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Our Challenges Only Make Us Stronger

"Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off our goal.”


All my life, I have suffered from severe dyslexia. When I was a child in school, I simply could not read, no matter how hard I tried. I struggled and fought to read, only to fail time and time again. I began to be beaten down by the school, teachers, administrators and everyone else who assumed I was lazy, stupid or even slow. They did not understand that when I tried to read, the words just jumbled and ran together.

It is hard for me to make anyone understand the agony I went through as a child being labeled in this way. Even my own parents thought I was slow because I could not read. I realize, looking back, that much of what my parents and teachers were experiencing was frustration. They did not have the knowledge to understand the problem. At that time, no one did. No matter what the reason, the hurt was incredible.

After I grew up, I realized that what I really wanted to do was to get into the "people business." This was a blow to everyone who knew me. Most thought I would never succeed. After all, I had spent most of my life avoiding people! All I wanted to be was invisible.

What I have learned from these experiences is that if I can succeed in this business with such severe limitations and my background, anyone can do it! There is never any excuse for failure if you put your mind to accomplishing something.

This may seem odd, coming from someone who was so beaten down as a kid that I really believed I was somehow flawed and imperfect and would never succeed. What I have discovered, however, is that each of us has deep reserves of strength that we know nothing about until the time comes to tap into them. This is probably a good thing; after all, who really wants to know how much pain he or she can endure? It is when you are called on to be strong that you learn how strong you can really be!


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