Are You Living the Life You Were Created For…or an Ordinary Life?

I can’t believe that God put us on  this earth just to be ordinary   Lou Holtz

If you feel like you are no one special and that you have nothing to offer, You have quit listening to your heart. In fact, maybe you don’t know that your heart speaks to you?

When my oldest daughter was born (also my first child), my husband made me a drawing of her. On the drawing, he included a quote that contained the following phrase, “Cause God doesn’t make any junk”.

It was a cute quote then…now I realize that it is profound. I hope that you know your value and I hope that in your heart, you, in some way, can feel of your worth and importance.

You were not born to be someone ordinary. You were born to be extraordinary!

I hope you enjoy today’s story! Have an inspiring weekend!

It Is Not What’s Gone – But What’s Given

Not too long ago a little girl in my neighborhood was born without a hand. She was born just after my own second daughter Ella was born. Her parents were obviously shaken up. About a week later, I saw them at a neighborhood function and they came over to me and asked what my thoughts were, if I had any advice, for them and for their daughter. My advice? This is their daughter’s life and they were asking my advice? Talk about humbling. What do you say? I had nothing very smart to say.

I told myself I wouldn’t let that happen again. That it was important that I could share what I have learned.

I’ve learned that there are millions of people out there ignoring disabilities and accomplishing incredible feats. I learned that you can learn to do things differently, but do them just as well. I’ve learned that it’s not the disability that defines you, it’s how you deal with the challenges the disability presents you with. I’ve learned that we have an obligation to the abilities we do have, not the disability.

I was born without my right hand. I have never felt slighted. As a kid I was pretty coordinated and growing up I loved sports. I learned to play baseball like most kids, playing catch with my Dad in the front yard. The only difference was that we had to come up with a method to throw and catch with the same hand. What we came up with, is basically what I continued to do my whole life. I used to practice by pretending to be my favorite pitchers. I’d throw a ball against a brick wall on the side of our house, switching the glove off and on, moving closer to the wall- forcing myself to get that glove on faster and faster. I imagined myself becoming a successful athlete.

Growing up, sports were my way of gaining acceptance. I guess somewhere deep inside I was thinking if I was good enough on the field then maybe kids wouldn’t think of me as being so different. Honestly I hid behind sports. I wanted the attention that comes from being successful, but I was very reluctant to draw any attention to my disability You know it’s funny, there was an article in the L.A. Times recently about a high school pitcher who has been doing very well— despite missing one hand. He mentioned my name as an example but went on to say he didn’t want to be like me, he wanted to be like Randy Johnson. At first my feelings were hurt, but then I understood. That’s exactly the same way I felt growing up. I didn’t want to be defined by a disability. Focus on my pitching and not my hand.

I loved throwing a baseball. It is so important to find something in life you feel crazy about. Because you are so passionate you naturally practice, the hard work that it takes to do something well will come easily.

You know how it worked out. I got to play baseball at the University of Michigan, 2 United States teams The 1987 Pan American team and the 1988 United States Olympic team. Even though I played in the major leagues for almost 10 years the Olympics are still one of my favorite memories.

You know in my career I once won 18 games in a year, I also lost 18 games in one year. I was fortunate enough to go straight from the Olympic team to the major leagues. Never spending a day in the minors. I was also sent down to the minor leagues after 8 years in the big leagues. In 1996 I went 2-18 with a 7 run era . I couldn’t get anyone out. I was in the first year of a long term contract with a team near my home. It was supposed to be easy. That following year I was fired. Drove back to California, crying all the way. I spent that summer up in Michigan hurting and wondering if my career was over. Somewhere deep inside I wasn’t sure. So I called the Chicago White Sox for a try out.

They gave me a chance to pitch again. I would watch the major leagues on t.v. with the rest of those kids and it felt like a million miles away. That had been my life. I was away from my family who I know thought I was crazy. Then I got the call I was going to Chicago back to the show. That was the good news, bad news your facing the Yankees Sat. night. They were about 100 and 15 at the time. I went on to win that game against the Yankees that night. In fact I went 5-0 the rest of that Sept.

I would like to tell those parents back in my neighborhood how wonderful my own parents were, and are. They encouraged me to participate, but didn’t dwell on every move I made. I don’t ever remember a concession to the fact that I had one hand. Maybe even a little more was expected. I will always be thankful that they never allowed my hand to be used as an excuse.

I would like to tell that little girl, “Go out and find what it is that you love. It may not be the most obvious choice or the most logical but never let that stop you.” Baseball was hardly the most the most logical choice for someone with one hand, but I loved it, so that’s what I pursued. No matter where the road takes you don’t give up until you know in your heart you done everything you possibly could to make your dreams come true. You owe nothing to disability, ignore it. When you fail, get back up and try again. Leave no room for an excuse. Don’t listen to what you can’t do. 99% of the time I never think of missing a hand. I have never been envious of someone with two hands. Listen to that voice deep within you, it knows, when you’ve done your best.

