How Can Your Desires Get You to Where You Want to Be?
Bonnie St. John Deane grew up in hospitals, in leg braces, and on the wrong side of the tracks, but that didn’t stop her from believing that an African-American girl with only one leg could learn to ski. Bonnie knew the incredible strength of following her desires.
As soon as she began learning, she set her sights on qualifying to compete in the 1984 Disabled Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria!
She was actually accepted at an elite ski academy in Vermont, and thought then that she was on her way. But she ended up searching for months to get some sort of scholarship to be able to afford the school, and couldn’t get anything.
When she told the headmaster that she couldn’t afford the tuition and had failed to find sponsors, he said, “Come anyway.”
It was then that she knew this opportunity would change her life.
But then, on the first day of the ski school, she broke her leg – her real leg – while playing on a skateboard! She had wanted so badly to show them all that she could run the obstacle courses, jump rope, and play soccer just as well as anyone.
Instead, walking on crutches with her artificial leg, she could barely get from her room to dinner without tripping. She felt thoroughly inept among a crowd of such superb athletes – something that hurt more than her injuries.
Even after the cast was removed, her luck didn’t improve. Just a week later, her artificial leg broke in half. Could things get any worse?
Oh yes. For the next three weeks her new prosthesis roamed the country, lost in the U.S. Postal Service.
Years later, Bonnie stood on the winner’s platform in Innsbruck, Austria, with the silver medal around her neck. She could hear the National Anthem playing and see the flag fluttering behind her.
It was the desire for that very moment that had pulled her through all those tough times! I bet you know what the answer would be if you asked her then, “Was it worth it?”
Do you have powerful desires that capture your heart and pick you up when you fall down? Who or what motivates you?
When I am asked that question, I must answer, “I motivate me.”
Make a list everything you have ever wanted to have in your life:
- New clothes
- Ideal relationships
- Peak experiences
- Career accomplishments
Star the items that really excite you. Find the deeper meaning. Ask yourself, “Why do
I want it?”
Dig deep within to find the personally compelling reasons. Dig down to find out what you want out of life.
Like a child, keep asking yourself “Why?”
If the final answer you get is “Because I should,” or “My boss wants me to,” scratch it off your list! Or change it, expand it, and aim higher.
Stop underestimating your odds for success! Begin to err on the side of optimism, spend less time around negative people, and learn from people who have done it before you.
Don’t feel you have to do everything at once – but you can get there if you do what you love!
Bonnie’s story didn’t end on the winner’s platform at the Olympics.
She has since motivated herself to finish degrees from both Harvard and Oxford, win a Rhodes Scholarship, win awards as an IBM sales representative, and garner high praise as a White House official on the National Economic Council.