3 Inspiring Stories that Will Inspire You to Reconsider Any Excuses You Might Have About What is “in the way” of What You Want
The state of mind emerges as the most important asset an individual possesses. If you ever catch yourself making excuses or procrastinating to embrace any challenge in life, whether big or small – read and re-read these three amazing true stories to empower you.
1. Amy Purdy: Living Beyond Limits. Our only disability is in our mind.
Amy Purdy is an American actress, model, world-class snowboarder and Paralympic bronze medalist, professional motivational speaker, clothing designer and author.
She became a professional snowboarder after losing both her legs to meningitis at age 19.
She has given numerous talks about turning obstacles into strengths-something she has clearly had some experience with. Amy’s journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity we all have to dream bigger, defy expectations, and rewrite our stories.
In this powerful TED talk, she shows us how to draw inspiration from life’s obstacles.
“If your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?”
“It’s believing in those dreams and facing our fears head-on that allows us to live our lives beyond our limits. […] I’ve learned that borders are where the actual ends, but also where the imagination and the story begins.”
“If you ask me today, if I would ever want to change my situation, I would have to say no. Because my legs haven’t disabled me, if anything they’ve enabled me. They’ve forced me to rely on my imagination and to believe in the possibilities, and that’s why I believe that our imaginations can be used as tools for breaking through borders, because in our minds, we can do anything and we can be anything. […]
So the thought that I would like to challenge you with today is that maybe instead of looking at our challenges and our limitations as something negative or bad, we can begin to look at them as blessings, magnificent gifts that can be used to ignite our imaginations and help us go further than we ever knew we could go. It’s not about breaking down borders. It’s about pushing off of them and seeing what amazing places they might bring us.”
2. Kyle Maynard: No Excuses.
Kyle Maynard is a speaker, author, and mixed martial arts athlete, known for becoming the first quadruple amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics. Although he was born with a rare condition (congenital amputation), he decided to pursue involvement in sports, and achieved mind blowing results. He went on to become a champion wrestler, CrossFit Certified Instructor and gym owner, competitive MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, world record-setting weightlifter, and skilled mountaineer.
Oprah Winfrey called Kyle “one of the most inspiring young men you will ever hear about.” Arnold Schwarzenegger described him as “the real deal,” “a champion human,” and “one of the most inspiring people” he has ever met.
This is a great YouTube video on some of Kyle’s life and his climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. It will take your breath away and inspire you to get out of your comfort zone to go after what you truly want, in your personal and professional life.
“Even though I was born with much shorter limbs than the average person, I know I was not born to be an inferior individual, I was born to succeed, not to allow physical limitations to stand in the way of my dreams.”
“I’ve always believed that anyone can achieve their dreams, regardless. I’ve always had this attitude about no excuses. A belief that I can go on and do what I need to do. To go on, to succeed, regardless.”
“Know your limits, but never stop trying to break them.”
“Every person on the planet has a disability – not just those we can see. And we all choose whether we allow our lives to be defined by them or not.”
3. Miles Hilton-Barber: The only limits in our lives are those we accept ourselves and how FEAR is only False Evidence Appearing Real.
Miles grew up in Zimbabwe with normal sight, dreaming of one day becoming a fighter pilot like his father. At 18, Miles applied to join the Royal Rhodesian Air Force, but to his disappointment he failed the eyesight medical. At 21, both Miles and his brother Geoff were diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic eyesight condition that would lead to total blindness for them both. For the next 30 years, Miles lived with a kind of “victim mentality”, believing the established thinking that blindness was a massive barrier preventing him from undertaking any adventurous exploits.
At 50, Miles’ life radically changed through the example of his blind brother Geoff who set a World Record, becoming the first blind person in world history to cross an ocean solo, sailing from Africa to Australia unaided in a yacht that he built himself. This was Miles’ big “wake up call’”, understanding the life principle that our life does not depend on our external circumstances but our inner response to them.
Since then Miles set numerous world records in extreme events across continents in the fields of mountaineering, desert and polar ultra-marathons, power-boat racing, scuba-diving, motor-racing and long distance, aerobatic and supersonic flying amongst others.
He now speaks at corporate events around the world, sharing his transforming life lessons anchored in his philosophy that “The only limits in your life are those you accept yourself.”