Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on December 16, 2011
When I started a physical therapy clinic in 1989, I was only 28 years old but I looked like I was 19. People would ask me: “What made you think you could start your own business at your (young) age?” to which I would reply, “Nobody told me I couldn’t.”
And when I do 17 or 18 chin ups in the gym on any given day, because that is so unusual for a woman, people ask me how I do that. There are a few reasons that spring to mind: I have the grip strength of an average man and weigh very little, or I’m a genetic freak and it was just luck that G-d made me strong. But it comes back to the same mental attitude: “Nobody told me I couldn’t do it.”
Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing a spectacular thing by silently “whispering” these words to ourselves: “Oh, I couldn’t do that.” The truth is that many things we thought we couldn’t do are completely achievable, one step at a time. It took many years before I could go from three to seven chin ups. And then something kicked in one day: what’s the difference between seven and ten? Suddenly I could do ten! Take any idea and wrap your mind around it, and so long as it doesn’t depend entirely upon one other person to collaborate with you, usually that idea can develop legs.
This way of looking at things: the thought that anything is possible, doesn’t come easy. There is a price to pay for achievement because things don’t always fall into place and become amazing overnight. The second part of the equation is this: the sun doesn’t shine on everyone all the time. Each person gets his turn to feel the sun’s rays, and conversely to get soaked in the rain. When things aren’t going well, I cry. I care, therefore I cry. I do not look at this as a weakness; quite the contrary. For each time I suffer a difficulty, I realize that the tough times make me stronger or carve me deeper, which in turn prepares me for even bigger challenges ahead. There is no wasted effort in the area of feeling disappointment.
What great things lie ahead for you?