What does it take to make a positive difference? It sounds easy. Just be positive – HA!
What if you were born into poverty? What if you don’t feel good physically? What if you’ve been diagnosed with a crippling disease, polio? What if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer? What if you lost your job because your vision is impaired? What if you have a spouse and two small children under the age of eight when you are diagnosed with brain cancer? These were the realities of my Dad and our family. Although you could see his physical struggles on the outside, he intended to make a positive difference for everyone around him. I learned from the best! I just have to pass along what I learned from this amazing man as we continue to raise awareness of World Polio Day 2018.
Set a Goal
He was the man who modeled goal setting for me. He never explained it. He lived it. He never let his polio handicap get in his way of reaching a goal. He had a goal to own a farm. He went to college and became a research chemist before he met my Mom married her. He and my mother saved their money and lived modestly. They were able to purchase a 150-acre farm the year my sister was born. He loved planting gardens and taking care of various farm animals. We regularly had friends and family visit sharing this farming experience with them.
Bill and Melinda Gates have set some amazing goals with a little help from some friends like the Rotary Club, Unicef USA, and Spencer Trask. They want to eradicate polio from the world and so do I. They designated October 24, 2018, as #worldpolioday. My sister and I were blessed to have the polio vaccine when we were children. We knew firsthand the how our father suffered from this horrible disease’s crippling effects.
My Dad had a natural curiosity. This is why I think he was a research chemist. He loved learning and travel. He was always teaching people around him about everything he was doing or trying to help them learn something. Travel was a fun part of growing up with my parents and created even more learning opportunities. We knew from traveling the world is bigger than our yard, our town, our state, and our country. After my father was diagnosed with brain cancer, my parents sold the 150-acre farm. My parents decided to travel the U.S. It was the summer of 1976, a major birthday for our country. We were able to see many of our countries major landmarks and national parks. My Dad’s curiosity was contagious and I caught it.
My natural curiosity lead me to, how can I help eradicate polio? I’m just one person. What can I do? My philosophy is to do what you can when the opportunity presents its self. The local Rotary Club created an opportunity to buy doughnuts. The ripple effect is matching funds would be donated if I bought the doughnuts. In honor of my Dad, I spoiled my clients and team here at The Concierge Office Suites with a few treats in honor of World Polio Day.
My Dad and my Mother instilled in me the realization, I could do anything! I may not be great at everything, but I should at least try. They taught me #itspossible, whatever it is. They taught me that fear and doubt are the biggest hurdles we face in life. Fear and doubt are both illusions created in our minds. We can power through the tough spots and make a positive difference – no matter the size of the opportunity. There is always an opportunity for making even the worst thing in life enjoyable. It’s all about how you want to perceive what you’re going through. Changing your life is all about changing your mindset around it. Keep looking for the one good thing, the one opportunity, the one reason to smile through the struggle, and surround yourself with other people that want to do the same. This is what it takes to make a positive difference.