A WONDERFUL SURPRISE
Several months back, my dad invited me to a concert at my local church. Because I love spending time with him, I said YES without even asking who was performing. I figured even if I didn’t like it, I would still be hanging out with one of my favorite humans.
When I arrived, I was surprised how packed the parking lot was for a thursday night. I knew for sure there wasn’t mass service this late and my curiosity peaked now wondering who was going to be performing at this concert.
To my surprise it was Tony Melendez. I had no idea who that was. What surprised me was a guitarist who had no arms, no hands, no fingers. He played with his toes! Super crazy! I was all in.
Tony was born this way. While his mom was pregnant, she took medicine that caused side effects of missing limbs. In this case, it was his arms, hands and fingers. He shared that when his mom gave birth, no one told her that her baby boy was missing limbs. They tightly wrapped him in a blanket and kept him from her for as long as he could.
After she pleaded for days to see her son and finally held him, she began to undo the blanket and saw that he was born without arms. She knew that life for him would be incredibly difficult and from that moment forward, she shifted her mindset to raise him to be as independent as possible. Even though he obviously didn’t have hands and fingers, she didn’t treat him differently. She wanted him to learn how to do everything else even without his limbs. He knew he looked different and of course children would point and laugh at him and yet, it never stopped him from showing up as his best self and growing up to turn what 99% of us would have considered a handicap, impediment, hindrance, weakness into a talent that very few people in the world are gifted with!
Word spread of this man who overcame incredible challenges, and in 1987, Tony Melendez actually got to play for Pope John Paul II and was later featured on the Today Show and Good Morning America.
If that story isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is!
What if his mom decided that she was going to feel sorry for him and instead of encouraging independence, kept him dependent on her and his family?
What if Tony’s mindset wasn’t this strong and instead of empowerment, he always felt sorry for himself, cursing God and being bitter at the world because life wasn’t fair?
What if our mindset was this strong and powerful?
What if we approached our challenges more creatively and instead of getting upset, we shift our mindset to see it from a different perspective?
How different would your life be if you stopped blaming other people, the world, the Universe and start taking 100% responsibility for what happens to you in your life?
This is a true testament and incredible example of how your circumstances DO NOT determine who you are and who you can become.
So what challenges do you face right now and in what ways can you overcome these to show up as the best version of you?
I was so overcome with emotion as Tony continued to share his stories of childhood and his determination to move past every roadblock life throws at him.
Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. Sometimes my feelings of stuckness get in the way of me pushing past my fears. Sometimes I complain about the dumbest things. But when I think of Tony, I immediately feel gratitude for everything I currently have in my life and these”problems” that I have are nothing compared to even a 1/8 of what Tony has had to live through. Yet he still persevered.
So friends, let’s remember that life really isn’t so bad. Don’t take everything so seriously. Practice gratitude, mindfulness and being in the present. Don’t let your worries and stress take over the time you are spending with the people you love in your life.
Whatever you are facing right now, just take one step at a time. Most of the time you aren’t going to resolve it overnight, so just do what you can do and have faith and trust that things will turn out for your highest good.
Sometimes we don’t understand why we don’t get the outcome we desire, but plenty of times when I have looked back on my life, it totally makes sense. So, just trust.
CEO, More Time More You
P.S. If you are an entrepreneur and feel like it’s time we had a conversation about what you REALLY want, Contact me here.