The 32-year-old internationally known motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs - an extremely rare congenital disorder known as the tetra-amelia syndrome.
Albert Einstein had a learning disability and did not speak until age 4.
Stephen Hawking, world’s most renowned living physicist and cosmologist was diagnosed with motor neuron disease decades ago.
They, along with various other accomplished people, have lived with, battled and overcome their disabilities every single day of their lives. Not only have they gone on to make a remarkable contribution to the society, they have also proved that disability is just a state of mind. It takes a very special soul to harness the strength to climb to the heights these people have. If they can do it, so can you.
Here are top four tips to motivate you to achieve your goals and lead a fulfilling life.
Dream Big, Plan Smartly and Work Hard
Achieving greatness in the face of disability can be arduous. From dealing with physical obstacles and social rejection to grappling with academic issues and medical crisis, the disabled are constantly reminded of just how strong they really are.
You can undoubtedly achieve success, and dreaming big is the foundation. Dreaming big has the power to build your self-esteem and self-confidence. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Setting high goals will push you to heights you might not have reached otherwise.
Secondly, plan effectively and develop strategies to meet your goals.
Most importantly, action is required to make your dreams come true. Work hard. Give your best shot to everything you do. Take charge of your life and move forward.
Focus on Your Abilities and Strengths
Understanding yourself plays a crucial role in taking self-determined actions. You need to be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, needs, interests and preferences. Only then will you be able to develop goals that reflect your personal desires and make informed decisions.
You must learn to focus more on your abilities and play to your strengths.
One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with a disability is coming to terms with it. You need to accept the situation you’re in and take responsibility for your happiness and better future. Acceptance is the key to a great start. By doing so, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on your goals and dreams. Denying or ignoring the severity of your disability can make regular emotional and physical tasks more difficult.
Focus on the things you are good at. Encourage and cultivate these strengths. You may even discover new strengths that grow from your experiences with your disability.
Use Technology to Your Benefit
Technology is a boon to people with disabilities. Make the best use of it in order to live a fulfilling life. Technology (including computers), adaptive technology, assistive devices and the Internet can help maximize independence, productivity and participation. It can lead to high levels of success—personally, socially, academically, and professionally.
Assistive devices can help enhance functional independence and make your daily-living tasks simpler. Assistive technology can be anything from a low-tech tool such as a magnifying glass, to a high-tech device such as a special computer that talks and helps a disabled person communicate. Mobility aids such as wheelchairs, knee walkers and scooters, may also help the disabled significantly. These devices can empower and help them experience the world again.
Develop a Support Network
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the disabled is becoming uncomfortable with accepting help. You want to be independent, but that doesn’t mean you should refuse assistance, even when you actually need it.
Know when it is appropriate to do something on your own, but don’t stress your limits. It may get dangerous and cause you physical harm. Learn that you need not be embarrassed of asking for help. It does not mean that you are not successful or incapable of achieving what you want, but simply that you prefer to act in your own interest.
Seeing a therapist regularly is a good way to deal with emotional or mental problems related to your disability. He/she can provide you with the necessary resources and services, thereby helping you greatly.
Attending group therapy can help you adapt emotionally to your disability and overcome the mental trauma associated with it.
If the disability is impacting your daily life significantly, you can get in touch with a local charity, which can help close gaps in your self-care needs. Also, there are several government programs that can help you with your specific disability, by providing you with a personal assistant. The assistant can spend time with you, drive you around and run your errands.
You need to know that there’s more to you than your disability. Fear is the biggest disability of all and you need to overcome it. Remember to always look at the bright side of things. For every disability you have, you are blessed with more than enough ability to overcome the challenges. By adjusting to it, emotionally and physically, you'll realize that your disability does not define you. It does not restrict your happiness. Only by embracing a positive attitude will you be able to give yourself a new lease of life.