I seem to have a rather unique view about my disability. I forget this all the time, until I say something and get stared at wild-eyed. Then I remember that I probably think a little different than the rest of the world.
When it comes to my goals, I went through a few realisations in the past years. For the longest time I thought that my disability would always stand in the way. Then I learnt, that a lot can become real if I only apply the right mindset. I got so successful with this, that I decided to purposefully look for something that I can not do. Then I had another insight:
No, I don’t mean pity or support. What I mean is: all that I had to learn to be able to cope with my disability is now more than handy to help me pursue my dreams. Let me explain.
Here are 4 reasons how my disability makes it easier for me to reach my goals:
- My disability taught me to dream
- My disability pushes me onward
- Advanced problem-solving
- Hello Please Thank you
Alright, all people dream. No question. But I believe that people with a disability have a stronger connection with their dreams. We learn to dream very early on. Since I was a little kid and realised that I could have been “faster, stronger, more” than what I was, I was dreaming. My environment showed me enough wishes to pick from, when I saw my friends do all the things I could not do. I’ve been a professional dreamer ever since. My dreams are so concrete and solid, you could build castles on it. No soft-hearted wanna-be dreams. All through long experience in the field.
Napoleon Hill once wrote: “A goal is a dream with a deadline”. So when the first part of a goal is a dream, who’d be better at this goal business than a professional dreamer?
Nothing is more detrimental to a goal then the possibility to say “I’m going to do that next year”. That’s why so many people are buried with unfulfilled dreams, instead of with reached goals.
That’s where my muscular disease comes into play – instead of listening to my excuses and postponing everything until next year, it yells in my face: “Are you mental?! We don’t have any time to lose, dude. We have to do this now, who knows if we’re still able to pull this off next year.”
I have such diverse, comical and michael-typical problems that no one else can keep up. Whoever has seen me carry a phone book into the cinema, open a bottle of water with a nutcracker, wondered why I bring a huge love novel (that’s written in dutch, of all languages) on a plane or has seen the sweatband that I wear just under my elbows even in winter knows, how creative my solutions can get. Hardly anyone else has my kind of problems, and no one but me can decide which solution works best. Therefore I’m usually my own problem solver.
The reason why the ability to independently solve unusual problems in a creative manner is good for reaching goals is probably self explanatory.
Last but not least I had to learn to ask others for help. For some this is a very difficult thing to do, and for a long time it was for me as well. But with a disability you often don’t have any choice. You’ll often get into situations where you have no other option but to ask a stranger for his or her help. You soon learn to get over the uncomfortable feeling.
And to be able and willing to ask other people for help – well that’s extremely useful when pursuing dreams.
My muscular disease forced me to learn all of these things very early on. Without it, I wouldn’t be half as good at them as I am now.
What kind of “disadvantage” has led to a positive outcome in your life?