Somehow when things are said and done there will be some accountability imagine someone coming up to you at the end of your life and saying “you’ve been given these talents what did you do with them.” There is a certain potential we owe it to ourselves to live up to. Work hard, don’t look back, celebrate the blessings in your life.

– Jim Abbott

Today’s inspirational story shared from the following website: http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/storiesfolder/jimabbottnotgone.html

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Perseverance….Stay the Course!

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. Julie AndrewsHave you ever had one of those days/weeks when you just want to sit down and cry?

And you want to justify your crying to the world by announcing that a Tsunami has hit (wherever you live) and you were the only victim? Your story includes something about how you took 10 steps forward but the wave carried you 20 steps backwards?

I felt like that until approximately 11:15 am this morning. That was when my weeks and months of not being able to resolve an issue that was affecting my husband’s office finally ended.

It felt good to see everything working as it should!

Yet, last night, as I was leaving the office at around 10:00 pm after spending another day unsuccessfully working on the problem, it felt like I was trapped in an eternal spiral of IT Armageddon.

That is how trials, goals and perseverance work.

We never like the trials. We always want to accomplish the goal. Yet, unless we practice perseverance and keep trying at least one time more than we fail, we will not make our goal.

Today’s story is a perfect example of trying and trying again! I hope you enjoy today’s story about Perseverance!:

An Amazing Story of Determination that Will Inspire You to Take Action

A few weeks ago, I watched a documentary about Hawaii – specifically about its history and culture.

It’s a good documentary overall, but the story about how Hawaii was discovered particularly caught my attention.  It is easily one of the greatest stories about perseverance and determination I’ve ever heard.

If you ever need an inspiring kick in the butt to reach your goals, this is it.

The Story of Perseverance and Determination

I’ve often heard that the only sure-fire way to fail is to give up.

It’s no secret that big goals take time.  You have to think months or even years down the road.  Because they take so much time, we’re often tempted to quit before reaching them.

This story will show why you shouldn’t easily give up.

Hawaii was discovered around AD 1000 – no one knows the exact date – by a group of seafaring Polynesians who inhabited and explored many of the islands in the South Pacific.

If you look at a map of the world, you’ll notice that Hawaii is one of the most isolated spots on the planet.  So it’s already incredible that it was discovered so early in human history.

But what they did to get there makes the story even more amazing.

Because of its isolation, they would never have known Hawaii was even there.

They suspected it was there though.  They noticed a bird called the Golden Plover which migrated north out into the open water every year.  Land must have been out there somewhere – they just couldn’t see it.

So they set sail from the Marquesas Island to follow them.  That island is as close as you can get to Hawaii, but it’s still about 2500 miles away.  Nowadays it takes roughly 30 days to sail to Hawaii from Marquesas using modern day equipment.

Back then, they were only using carved wooden boats and their own understanding of naval navigation.

The Polynesians followed the birds closely, but they always flew faster than they could paddle.  They could only keep up with them for short distances.

At some point, they would lose track and have to turn back.

Each year they would try again, picking up where they left off the previous year.  Years passed by and they kept getting farther into the Pacific.  But still they never saw land.

According to the documentary, it took the Polynesians 400 years to finally reach Hawaii using this method. 400 years!

Every time I hear the documentary say this number, I’m amazed.

Imagine the determination and perseverance you would need to do this.

After generations of hard work, belief, perseverance and determination – after years of uncertainty and doubt they finally reached their goal.

By this point, Hawaii might have become something like a mythical idea.  To actually reach it, must have brought many of the travelers to tears.

Inspire Yourself

That was almost 1000 years ago.  Yet their struggles relate a lot to our own goal-setting.

We’re all working towards an unknown destination just like the Polynesians.  The principles are exactly the same.

Your big goal is like Hawaii

After a lot of hard work and perseverance, the Polynesians reached the goal that took them years to accomplish.

There was no guarantee they’d reach it.  For all they knew, they were sailing out to nothing.

This is what goal setting is like.  You’re not completely certain it’s out there, but you work on the faith that you’ll reach it.  Sometimes you have to risk going out into nothing in order to get where you want to be.

Your clues to success are like the birds

The Polynesians saw the birds flying in the direction of Hawaii and deduced that land was there.  That was their clue that they’d eventually reach their destination.

We’re all setting big goals or dreams on a clue or a hunch that we’ll reach them.  It’s our determination and belief in those clues that keep us going.

