A slump is defined as undergoing a sudden, severe or prolonged fall in price, value, or amount. Sometimes in life, we will feel like we don’t have value or that we have been abandoned; we will have good experiences and bad experiences. You might have been born in an accommodated environment where anything is easily achievable OR maybe you’re in a situation where you are struggling to get by each and everyday.
Frequently, when we are bad situations, we tend to compare ourselves to other people and their situations. Like an old friend of mine used to say, “you know the glory but not the story.” I would like to discuss a few different people’s situations to show you that anything is possible if you believe.
The feature film, The Blind Side, portrays the true events of Oher’s childhood. Before being taken in by the Tuohy family, Oher was living on the streets with no guidance, no family and no hope. Growing up in rural and dangerous North Memphis, Tennessee, Oher escaped all types of violence and crime to become a man and play football. Accepting his new family as his own, Oher never looked back and made it to the NFL after graduating from Ole Miss in 2008. In 2013, he won his first Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, making his story one of the best storybook endings of all time.
On Halloween day in 2003, when she was just 13 years old, Hamilton went surfing with her friends along the Hawaiian Islands and was attacked by a shark. She lost her left arm in the accident, as well as more than 60% of her blood. After only three weeks of recovery, she returned to the waves with a custom made surfboard. She went on to have a successful pro surfing career and even won an ESPY in 2004, for the Comeback Athlete of the Year.
Williams was born and raised in the infamous neighborhood of Compton, California. The family moved to West Palm Beach for a more stable environment; however, they faced racial profiling and during tournaments, other parents would talk negatively of Venus and her sister. Facing all the odds of the past and present, Venus Williams became the first African American female to become number 1 in the sport of tennis, setting a brand new precedent. She went on to break many barriers – between gender and color.
Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at age 11. A local soccer team was interested in him and his skills, however, could not afford to cover the costs of the treatments he required. Rather than get discouraged, Messi used this as motivating fuel to develop himself as a player. He never grew a “poor me” attitude, and he absolutely never made excuses or complained. Instead, he focused on growing as a person and becoming unbeatable in the game he loved. Today, Lionel Messi is an ambassador for Unicef, and he even created his own charity foundation.
James was born to a 16-year-old mother who raised him on her own. Life was a struggle throughout his childhood, as he and his mother moved from apartment to apartment, while she tried to find solid work. During fourth grade, James moved perhaps half a dozen times and missed nearly 100 days of school. The identity of his father was a mystery to him. The man he called his dad was in jail. James ended up moving in with a football coach for a more stable environment. And we all know how James turned out–being arguably one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball.
All these athletes overcame obstacles and achieved goals above and beyond what was expected of them. The common denominator of all these examples is that they have a ‘why’. A why that means purpose. Imagine if all those athletes said “no more” or “I quit”? We wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to be inspired by them today. It was that ‘why’ that makse them wake up each day with a positive mindset of changing things, they simply had hope.
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