I was reading David and Goliath by Michael Gladwell who is one of my favorite authors. The book was about how perceived weaknesses bring out hidden talents.
There have been periods of my life where I assumed that my disability completely screwed me out of life. The more and more I that I write and speak I realize that my disability influences the way I think and the way I look at the world. That’s not to say that I don’t wish I was not disabled, let’s not get carried away.
When I was in college, I started to look at how my disability affected my studies. I could not write stuff down, I could only listen. I could not study without assistance which forced me to study only when I could find help. I was lucky because my mom was there if I needed her. When I took tests, I had to dictate my answers and sometimes I had to repeat myself to people I only met 10 minutes before. Yet, I was doing very well, even making it on the dean’s list often. I asked myself many times if I could do this well with these disadvantages, then what could I do if I didn’t have them? I would be a stud! What I started to realize as I got older is that these perceived disadvantages made me focus on what I could do. There is a very low chance that I could write a book or speak if I wasn’t disabled. Maybe I would be a hard ass business man or a lawyer. Would I be any happier? Would I understand what I understand now? Of course, this is a very surreal concept to even think about and write about.
We are influenced by what happens in our life. If you fight reality, you will lose. My reality is that I am a disabled man. I always accepted this fact. My goal has always been and continues to be to create big dreams and be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve those dreams.