Your obstacles are like the ocean

Reaching Hawaii meant paddling across 2500 miles through the Pacific.  Navigating over the open water and making sure their boat didn’t sink were huge obstacles.

All goals have obstacles to overcome.  We all have things standing in our way.  They can often seem insurmountable, but with enough perseverance we can usually get around them.

Don’t Stop Working Towards Your Goals

The big takeaway to this story is that you have to keep working towards your goals.  Determination and perseverance pay off.

That means working hard even if you don’t see an end in sight.

How often did the Polynesians stop at some random place in the middle of the Pacific and see nothing?

You’ll face that moment too while pursuing your goal.  You’ll stop to look around and see nothing.

That’s normal.

There will often be nothing to encourage us.

There will often be nothing telling us if our hunches are right.

The problem is that when we see nothing we might think there really is nothing.

We all get afraid that our goals won’t really be there.  We all feel like we’re working towards something that will never arrive.

You have to have faith that your “Hawaii” is out there.  You have to have faith that all your work will get you to your destination.

It often just takes time and small steps.  You have to persevere and see it all the way to the end.

Sailing too far away from the shore for so long can be scary, but it will get you places.

Story by: Steve Bloom

Story shared from the following website: http://dosomethingcool.net/amazing-story/

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Believe in Yourself and Believe You Can!

Do you believe in Yourself? More importantly, do you believe that God is your most important ally and resource? Do you believe in God’s love for you and His desire to help you manifest the life you were born to live?

I have found that many bristle at the idea of believing in themselves. They often think that believing in themselves equates to egotism or narcissism. The reality is that God wants us to love ourselves and to believe in our capacity. It is when we believe that we are the only ones who have worth or capacity that we get into trouble with our self-value.

If you could return to heaven for just 5 minutes and resume the understanding we all had there, you would see that you are an amazing being with great capacity and worth! I know, because that is what happened to me during my near-death experience. I believe, in our hearts, we all sense our worth but it seems to me that the influences of the world quickly strip many of us of the ability to internalize our inherent value.

You were born to fill a special divine place in this world! Are you actively pursuing the life you were born to live? I hope you are and I hope that you enjoy today’s story!:

The Story of Colonel (Harland) Sanders

Colonel Harland Sanders was fired from a variety of jobs throughout his career before he first started cooking chicken in his roadside Shell Service Station in 1930, when he was 40 years old, during the Great Depression. His gas station didn’t actually have a restaurant, so he served diners in his attached personal living quarters.

Over the next 10 years, he perfected his “Secret Recipe” and pressure fryer cooking method for his famous fried chicken and moved onto bigger locations. His chicken was even praised in the media by food critic Duncan Hines (yes, that Duncan Hines). However, as the interstate came through the Kentucky town where the Colonel’s restaurant was located in the 1950s, it took away important road traffic, and the Colonel was forced to close his business and retire, essentially broke. Worried about how he was going to survive off his meager $105 monthly pension check, he set out to find restaurants who would franchise his secret recipe—he wanted a nickel for each piece of chicken sold. He drove around, sleeping in his car, and was rejected more than 1,000 times before finally finding his first partner.

Story shared from the following website: https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-famous-people-who-will-inspire-you-to-never-give-up#!

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Excellence – We Are What We Repeatedly Do

I think we all crave excellence. What I think most of us do not crave is the effort that excellence takes. Some may say that we are inherently lazy – I think mortality makes it easy to shrink from the pain of growth. Excellence comes from what we repeatedly do – so does failure.

Therefore, in order to become excellent, we must cultivate habits of excellence – do things right, grow our minds, enhance and refine our skill set, think positive thoughts, take responsibility for ourselves, etc.

Excellence is never the easy way but it is always the best way!

I hope you enjoy the writings I share today from Ralph Waldo Emerson!:

Thoughts About Living with Excellence

Skill to do comes of doing. Do the thing and you will be given the power.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or find it not. What you are comes to you.

Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good. Set down nothing that will not help somebody.

Put your trust in ideas and not in circumstances. Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.

Unless you do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will not grow. We aim above the mark to hit the mark.

Written by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words from Ralph Waldo Emerson are shared from the following website: http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/excellence/Thoughts%20on%20Living%20with%20Excellence.shtml

 

 

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Is Prayer Your Steering Wheel or Your Spare Tire?

is-prayer-your-steering-wheel-road-mountains-nature-streetHave you discovered the gift of Prayer? Do you understand the incredible power that comes to you as a result of prayer? Save prayer for those “flat tire” days and you will know how to handle your difficult moment about as well as a child changing a flat tire. Use prayer every day regardless of the circumstances of the day, and when those flat tire moments arrive, you will already be equipped to handle the situation! Prayer is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind!

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