Did You Have A Tough Childhood?
Many claim intense childhood trauma "damages" a person in their adult years.
But is this necessarily true? We all have obstacles and hardships -- some of us more so than others. But although you had a tough childhood, this does NOT mean you'll have problems or failures over your entire lifetime.
Actually -- just the opposite is true!
Intense difficulties, hardships and major obstacles are actually often *major* contributors to one's success.
It's true that difficult childhoods do leave some people wounded and disadvantaged. But for others ... a tough childhood actually drove them to outrageous achievement and success! The difference is one's resourcefulness and determination.
Adversity and Greatness
Their goal was to identify the early experiences that contributed to the remarkable achievements of these successful people.
All of their "research subjects" are widely known for their personal accomplishments. Their names are easily recognizable: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, etc.
What they discovered was fascinating!
Three-quarters of these successful people (525 of the 700) came from deeply troubled childhoods. They had endured extreme poverty, broken homes ... and even parental abuse.
Over one-fourth (199 of the 700) had to deal with very serious physical handicaps such as deafness, blindness or crippled limbs. And over 80% of those who became successful writers and playwrights had watched their own parents struggle with intense psychological dramas.
The Goertzel's concluded that the drive to "compensate" for their disadvantages actually drove these people straight into the arms of outrageous personal achievement.
The Triumph of a "Homely" Woman
As a young girl she was painfully aware of being very homely. And her childhood writings reveal she never had a sense of "belonging" anywhere, or to anyone.
According to Victor Wilson of the Newhouse News Service, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was "a rather humorless introvert (and) an unbelievably shy young woman, unable to overcome her personal insecurity ... and with a deep conviction of her own inadequacies."
But as she matured, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt refused to remain "disadvantaged."
She took hold of her own bootstraps and began to pull herself up into a higher, more powerful consciousness.
After marrying, she ended up courageously nursing her husband through crippling polio. Then when he (Franklin Roosevelt) was elected to the U.S. Presidency in the depth of the Great Depression, Mrs. Roosevelt quickly transformed the position of First Lady.
As First Lady, she became an outspoken supporter for the downtrodden of all races, religions and countries -- at the same time managing the White House, and raising six children. (Do YOU consider yourself "too busy" to reach out and claim your full potential?)
After her husband's death, she spent the remainder of her life as a highly-respected American spokesperson to the United Nations.
At her death this shy, disadvantaged, homely and withdrawn young woman had became one of the most loved and revered women of her entire generation.WHY did this happen?
Eleanor Roosevelt made a PERSONAL CHOICE to lift herself beyond her perceived "limitations."
As Victor Wilson said, "From some inner wellspring, Mrs. Roosevelt summoned a tough, unyielding courage, tempered by remarkable self-control and self-discipline."
The "Adversity Principle"
Scientific evidence has proven that "well-being" is NOT always an advantage for either plants or animal. Where there is no challenge, obstacle or hardship ... growth and development is often limited.
Biologists refer to this as the "adversity principle."
Consider Lou Gehrig: Lou was such a clumsy kid that the boys in his neighborhood wouldn't let him play on their baseball team. But he tapped into his source of inner courage and determination. Lou Gehrig is today listed in the baseball "Hall of Fame" as one of the greatest ball players of all time.
Then there was Woodrow Wilson, who couldn't read until he was ten years old. Wilson went on in his life to become the twenty-eighth President of the United States.
Plus ... Thomas Edison was stone-cold deaf, Booker T. Washington was born in slavery, and Lord Byron was crippled by a "club foot." The famous writer Robert Louis Stevenson had tuberculosis. Alexander Pope had an unsightly hunchback, and Julius Caesar was an epileptic.
Yet each of these individuals became famous historic figures in spite of (or perhaps *because of*) their handicaps.
Helen Keller, who could not hear or see, transformed an entire nation when she graduated with honors from college. She is still a source of inspiration for millions.
Then there's Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven began to lose his hearing in his 20s, and was completely deaf by 50. Yet he created some of the world's most beautiful music. He was once overheard shouting at the top of his voice, "I will take life by the throat!"
A Call to Action
Your ATTITUDE toward any perceived personal "handicap" determines its impact on your life.
This IS your life! Why not make it all it can be?
Recall this the next time you're tempted to focus on any personal weaknesses or past pain to rationalize failure.
To become all we can be, we MUST stop making excuses.
Use any personal adversity or perceived limitations to do what Beethoven did: Let lose with a life-affirming roar and "grab life by the throat."
Grab Life By the Throat!
