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You Can Handle Life's Challenges


A few weeks ago, I returned to elementary school as a speaker. Let me tell you, kids are smart.  They are also uninhibited.  


How do I know this?


I know this because we had a question-and-answer portion of our presentation.  And, we got some outstanding questions.


There was one question that stood out.


It was this…


“What’s the hardest part of being disabled?”


Throughout my life, I have been asked that question.  It always gives me a bit of pause.  I don’t like using the word “hardest.”

I Don’t Like the Word ‘Hardest’



Here’s why.


I have many reasons to be thankful.  First, I lead an awe-worthy and blessed life. My wife, boys, and I live in a sun-drenched suburb of Los Angeles. If that weren’t enough, we have balance.  Although we work hard, we enjoy long dinners at beautiful restaurants, vacations, bonding with family and friends, and exploring our varied interests.  In short, it’s a blessed life.


Let’s examine the word ‘Hard.’ ‘Hard’ signals to the mind that it is impossible to move forward. ‘Hard’ is a stop sign on a dead-end street.  Ultimately, ’hard’ freezes you in place and doesn’t allow you to make forward progress.


By contrast, challenges don’t inspire inaction. Instead, they call you out to fight for your cause.   When you take on challenges, you are functioning in your strength and readying yourself to work towards your goals.


In my mind, the word ‘hard’ is not empowering, but I digress.


The Most Challenging Part of Being Disabled Is…

So, back to the question.


What is the most challenging part of being disabled?


The most challenging part of my disability is the daily, neverending psychological ramifications my disability causes.


Being dependent on others, having a speech impediment, not being able to be as independent as I want, and just the essence of not being in a nondisabled body sums up my disability in a nutshell.  As odd as it might sound, most of my physical challenges are manageable.  They just require some extra steps. Although it may take me longer to complete life’s dailies, I can still achieve them.


As for the psychological impact of my disability, that’s a different ball of wax entirely.


As a human being, I have had many not-so-fun thoughts about everything my disability has taken away from me. Still, I do a decent job of counterbalancing negative thoughts by being positive. As a result, I have made many of my dreams come true.  I have a great wife, amazing sons, wonderful parents, and thousands of memories.


Negative emotions are challenging to dismiss. Raw emotions are raw, without logic, without reason, and without rhyme. It’s up to you and me to channel this rawness into something positive.

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