Every single one of you… has greatness inside you. Your job, living on this earth, is to find out what your gift is, dig it out and give it to the world. ~ Henry Winkler
I started writing this letter to one of my sisters. It’s been 15 years since we last connected. As I wrote I realized that my message was too important not to share with the world as I believe it is a message which will inspire others.
I finally opened Facebook and saw your last 2 messages. I appreciated your comments and love your writing. Your use of emotions, sentence structures and exciting vocabulary really engages me as a reader. So you have some spelling mistakes. Big deal. Many of the great leaders, artists, inventors and thinkers also had their own challenges which propelled them on to great accomplishments. (Famous dyslexics include Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz), Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Cher, Walt Disney, JFK, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill…)
Challenges Are Opportunities
I, too, have faced numerous challenges since my accident. I’m focusing on looking at each challenge as an opportunity… an open door with many possibilities. Many doors have opened and many opportunities have appeared in the past 2 years.
The first was in January 2009 when I set off on a voyage to Thailand on the advice of my doctor… it was an exciting adventure and an incredible healing journey.
My Turning Point
When I returned from that phase of my life I was totally confused, uncertain where I was going… no home, no hope, no purpose. Another door opened when I met Erikka at Peak Potentials MMI and she led me to the next open door, The Mastery. My main facilitator, Larry Gilman, was incredible.
This was my turning point as I embarked on a new journey, discovering, in the process, that I’m perfect just as I am…. We are all unique and perfect just as we are. Just BELIEVE.
Since then, I’ve continued to be a part of The Mastery community – volunteering with the Assistant’s Team, where we support and are supported by others who share the Mastery experience. Life is about CONNECTION! Through the Mastery I have come to realize and appreciate the importance of connecting, especially after losing contact with my students, my friends and my colleagues following my accident. The Mastery played a big role in bringing me back to reconnect with my family, most of whom I haven’t seen since Dad passed away on your birthday 15 years ago.
I continue to search for meaning, immersing myself in personal and business development… reading, listening to educational and inspirational speakers at workshops, through tele-seminars and webcasts… I’ve been focusing on my writing and am committed to getting my book done. BJ has been helping me navigate the world of technology and social media and got me set up on Twitter, Facebook and my blog/website.
On my journey I’ve discovered some reflections and tips worth considering…. Take time each day to remind yourself what an amazing person you are. Look at your gifts, your talents and your accomplishments. You are unique. No one else is like you. Believe in yourself. Each day reflect on what you are grateful for and celebrate your strengths and accomplishments. Learn from your challenges. Look at them as opportunities to grow and move forward.
Our stories are similar… I spent my whole life thinking that I was stupid, always longing for a friend…. As a result of my quest, and upon reflection, I began to realize that these thoughts were just lies that my subconscious mind had been feeding me, convincing me they were true. These inner voices or critics are what Noah St. John refers to as Head Trash. They were saying, “You’re stupid. No one loves you. You’re such a reject. What a loser. Can’t you do anything right? You don’t deserve… You’ll never be an anybody. You’re just a nobody….” I’m happy to report that I’m making progress getting rid of the negative self-talk, exchanging it for positive beliefs to empower me to reach my potential. My self esteem continues to climb as I apply the lessons I’ve been learning.
Believe in the Greatness in You!
Believe in yourself Sis. You’re funny, playful, outgoing… You’re full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm. CELEBRATE your challenges and the opportunities they give you to stretch and go further. You have the potential to impact people’s lives by sharing your writing, your art, your joyful spirit. Remember “The Fonz” from “Happy Days” (aka Henry Winkler). I was inspired when I heard him speak at Ron LeGrand’s Customer Appreciation Celebration in LA in September 2008. He really cares about children and is making a difference in their lives.
A Brand-New Me
Guess what! Henry Winkler is dyslexic with a long list of academic challenges… including spelling. He believed he could make a difference in the lives of children with learning disabilities like himself. So what did he do? He couldn’t write so he teamed up with Lin Oliver, co-author, who typed as he told his story. The result was Hank Zipzer, the world’s greatest underachiever, a series of 17 best selling children’s books inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler.
Did he make a difference? Definitely! He continues to receive letters from moms, teachers, librarians and kids thanking him for changing the lives of children all over the world. And he turns the proceeds from book sales back into literacy.
You can succeed in life no matter what obstacle might be in your way. There is a way around it… a way to beat the obstacle and continue to your dream and that’s for all kids. ~ Henry Winkler
As for marketing your art and writing, Sis…. I understand your concerns. I, too, had no clue how to promote myself and my writing as do countless others. It’s not a matter of being stupid just because we don’t know how. It just means taking one step at a time… networking, education (reading, webcasts, tele-seminars, workshops), action.
BJ and I went to the 21st Century Book Marketing Event in San Diego at the end of September. It was an invaluable educational experience packed with ideas, tips and strategies and, oh, so overwhelming. But where to start…. We were both really wound up… and so excited about the possibilities. It’s been challenging due to my head injury… setting goals, planning, deciding on priorities and focusing on taking action… But BJ’s been learning about twitter and blogging and has been helping me.
I look at the challenges as stepping stones to move on to greater things, first through writing… then speaking and, in the process, inspiring others to believe in themselves and reach their potential. On my writing journey I’ve discovered that my job, as an author, is to identify a problem that people are faced with, then to provide a solution, helping and inspiring others to overcome their challenges and to climb higher.
As for some of your talents, I see you have books, stories, poetry and a diversity of art forms inside you just waiting for spring to blossom. You have so much you can share. Doing so would make such a difference in the lives of others. Just believe.
I’m focusing on developing a business based on my writing, becoming more consistent with my blog posts and gaining momentum and experience and would like to help you in whatever ways I can, e.g. editing and marketing your work.
What are some of the major challenges you face, or have faced, in your life? How did/can you turn your challenges into opportunities? What steps have/can you take to overcome those challenges and move on to greater things?