Obstacles Equal Opportunities
Blog – 3-23-16
I was blessed to hear incredible inspirational speakers in Orlando last week at my training to become certified as a John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer. The week was mind-blowing, and it’s hard to put my finger on what was the most powerful moment because those moments kept coming in wave upon wave. It was truly life-changing.
One speaker, however, that I will never forget is Nick Vujicic from Australia. If you aren’t familiar with him, he was born with no arms and no legs. He has a very small left foot he calls his “little chicken drum-stick” and an even smaller right foot. But his life is not about having no arms and legs. He has chosen to make his life about having “no limits.”
At an early age Nick faced two choices in life: stay depressed and helpless for the rest of his life, or use his disability to change lives. He chose the latter.
I was writing furiously as he spoke, and some of the quotes I wrote down include:
“My success is being where I’m supposed to be – fulfilling my destiny!”
“When you keep the main thing the main thing, you will succeed.”
“Every fall helps you get up stronger,” from a man who can’t even walk!
“Even when you don’t get a miracle, you can still be one!” He keeps a pair of shoes in his closet, just in case!
“Courage is not being not afraid but doing it scared.”
One of the seven steps he gave us to achieving success as a speaker included “Obstacles equal opportunity.” He is a living, breathing example of someone who has literally turned his obstacles into opportunity. He has not listened to the things he can’t do but has focused on all the things he can do without limbs.
He told stories of how he was bullied at school and the horribly mean things kids would say to him. It was heartbreaking to hear how at age 10 Nick lost hope and attempted suicide, feeling that he would never be able to accomplish anything meaningful. He became a Christian at age 15, and his outlook totally changed. He knew he had a purpose in life and that God was going to use him in spite of his disabilities.
It’s powerful to note how his journey into motivational speaking started. His high school janitor persuaded Nick to tell his story to help others. This kind janitor told Nick that he believed Nick was going to help people through speaking. That janitor’s belief inspired Nick to start sharing his story, and the rest is history.
Many of you reading this are facing obstacles right now. Perhaps your job is not taking you where you hoped and that promotion you thought you were going to get went to someone else. Maybe your attempts to better your life through extra schooling keep running into roadblocks. Perhaps your true purpose is very clear in your heart and mind but you can’t figure out how to make it a reality.
I want to encourage you to change how you look at the obstacles you are facing. Does God have a different, better way to the goal waiting in front of you? Could the no you are looking at right now lead you to a better yes? Does the roadblock ahead of you give you time to redirect your path to something you didn’t even know was there?
Whatever that obstacle is, try to look at it not as an obstacle but as an opportunity. Maybe, just maybe, changing your focus will give you the answer you are looking for.
And if you need a little inspiration, go find Nick Vugicic on YouTube and listen to one of his speeches. I guarantee you, you will be motivated and inspired! Obstacles really do equal opportunity!
Hugs and love,