and chooses to try out.  His mother describes with emotion the feeling of watching him go "off course" during his first jump and land on the "side of the pit" rather than in the sand.

I could only imagine the pain that is felt by a parent watching their child hit the side (of the sand box) and fail to achieve their goal.  Further, a majority of people would give up at this point in pursuing an interest (in the face of adversity).  Instead, Lex listened to great advice from his mother.  A powerful statement that had an immeasurable impact on his success:

"Lexis, it does not matter what anybody tells decide what you can do and no one else."

Wow!  What I do know is that the body is resilient and can adapt to a wide range of difficult situations if the mind chooses to train the body.  How do I know this?

I was born "club footed" and had to wear casts on my legs for the first couple of years of my life.  I can still remember the feeling of trying to walk as the casts were "straightening" out my legs over time.  I remarked on this to my mother a few years ago and her response was: "Mike, you can still remember that.  Amazing since you were so young."

She remembers having to watch me learn how to get up and go on my own -- despite her yearnings to help me.  Similarly, Lex Gillette needed to learn how to work with his blindness to achieve the "long jump" and to go onto compete in the Paralympics -- and win.

How has he done in competing over the years?

Here is a description of the competitions from his 'Wikipedia' page shown below:

He competed in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, where he won silver in the men's long jump F11 event. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, he won a silver medal in the men's long jump F11 event and finished fifth in the men's triple jump F11. He competed in 100m and 200m T11 events but did not advance to the finals. At the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, he won a third consecutive silver medal in the men's long jump F11 event. He also finished fourth in the triple jump event.
At the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, he won gold in the men's long jump F11 event and he also won silver in the triple jump event. Gillette is apart of the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships 4 × 100 m relay team that won a silver medal and set a new American record in the process. Gillette broke his own long jump world record for F11 classified athletes of 6.73m (22 ft. 1in.) with a leap of 6.77m (22 ft. 2in.) on April 23, 2015 at a high performance meet held at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center.[1][2]

This is a brief summary.  Below on the 'Wikipedia' page is a long list of his amazing accomplishments.  He is a true athlete and inspiration for anyone struggling to achieve their potential.  If you need motivation, do not look any further than him.

Ready To Explore Within Yourself?

This is just one of many stories meant to inspire anyone to find their potential within themselves.  There are a wide range of success stories all around us available to motivate a change toward achieving a goal.  Why don't we look for inspiration and action?

I guess that sitting on the 'pitty potty' ("poor me") is easier than the actual work toward achieving whatever goal the you desire.  The next time that you find yourself wondering why failure is knocking on your door, think of Lex Gillette.  Furthermore, get up and start working to achieve your desired goal.  Until next time, best of luck in your adventure!

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