With the Rio 2016 able-bodied Olympics now over, the Paralympics are soon to commence. If you’ve never watched more than five minutes of this competition, I urge you to reconsider.
I was never interested in the paralympic games until the Sydney Olympics of 2000. Before that I was judgemental, rude, and dismissive. All I saw was a bunch of cripples having their little athletics jamboree. Yep, I was quite the indignant arse.
If not for the patience of my dear old Dad encouraging me to look a little deeper, I might have missed out on one of the more important moments of my younger adult life. I sat with my Dad and I watched. I was amazed and my point of view was changed immediately. Pretty soon I ignored the physicality of these athletes, I watched power and performance dominate over appearance.
There was a strength on display I had never seen before. Not just in overcoming a physical difference, but a visible strength in their spirit and their drive. These athletes were inspiring.
Look, and see.
As humans we are happier when looking forward, looking up. Psychology discovered years ago that by doing so, we can improve our mindset and our mood. Some of us look up to our heroes or idols. Perhaps we see in them what we don’t see in ourselves.
That’s how I feel about people who achieve, regardless of real or imagined limitations. Those who overcome their obstacles inspire me to try harder, especially if their obstacles did their best to hold them back. Able bodied, no arms no legs, I can’t say I give a damn. It’s the human spirit I admire.
And that’s what’s on offer at the Paralympics, the power of the human spirit.
Look, and learn.
Maybe I deserve a clip over the ear for not being quite PC, or treating the subject of the disabled with enough care or sensitivity. Oh well, too bad. I’ve had 40 years of being on the wrong end of that courtesy of having one eye. Forgive me if I offend, but someone with a missing limb swimming 50mtrs of freestyle faster than I ever could is outright ballsy awesome in my book. To see these athletes compete and do what they do, it sends the word challenge up to another level.
This is the stuff that makes the fires underneath me burn a little brighter. My mind begins to focus on what makes me happier. I start to see what I can create, achieve, and enjoy. I challenge my excuses and push my personal BS to one side.
Not because I watched someone with a physical impairment do an amazing thing. But because I witnessed the spirit and the drive of a person who refused to allow their circumstance to have the final say in their life.
Look, and believe.
The word circumstance is pretty vague and in some ways hypocritical. Circumstances can vary, and change. Circumstances can remain static. We can alter our circumstances, or we can accept them. We can’t always alter what circumstance has dealt us. But even though there’s the chance that circumstances are beyond our control, what we do need to remind ourselves of, is this. We never EVER have to accept that.
What we accept in our life as unchangeable, doesn’t change. What we allow to convince us, we then believe to be true. Not rocket science really. If you reckon the circumstances in your life are what they are, and you can’t change them, then whatever you find yourself in now you’ll die with and never know anything different. Sheesh, what a waste huh?
Watch the Paralympics and look for what I’ve seen. Their spirit, their drive, their ability to say “stuff that I’m going to have a red hot go at this sports malarkey and I’m going to do bloody well at it.” And then, watch this video.
After you have watched it, ask yourself the same question I did. Who’s in control of your circumstances now?
Post originally published here.
P.S Yours free, click here for an e-copy of my biography “Shift Your View”.
Simon Sharky Clark
Helping individuals and businesses create
positive shifts in their mindset and their way of thinking.