The word “Impossible” or Get off your butt! Whats your excuse?

Here is another big issue that has been on my mind a lot.

Why do some people let circumstances in life beat them down, while others rise above their circumstances and create a life they always dreamed of for themselves?

Whats holding back one person but not the other one? Both grown up under same circumstances? Why do some people just passively accept their “fate” without trying to do everything they can to overcome their hardships?  I don’t have these answer’s and am still looking for the answers myself, the one thing I know for sure, we ALL have the same potential to overcome adversity! Often times life gets us down. I have been there as well. A client loss, an argument with a person close to you, a health setback or any other of the numerous things one encounters at some point in time or another in daily life. It’s easy to allow these things to get us down, or to allow these things to create an excuse for why we are not realizing our fullest potential or not pursuing our dreams.

Like I said, I have been there. Whenever I am there however, I try to remind myself of people who inspire me, people who against far larger odds pursued their dreams and succeeded. Here are a few of them:

Overcoming Adversity
A really good friend of mine that I have known for almost a decade is another amazing example of overcoming incredible odds and adversity and spitting “bad luck” in the face! As if it wasn’t enough to lose a company that you spent 15 years building and going in the process from a high net-worth to practically NOTHING,his wife was diagnosed at the same time with stage-4 cancer… yes the “incurable” kind. With 2 kids to take care of.

How does one process this? How does one continue on with optimism and positivity? Events like these are enough to break anyones spirit and optimism. I mean come on! The normal acceptable way out would be to hang up your entrepreneur hat (this was the first ever company my friend had built) — and get a high paying gig with some other company (and he did get plenty of offers) — yet instead of that — he started his next business! To get himself and his family back to financial prosperity that he had set himself as a goal for himself and his family! Between driving his wife to chemotherapy, taking care of his kids and dealing with his own emotional turmoil — he is working on his next company as positive as ever! Whats the point you would say? Well, in the process of being positive and supporting his wife with positivity and optimism — everyone is feeling a lot better emotionally… not that there are not a lot of down periods… but everyone is recovering a lot quicker then doctors expected. Done deal!

Point yet again being that we cannot control what happens externally…THE ONLY THING we CAN control is how we react to it and deal with it. And that, most of the time, makes ALL the difference in the world!

Sean Stephenson:
Wow, what can I say. Calling him by his nickname of “The 3 Foot GIANT” seems like a GIGANTIC understatement. This is an incredibly inspiring individual that even with all that life had dished him out — is living his dream. Traveling the world with his beautiful fiancé, following his dream of ridding the world of insecurity and bringing smiles to faces wherever he goes. And that after having started out with “brittle bone disease” breaking most of his bones in his body, his parents being told that he might die soon, and being wheelchair bound for the rest of his life!

Italo Romano – Legless Skateboarder
OK so now there may be quite a few people who lose their legs, but how many of them not only compete but also win in skateboarding competitions!??? Again, skateboarding — no legs… skateboarding — no legs… how does that even compute? Well, check out Italo Romano from Brazil, who lost his legs as a teenager — and went on to the skateboarding semifinals in Tampa in 2012 at the age of 23.

Strongest female Climber, Lynne Hill
Lynne Hill is known as the strongest female climber in the world. Aside from that in and of itself already being an amazing accomplishment for a women just over 5 feet tall in a sport that favors height, she also overcame an extreme fall and bounced back form it to return to climbing and continue competing and dominating this sport.
After falling 75 feet from the top of a cliff due to a knot that she forgot to tie, and barely surviving the fall due to falling into a single tree that was surrounded by sharp rocks — waking up in a hospital with a swollen black and blue face and a busted elbow that may never heal enough to climb professionally again — she committed to not just heal and not let this hold her back — but she got back into competitive rock climbing and continued to dominate the sport for another decade. Pretty incredible in my book, climbing is already a pretty tough sport physically and mentally… and any kind of fall, especially a 75 foot one like that — would stop most people in their tracks to never return.  Not Lynne!

Armless Surfer – Bethany Hamilton
Or what about Bethany Hamilton who at age 13 had a shark bite off her left arm just below the shoulder while surfing, returned to the water less than one month later to teach herself how to swim and surf with one arm and went on to take 1st place in National Championships and 2nd place in World Qualifying Series against some of the worlds best women surfers!

Starting from Poverty
How about Oprah Winfrey? What were her beginnings? Golden spoon in her mouth, big trust fund, lots of lucky breaks and wonderful childhood to set her on her path to success? Hell no! In a business world dominated for a long time by caucasian men, she built a gigantic company and became a household name in many parts of the world becoming in the process one of the most influential women in the world. All that after being born into poverty to a teenage single mother and experiencing a lot of hardships during her childhood.

In her own words:
“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good. – Oprah Winfrey”

Maybe all of the above folks are just lucky to be born in this age of opportunity with TV, mass media and internet fueling their growth? I don’t think so!

Soichiro Honda
After being born in 1906 and helping his father in a bicycle repair business Soichiro left home at 15 without any kind of formal education to look for work in Tokyo where he worked as a char mechanic for 6 years after which he returned home to start his own car repair business at the age of 22. He proceeded to building a company that was producing and selling piston rings to Toyota, only to have the factory bombed during WWII. Instead of giving up he rose from the ashes and ended up building a billion dollar multinational company producing some of the best motorcycles in the world — outselling Harley Davidson’s and Triumphs in their respective local markets.

Numerous other examples abound.

I don’t know about you guys, but reading about folks like this leaves me deeply grateful, incredibly humbled, tremendously inspired and occasionally even teary eyed.

Again I can’t emphasize enough that we cannot control what happens externally….THE ONLY THING we CAN control is how we react to it and deal with it. And that most of the time makes ALL the difference in the world! So it really does not matter what problems you had as a child, what environment you grew up in, the hardships you have been through… or even what setbacks you are experienced right this second… all that matters is what you will do about it NOW. Unless you are in some war-torn country with no parents, food, running water with bullets flying around your head — you got no excuse. Period, end of story.

After having read this, get off your butt! If you haven’t already:) Now tell me, what’s your “excuse” that is holding you back from not living your dream? Share with me in the comments whats holding you back, lets bust through it!

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