True greatness comes from true grit

Posted: 15 March, 2012 in inspiration, Staying positive
Tags: , , , , ,

Nick VujicicOne of my favourite stories is about Melbourne man Nick Vujicic. Born with no arms and no legs this man’s life could have been so different if it weren’t for the fact that his strength and determination is limitless. His parents, whose reaction when Nick was born was shock and horror (Nick’s mother wouldn’t even hold Nick until he was 4 months old) ended up being his strongest advocates, sending him to a regular school and treating him like an average able-bodied kid. As a result, Nick plays all sports, surfs, writes and is more active than I will probably ever be in my life.

I love reading about people who have endured to turn some bad event into a true success story.
I read about a man once who had an avalanche of Job-like catastrophes in his life. But each time something happened he would wait before deciding if it was as bad as he thought. He found that the majority of the time, the bad events in his life ended up being the springboard he need to leap off to reach higher ground.

I look back on some times in my life and I still wonder how I got through them. But when I look at my life now I realise I would not be anywhere near as settled today if I hadn’t gone through all that. I was tested at the time but because of that I live in a great town, with friends I love and work that challenges and excites me.

I love speaking to or reading about people who have turned tragedy into triumph. It reminds me that true greatness often comes from nothing more than grit. I see it when families lose loved ones in horrible circumstances and they choose to start a support or awareness group to help others. Or the athlete who loses his legs in an accident and goes on to win gold at the Special Olympics. I am inspired by these people because of their strength and their ability to make their lives, and the lives of others, better – sometimes in the face of terrible odds.

Phrases like “silver lining” and “blessing in disguise” are often thrown into the conversation when talking about these inspiring people but I don’t agree with that. To me, these clichés take the glory away from the successful person and attribute their success to some kind of dumb luck. Many people who accomplish this greatness have done so because they were prepared for and expectant of better things and wouldn’t settle for anything less. The injured athlete establishes a training program soon after his accident and it’s this training, even when his circumstances seem dire, that gets him the gold. Nick Vujicic’s amazing life came from his parent’s encouragement to look around him and ask, “What can I do next?” not “Why can’t I do that?”

I admire these people because I know that without their inner strength, their mindset of “I can do this!” and their ability to see beyond the bad, they would not have the success they have today.

So, my lesson for today is: before deciding if some event or situation is bad, wait one week/month/year. It may turn out that I will look back on it as being the best thing to have happened, something that helped me get to a place of happiness and peace I would never have found otherwise.


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