Debunking Conventional Wisdom – Part 2

blog Sep 08, 2011

Here is the conclusion of my Debunking Conventional Wisdom post, in which I provide the top six conventional wisdoms I disagree with and why. Read part one here.

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4. Never make excuses. Excuses are a part of life. My definition of an excuse is why something did or did not happen. The fact is that I blame a lot of stuff that I cannot do on my disability, such as if somebody asks me to help them move, I can’t. If you are losing your job, and your boss gives you one more chance, what are you going to do? Are you going to roll over or are you going to throw every excuse in the book to possibly save your job? Be careful because the more excuses you make in life, the less chances that you have to succeed. If I made the excuse that nobody wants to hear a speaker with a speech impediment, I would not be following my calling.

5. Overcoming problems. I was considering naming my next book I Didn’t Overcome Anything. From a branding perspective, I decided I didn’t want to seem like a curmudgeon. After all, isn’t attitude everything? The issue is that the number one word to describe my journey is “overcome.” Thanks. Seriously, people don’t  wake up one morning and their problems disappear. It’s more like people have to work at their problems every day. In Alcoholics Anonymous, someone who is twenty years sober is still an alcoholic. Someone who deals with depression  has to do so day-by-day. I did not overcome my disability. I am reminded of that every second of every day. I wake up in the morning, try to walk to the bathroom, and say, “That’s right. I’m handicapped. Hehe.” I deal with it every day. There are days when I deal with it every minute of every day.

6. Always look on the bright side of life. One component of success is looking at the underbelly of your life. It’s like fixing a car. If you look at a car from the outside, you see the shiny paint and if you look inside, you see the comfortable interior. But in order to fix a car, you have to get under the hood. You have to look at the black grease and tar—it’s not pretty down there. Similarly, in order to look at your life and make it better, you have to look into your closet at your soul, see what makes you tick, and most of the time it’s not pretty down there. You have to ask yourself what is keeping me from success. Am I sabotaging myself or are there other people in my life that are sabotaging me? Get under the hood of your own life and that’s where real success grows and ultimately happiness comes from.

Despite everything, I love life. I believe that life is beautiful. There’s nothing better than sitting with old friends, talking crap, or making that next big step in our lives whether it be professional or personally. I don’t believe that life is so simple to say that anything is possible or attitude is everything, and so on. We have to live within the limits of what we can and can’t do. I am not advocating that we should not challenge those limits. I definitely challenge the limits of what a disabled man can and cannot do. Go out there and get your hands and feet dirty and find that sweet spot of life.

 

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