PeopleReflectionJune 5, 20142Pioneering Within

Don't talk yourself out of a great life.

“Nev­er under­es­ti­mate the pow­er of dreams and the influ­ence of the human spir­it. We are all the same in this notion: The poten­tial for great­ness lives with­in each of us.”

                                                                       — Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph was the first Amer­i­can woman to win three gold medals in a sin­gle Olympics.  In the 1960s, she was con­sid­ered the fastest woman in the world.

Aston­ish­ing­ly, this world-class ath­lete and inspi­ra­tion to mil­lions was born pre­ma­ture­ly, weigh­ing only 4.5 pounds. She was a sick­ly baby and child, sur­viv­ing attacks of infan­tile paral­y­sis, polio and scar­let fever that left her with a twist­ed leg requir­ing an ortho­pe­dic brace, which she had to wear until the age of 12.  She once said, “My doc­tors told me I would nev­er walk again. My moth­er told me I would. I believed my mother.” 

As time goes on, I become more and more con­vinced that, though we can’t always con­trol the cir­cum­stances of our lives, we can always have tremen­dous con­trol over our reac­tion to those cir­cum­stances.  For example:

Today I was telling some col­leagues about an amaz­ing woman named Tao Por­chon-Lynch, a 96-year-old yoga teacher, cham­pi­onship ball­room dancer, wine con­nois­seur and  peace activist who has become my inspi­ra­tion and role mod­el.  I see no rea­son, bar­ring ill­ness or death, that I (or you) can’t be liv­ing an equal­ly sat­is­fy­ing and active life in our nineties. 

Yes­ter­day was the fifth anniver­sary of the day I met my beloved hus­band. We were read­ing through emails from the ear­ly days of our courtship, and agree­ing that we love, like, and desire each oth­er more today than we did five years ago — and that we ful­ly expect our love to con­tin­ue to expand and deep­en through­out our lives. 

I’m entire­ly cer­tain that I will be able to learn new skills, make new con­nec­tions with peo­ple and dis­cov­er new problems/mysteries/puzzles to solve until the day I die. 

In fact, here’s a sug­ges­tion. When­ev­er that voice in your head tells you that some­thing you hope for just isn’t pos­si­ble, stop and ask your­self —  Why not?


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