The Rest of Your Life

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"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." – Steve Jobs

You can make a difference, right where you are and in whatever line of business you choose to operate if you hold on to your vision and keep chipping away. It all begins with your own personal belief about what is possible. As Steve Jobs so insightfully said, you have to first believe you can change things.

One of the most difficult things for many people to take on board is that, very often, it is quite ordinary people who manage to achieve the most extraordinary things. Perhaps even more incredibly, as Alan Turing once pointed out, "sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of, who do the things no one can imagine."

Here are some examples:

Thomas Edison had very little formal education. He suffered hearing difficulties and was taught, at home, by his mother. But he went on to become America's greatest inventor.

Albert Einstein was the son of an engineer. He worked as a clerk in a patent office before developing the theory of relativity, which is regarded as one of the pillars of modern physics.

Michael Faraday was born to a very poor family and actually educated himself. He found work as a bookbinder, but went on to discover the principles of electromagnetism.

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi was born into a Hindu merchant caste (class) family. He went on to lead India to independence and inspired civil rights movements across the world.

Louis Pasteur was the son of a poor tanner. He became a biologist and eventually discovered the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization.

You might think that these people were in some kind of different league to yourself, but that is only because of what they managed to achieve. In all other respects, they were ordinary people from quite unremarkable backgrounds. So let it sink in: ordinary people, just like you and me, can and do achieve extraordinary things.

You are a truly unique person: you can tell this simply by taking a moment or two to look at your thumb print. Do that now – go on, humour me – take a look at your thumb print and know this: you are the only person who has ever lived, to have that thumb print! Isn't that truly amazing? In fact, it is even more amazing than that because, as it turns out, you are the only person who will ever have that thumb print.

So you already know, in your heart that you are unique. You are not only unique, you are talented too, even if you don't think you are. You have at least one talent that makes you better than anyone else at some specific thing. Sure, I know this may be difficult to accept, at least, at first, and especially if you have not yet discovered your talent.

But it is true: you do have some unique gift or a unique expression of a specific gift - something that enables you to make an important contribution. Don't pay any attention to those who tell you otherwise. The following story illustrates why you need to be very careful about what unqualified people say.

One day, a bunch of frogs decided to have a race to see if anyone could get to the top of a tall tree. As the race started, some of the other frogs in the crowd began to comment,

"Oh, they'll never make it."

"That tree is just too tall for a frog to climb."

"They don't have a chance."

Many of the frogs fell back to the ground, but a small group continued the race. The crowd still did not believe they would be able to make it and you could hear them saying,

"They are all going to get hurt."

"They are all way too high."

"This really is far too dangerous."

And, sure enough, the remaining frogs all fell from the tree – all but one, that is. He made it all the way to the very top and, when they asked that outstandingly successful frog how he managed to achieve the seemingly impossible feat and actually climb that tall tree, he answered ...

"Pardon?"

It turned out ... that the winner was stone deaf which, in this situation, turned out to be a very good thing.

Very often, other people will have opinions about what you are attempting to do and very often, they will turn out to be negative opinions, especially if you are trying to accomplish anything challenging. Perhaps, one of life's greatest lessons is to learn to not take heed of other people's negativity. Everyone will have an opinion whether or not they are qualified to give it. If you want an opinion on something, find an expert in that field. Don't listen to the myriad opinions of the unqualified majority. Instead, be like that super-frog and just keep going.

Remember that you are here only once and this is your life - right now. Do not make the mistake of believing that life holds no purpose for you. You are called to achieve something significant with your life. So start by identifying your true life-purpose and then find the courage to begin living the life you were born to live. This is the unfailing path that will bring outstanding success to you. And, no matter what anyone else thinks, you can do it!


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