Here is Point No. 3: Turn obstacles into opportunities. Ask any great achiever who has achieved despite great obstacles, if they could go back and avoid the obstacle, would they, and the answer invariably is “no.” Even our friend Roger (born handicapped with only three fingers, one foot and three toes), if given the opportunity to have perfectly formed arms, legs, hands and feet, would chose to be born the same way he was.
This is true for Lance Armstrong and his battle with cancer. It wasn’t until after he fought and beat cancer that he developed the strength to beat everyone in the world, seven times, in one of the most grueling and punishing sport contests there is—The Tour de France.
Ask the woman heralded as the “fastest women on earth” in the 1960 Olympics, Wilma Rudolph, if she would go back and wish not to have suffered measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough and be born with polio, twisting her left leg so bad that it required a brace. It was BECAUSE of those obstacles that she had to dig up her deeper and greater potential and drive. It required her to work harder, longer and with more determination than any would-be competitor. That character, forged through difficulty, is what created the extraordinary achievements and opportunities she realized. As Albert Mensah said so eloquently to me in a recent interview, “Opportunities are cloaked in obstacles.”
In fact, to take this one step further, I have learned to see obstacles, failure and pain as positive and necessary for growth. I learned this early on from my dad, whose mantra in life was read more »