The author, Dr Jill Ammon-Wexler, is a doctor of psychology, pioneer brain/mind researcher, and former advisor to the Pentagon, a Presidential Commission, and numerous top executives and executive teams.
The author of several books and hundreds of articles, she is also the co-founder of quantum-self.com, and the Creative Director of the Self Discovery Community.She can be reached at: [email protected]
Come visit the exciting Self Discovery Community. Discover the most interesting, unusual, stimulating and creative methods of self discovery on the web today! Free sizzling weekly ezine, and the web's first Brain Gym ezone. http://www.quantum-self.com
Self-care Isnt Being Selfish
When was the last time you truly relaxed? Do you often find that another exhausting week ends and you glance at a book you bought six months ago and realise you simply haven't had the time to read it? If this sounds horribly familiar then it's likely that you are prioritising the demands in your business life and ultimately your personal life is missing out.Self-care is a basic foundation for personal success planning.
Turn your Dreaming into Doing
The first of January and September, as well as our birthdays seem to be the times in a year when we focus on the gulf between where we are and where we would like to be. By now, many of you have already given up your New Years Resolutions and settled back into the comfortable routine of last year.
Breaking Even: When is Enough, Enough?
I had the most interesting discussion today with a friend of mine. He and I were chatting about the economy, his job, families, and life in general.
IntroductionWordNet defines a rut as a groove or furrow (especially in soft earth caused by wheels) or a monotonous routine that is hard to escape; as in "her job made her feel that she was stuck in a rut".What is this thing that we call a rut? Is one man's rut another man's rapture? I.
What Motivates the Motivator?
Someone wrote me an email a couple of weeks ago and said, "I would love to know what motivates YOU!" So I took them up on it and I want to spend some time telling you how I stay motivated.It is a valid question, this one of what motivates me.
Are You Lost or Are You Found?
It was one of those nights where the clock wasn't in sync with my schedule. As I was finishing getting ready to go out for the evening, the clock was telling me I should already be there.
Maximizing Your Potential by Definition
Someone once pointed out to me that in many of my presentations focusing on my theme, Maximizing Your Potential, I did not define potential specifically. Allow me to do so now.
Make Fear a Nine Day Wonder - Motivate Yourself with Fun!
Have you heard something referred to as a "nine day wonder"? The phrase refers to something that causes a sensation for a brief period of time and then fades into obscurity. The origin of this phrase is usually tied to the nine-day reign of Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554) as Queen of England.
5 Motivation Killers and How To Avoid Them
Motivation is an oft-discussed subject, particularly with regards to whether or not it is something that can be "taught." Some people believe that motivation is something that can be "caught" like a virus, whilst others (myself included) believe that motivation is something that has to have start from within, and for personal reasons.
Perseverance As A Virtue
"Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure." - Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881) - British Statesman, Prime MinisterLet's face it: life is tough.
What Makes a Champion?
Imagine for a moment that you are a champion. You are the best in your town .
Magic In The Leadership Zone!
"Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable, procures success to the weak - and esteem to all.
Procrastination: Hypnosis Can Help You Overcome It
I recently saw a t-shirt with the following saying: "Procrastinate later." I had a great laugh.
Don't Let Motivation Cause You to Fail
Yesterday my teenage son Matt came home with a less than stellar report card. (Yes, even peak performance experts sometimes have trouble motivating others.
That One Thing That Guarantees Your Unlimited Motivation And Success
What can you do when you do not feel like getting started? When procrastination takes over..
Seven Aspects of Making Brilliant Decisions: The Relationship Between Work and Self
Workweek: an opportunity for discovering and shaping; the place where the self meets the world.Regardless of what business we are in, what projects we are working on or what interests we have in the world - we are all in the business of relationship building.
Life After Prison - The Road Home, Vanishing Dreams
The basic trauma of being locked inside of a penal institution is often overlooked. The effect this system has on a person is very hard to imagine.
4 Powerful Ways To Fire Up Your Motivation
It's so difficult to go on when everything seems to fail, isn't it? Are there times in your life when you really want to callit "quits" because you just can't see any good results from allthe hard work you've done? Hold your horses! Never ever think of giving up. Winners never quit and quittersnever win.
Motivation: How to Get Unstuck
Have you ever felt stuck?You know the feeling - you're not happy with a situation, you know it could be better, you've even tried to make it better. But all of your best efforts still end with the "same old-same old" feeling - STUCK!Well, you are not alone, it's a very big club.
Change 101: How to Handle the Changes that Come Your Way
One of the few things that are constant in this world is change. At the same time, many people just don't like change.