Winning With Physical Limitations!

If you want to succeed in every area in your life, you must get in the game. You have to take an active role in your own future: don’t allow others to dictate your success. Sometimes this means working past, through or around a disadvantage, such as a physical limitation.

To use a sports analogy, you have to step up to the plate, lift your bat over your shoulder, and take a swing. Mickey Mantle, center fielder and first baseman for the Yankees in the fifties and sixties, was the home run king for a number of years. Whenever “the Mick” strolled to home plate to take his turn at bat, people paid attention, knowing they might see him hit a ball out of the park for a home run. What most people don’t realize, however, is that Mickey Mantle held the record for the most strike-outs: he failed at bat more than any other professional baseball player. Yet what we remember are his successes.

The same thing can happen to you: keep getting into the “batter’s box” and swinging… hit a home run or even a base hit now and again, and people won’t remember your failures. They will remember the times you scored.

You have to be in the game. If you are living a life as a spectator, you aren’t getting in the batter’s box. You’re not even sitting in the dugout. People who use excuses for sitting out limit themselves by their attitudes. I know of a real estate broker in a wheelchair who earns six figures each and every year. He figured out a way to sell real estate without picking people up in his car and showing them property: he does it all by mail, email and fax from the comfort of his office. He targets out-of-state owners and lists their property for sale.

There is a general contractor in California who is in much the same position. He pulls up to a job in his truck and never gets out of it. He can’t. He can’t walk.

A man in our church owned and operated a successful restaurant. He had once owned a profitable tire re-capping business. One day, while working at his plant, a tire blew up in his face and blinded him. Steel plates were put in his face. He wasn’t able to return to the work he knew, so, in his forties, he opened a restaurant. I’ve seen him stand at the cashier’s box and make change for his customers.

I became a general contractor when it became apparent that I could no longer work construction. One day, nailing shakes on a roof outside of Santa Rosa, California, I bent down to plug in my skill saw so I could cut a hip roof. As soon as I connected the cord to the saw, I was thrown off the roof. There was short in the wiring. I broke three vertebrae in the fall. I was flat on my back for a time and when I recovered, I found I had neither the strength nor the stamina to do the work I had previously done. For years, I lived with chronic pain.

I’d been pulled off of the playing field. But I didn’t stop playing: I learned how to play a different position in the same of game. In the process I stopped working for hourly pay (which is a sure fire plan for just getting by) and began making very serious money and receiving positive recognition from others.

Rather than presenting a stop sign, a handicap or disability can be your ticket to great things. If life gives you lemons, rejoice in the lemons and find a way to sell lemonade. I’ve read many stories of penniless immigrants coming to this country and becoming millionaires. If someone can go from rags to riches speaking broken English, you can do it with a handicap or disability.

Enough about other people – here’s how you can succeed:

1. Think about all the things you can do and make a list of them. Decide what you want to do, and find a niche.

2. Set some measurable goals, both long- and short-term.

3. Define how you will attain those goals, and write a plan. You must have a road map directing you to your destination.

4. Your plan must include an activity for each day. Do the daily activity. Focus on it, rather than the goal.

5. Make adjustments as needed.

6. Be a mentor to others. There are millions of people who would like to be where you are. Take one or two along for the ride with you, and teach them what you have learned.

7. Learn to give. In order to have a complete, balanced and fulfilled life, you have to learn to give some of your time and some of your money to something greater than yourself and your bank account. He with the largest list of assets at death is not the winner. If you can’t learn to give, you are controlled by your possessions – a very sad and lonely way to live.

Remember, if you don’t make it happen, it won’t happen. Get in the game!

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