Helen Keller was crippled as an infant by an illness that left her deaf and blind. When she was young, she was unable to communicate with anyone beyond her immediate family, with whom she developed “home signs” for requests of food, water and other essentials.
But as she grew, despite her struggle with communication she found a life of direction and purpose, and went on to become a well-known author, speaker and political activist.
Helen had a strong internal spirit. Because of her extreme disabilities, she could have just merely existed. But Helen discovered that in order to learn, grow and evolve into the influential person she became, she needed to accept her disabilities and rely on others to help her. Through this, she met many people who inspired and encouraged her such as Anne Sullivan, Mark Twain, and Henry Huttleston Rogers. It was through these relationships that she made her mark.
We too were born with certain handicaps. Most of us will never face what Helen did, but like Helen we can use our handicaps to make us stronger. By accepting that we can’t do it all, we open the possibility of partnership with others in pursuit of the bigger dream. There are those around us who possess abilities and limitations complementary to ours. They’re weak where we’re strong. They excel where we fail. These people are our ideal teammates.
What are you really good at?
In what areas do you feel strong and capable?
What are you not so good at? Where are you less confident?
Whether you’re seeking to improve your golf game, learn a new language or find a cure to a disease, Step One is taking a personal inventory and accepting the extraordinary, yet imperfect being that you are. Step Two is to accept that the grander the goal, the more you will need the assistance of others. And Step Three is to create a space for those people and resources to come alongside you.
Only then can you truly make your mark in the world.
How can YOU embrace your handicaps today?