You can become as successful as the most successful person ever.
The only thing stopping you?
Your obstacles.
Overcome them!

I created this saying years ago, after reading a dozen or so books on Helen Keller. I wrote a 72 page explanation to this saying, in my 'spare time' - days prior to my PTSS. Here if I can possibly do it, is a 'short version' of what that saying really means.

Helen Keller has been my role model since I first learned about her, and the more I learned of her over the years the more she has inspired me. The reason Helen Keller became as successful as she did? Because nobody could ever convey to her that she could not be a success. Imagine for a moment trying to convey the color red to someone who was both deaf and blind. Stop and think about it, trying to explain that would be a major task. Now try to imagine explaining to someone who is deaf and blind that they can not be a success, that they can not do something they wish to do, or achieve something they wish to achieve. Helen never knew that she faced more challenges than most, she never knew till her personality was already fully developed that she was 'that' different, than most. How could she have known that her obstacles were 'unique'? How could you convey THAT to someone who's both deaf and blind.

From the time a baby first learns to crawl, they start to learn of their shortcomings, of the things they can't do, and the things they cannot achieve. All through school we are taught our limitations. Boys are taught that showing emotions is not OK, often girls are taught that they can't be as successful in various fields and sports. We are taught in more ways then you could ever imagine through simple looks from our parents, to the remarks of the teachers. So for most of us our #1 obstacle is that we are not deaf and blind and have a deep-seated belief in our 'limits'. I hope this is 'eye-opening' to think of being being deaf and blind as an asset, because it is an asset - and you really can make your own obstacles assets as well.

Helen Keller achieved some very amazing things all because she was not raised with the concept she could not succeed. I will always wonder how far she may have went had her spirit not been broken by the accusation of plagiarism that she had to face. I believe if not for that incident - all of her prior success would have paled in comparison to her future successes.

We all have obstacles, but those obstacles should simply be looked at as challenges that we can overcome. Define the obstacle as a problem, think of possible solutions to those problems and then implement the one that best suits your needs. Remember "a problem precisely defined is already partially solved", so you must first define the problems, the obstacles standing in the way of you and success. Often times the biggest obstacle is our own belief that we can't succeed, that we were raised to believe. Think about your obstacles, and then imagine all the obstacles Helen had to overcome even learning say a simple concept like "Blue". I know your probably busy, but you can not fully grasp this concept unless you stop and imagine trying to convey the color blue to someone who can not see or hear. So please take the time to imagine it, how would you go about it?

There may be some obstacles that you can't overcome, in those cases what you'll need to do is find a way to achieve your goals by going over or around those obstacles. Clearly being deaf and blind made for many obstacles that Helen could not overcome, what she did was find a way to go around those obstacles. Or using those obstacles as stepping stones. Sometimes if you think about it hard enough you may be able to find one of your most insurmountable obstacles, is actually an asset, in forcing yourself to get where you want to go by working around or over this obstacle - it will open your mind, and the door to other successes.

Helen Keller's story called "A story of my life" - should be required reading in school, I think. The story of the plagiarism scandal that broke her spirit, is heartbreaking to read. I guess one's spirit being broken is an obstacle that might be hard for anyone to overcome, but when you've spent your entire life fighting to achieve even the simplest of things, I can understand giving up the fight when one is hurt that badly. Helen and I have a lot in common in that I had a driving force all my life, losing one's driving force, is the same as having one's spirit broken in the way it effects one's future success. I think in order to truly become a success, you really do need a driving force.

I can suggest some reasons behind a driving force

1) Being able to retire young - not having to work 40+ hours a week till your to old to enjoy life.
2) Proving you can overcome the limitations and/or abuses dealt to you as a youngster.
3) To provide for your children or grandchildren in ways you'd find satisfying.

We all define success differently, but however you personally define success, you can achieve it. Set your goals, figure out what obstacles stand between you and your goals and then find solutions to those obstacles. Start by making yourself a 5 year goal list, the things - if you stretch and reach hard, you can achieve in those 5 years. Write a simple outline of the things you need to do between now and then to achieve those goals, and the obstacles you need to overcome to do so. At the end of the 4th year, you will want to make a new 5 year goal list, this time including anything you think won't have been achieved by the time the first 5 years is over. Put those things at the top of your new list, as priorities. The lists should include short term goals, and long term goals, it should include materialistic things as well as non materialistic things. I would give you an example but I don't want to narrow, or limit your focus.

Think about a dozen of the most successful people you know of, as you define success, and think about all the obstacles they had to overcome to get where they wanted to be. Yes many of them may have been 'in the right place at the right time" - but they had what it takes to overcome any mental obstacles or fear of success and so on, in order to take advantage of being in the right place at the right time.

I was on target, actually a few years ahead of time to achieve all of my long term goals - when I lost my driving force, as Helen had her spirit broken. I think all obstacles can be overcome including the loss of your driving force, or your spirit being broken. I've simplified this entire concept because I doubt you wish to read a book by me, but hopefully I've explained it in a way that will motivate some, and given some food for thought.

So please remember it is true:

You can become as successful as the most successful person ever, the only thing that's stopping you are your obstacles - overcome them!

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