Adversity comes in many forms. It has been prevalent throughout the history of mankind, and I have no doubt that it will always exist in one form or another. While some surrender under the weight of hardships, others somehow seem to flourish. These individuals, the ones who persevere through struggles and go on to inspire, these are the ones to watch. And these are the ones that have the most potential to continue to give back to society. Don’t go thinking they’re one in a million either. They’re everywhere. In the neighbouring town, in the house just a few doors down, sitting next to you while you read this. They’re you.
What makes these otherwise ordinary people somehow extra-ordinary is that instead of giving in, they become inspired. They fight back. Even if they had not previously realised their own potential, they become motivated by the injustices going on around them, by the difficulties that lie ahead. They become leaders in social change, advocating for re-evaluation of attitudes and transformation around the world.
In my opinion, the most admirable of these extra-ordinary people are those who use their success and their position to speak publically about their personal struggles. Those who have overcome mental or physical difficulties to become high achievers often overlook the continued mark they can make on society. By merely sharing their experience and their learnings, they show people how to become their own extra-ordinary selves. They help others to believe in themselves, to reach their potential or just to obtain common everyday happiness.
This is a journey that begins within oneself, with a decision to make a change for the better for one’s own good. It is recognition of one’s own strengths and weaknesses that is the starting point:
I am illiterate, but I can learn to read.
With that first step, an otherwise illiterate person has the potential to write a book. That book has the potential to inform and educate others. Those newly informed others have the potential to change the world. The motivation does not have to be as ambitious as this, but we are all capable of this first step.
One small change for the better inspires others to make changes too. And who knows where that can lead. What’s your first step?