Being Challenged in Life is Inevitable: Choice and Defeat are Optional
"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional."
— Roger Crawford:
The first time I saw this quote it struck me immediately as one of great value. I was an athlete in my younger years so when I saw this quote recently it strummed an old chord within me, reminding me of all the lessons I had learned on the field about competition and winning. Since that time I’ve had many life experiences away from the athletic fields and because of those experiences I have committed myself to helping others. One of the difficulties I had early on was deciding what value I was able to offer.
That’s where this quote comes in. I didn’t know who Roger Crawford was. I was vaguely familiar with his name but unfamiliar with his background. Being somewhat of a connoisseur of quotations I usually like to research who it was that made the statement because it adds clarity to my understanding and transparency to the context of my communication.
I then Googled for Roger Crawford and learned the real power of this statement. I would not do him or his message justice to attempt to characterize his enthusiasm and motivational expertise. Instead I will simply provide the link to his website so you can see for yourself, if you aren’t already familiar with his work. http://www.rogercrawford.com/
It is quite obvious after viewing part of his presentation that Roger remarkably overcame obstacles to reach an incredible level of achievement. As remarkable as his story is, it is not the story of his success that drew me to his quote, but the power of the quote itself and its application to a population without similar physical disabilities.
Most of us recognize that in this life we will face situations that will test us. They may be small, every day events that slowly, insidiously eat away at our self-esteem and confidence or cataclysmic, once-in-a-lifetime ordeals that no one expects would possibly happen to them. The suggestion here is that our current circumstances - the how’s, why’s and wherefore’s of how we got to where we are today, are totally irrelevant to how we get beyond them tomorrow, if in fact, we even consciously or unconsciously want to. I would say that those who consider themselves “normal” often have a greater hill to climb than the one Roger Crawford stands upon.
It is my view that often we present greater challenges to ourselves to overcome than those presented to us by the world. That’s not to say that the world won’t offer us significant impediments to a life of quality. It is just my contention that we consign to ourselves the most momentous barriers to accomplishment and achievement, no matter what our goals are or how we define success in life. Subconsciously, we continue to replay those barriers over and over again each day which aids in blocking our progress.
It’s most often not the physical obstruction which stifles our forward progress but our own perspective which helps or hinders the realization of our dreams. It is our perception of “I can”, as Roger so eloquently puts it that contributes to our success or failure. The paradox in this is it’s our decision to imagine the outcome in a favorable way or not that provides the momentum. It is also our choice to determine and expect a specific outcome and it is that determination and expectation of future triumph in the present that begins to fuel our victory, however we define it!
One other point I would like to make before I close. Many times we acquire help and support for the huge, life changing events that confront us; but it is the everyday woes, normal to all humans that have a tendency to wear us down and impose the potential for defeat. That is where, in my humble opinion, our beliefs and attitudes, our prior or present condition, influence the outcome. It is in this realm that our thoughts and emotions affect our perspective. And, it is often in one critical moment of choice that our destiny often resides.
We have the option to determine the quality of our lives. We can celebrate the victory or succumb to whatever circumstance confronts us. The choice is ours. No one else is inside our heads. No one else can force us to think what we think or feel what we feel. Viktor Frankl clearly delineated this in his work entitled “Man’s Search for Meaning.” What we believe is up to us, regardless of our environment, even if we have previously been conditioned differently. We have the option and the power to change. It is the one trait that separates us from every other species on the face of this planet. The real question is what will we decide? And again, the choice is totally ours!
Thank you Roger Crawford and all those who, like you, have set an example for us to follow. My thanks also to all those unsung heroes who have chosen to live a life of honesty, integrity, and imagination without the slightest hint or expectation of personal gain. You Inspire me!
Choose wisely and peace be with you!