I recently watched a friend talk about his newly acquired disability (blindness) and what he learned from it. He was very embarrassed to talk about it at first. Yet, as time went on, he has come to terms with it and embraces it. I understand that talking about your disabilities and other sensitive issues is not a very easy thing to do. You are exposing yourself to the whole world that you are not perfect, and in a world where the Hollywood image of perfect is the goal. I, too, was embarrassed about my disability because I didn’t want to be viewed differently. I wanted to keep my image that I was normal; after a not so pleasant pre-fifth grade grade school experience, I got to start anew.
I was able to start anew in high school and in college. I was finally treated like normal, and with respect. I even was one of the popular kids who hung out with the academically superb jocks (I was not a jock, though). I did not want to lose that. Yet, after talking to this friend I learned that I should talk about my disability and that those who love me and respect me for who I am don’t care about my flaws. I learned to embrace my flaws, and learned that the people that matter will respect me for that.
My friend also spoke to me about setting goals. Before he had his newly acquired disability, he was on a Division One golf team, winning victories for his team. After his disability, he set small victories for himself. He mentions that a small victory, for him, is pressing that 30-second button on the microwave. That is quite hard for a newly blinded person. I thought that was a brilliant idea.
I went to see how I could adopt, and adapt, the importance of celebrating small goals into my life. I am a person who has broad goals; my head is often somewhere in the clouds. For example, I aspire to earn a 3.9 GPA, but never had a specific plan or goal on how to achieve that. I thought sooner or later I will get there, and I did it quite aimlessly. However after watching him discuss his small victories, I decided it was time to make a list of small victories.
A small victory is a goal for the near future. For example getting an “A” on the next test or assignment. Yet, I realized, as small as my small victories were, they were still too large and too far in the future to keep me positive. I adapted again. I decided to keep my daily victories in a journal and my small victories on the wall. (A daily victory is a victory that has been done or can be done during a day.)
My hope for you is that this will inspire you to be the best you can be. Don’t be afraid to talk about your imperfections. Set goals to help you lead a positive life.