It is one thing to be born into greatness. Certain families already have the great things in life that most of the rest of us struggle to achieve. They often pass those things down through the next generations of their families. However, the real fun in life is in being able to accomplish something great while “overcoming” great obstacles ahead of us. For instance, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles had to overcome their blindness in order to make it big. Their disabilities had nothing to do with the tremendous talent they had, but it had “plenty” to do with how the market “perceived” them. As great as their music was, it was tough for a lot of people to actually see blind performers onstage. Ray and Stevie made it “acceptable” because their music was so great that people didn’t care. Prince is a “fairly short” man who often performed in high heels just so that he could be perceived as being taller. He knew that he had to convince his audience that his music was great enough to overcome his “lack of height” and he proved it overwhelmingly. Adele was “not” a slim woman, but she was a singer in a music world where all women are “expected” to be slim and in shape. While she wasn’t fat, she wasn’t as slim as she could have been, so in order to make a market for herself her music had to be exemplary. It was… She proved that everything in the music business does “not” have to be “visually perfect” in order to be acceptable. People talked about her weight issues and often made fun of her, but she still made her piece of music history. The same could be said for Ophray Winphey, who was often overweight through her brilliant career. Teddy Pendergrass was paralyzed from the waist down, and when he returned to the stage he had no idea of how his audience was going to react towards seeing him in a wheelchair. He was nervous and unsure, but he knew that he had to return to the stage. He found that people still loved him regardless of his condition, and he proved that one’s disabilities can’t take away from one’s abilities to perform. He and I once talked about that situation when we were stuck in an airport. I guess what I am trying to say is that “obstacles” in life are what truly define us. How we react to those obstacles determines what we are and how far we travel. The greatest feelings of satisfaction actually come from “conquering” the “greatest” of obstacles. For instance, if you have the number one basketball team in the world that is a great honor. However, if you have to beat a team of elementary school girls to win the championship then that honor loses some value. “Great people” are only “ordinary people” who manage to overcome “great obstacles.” The roadblocks that we often encounter in life have a special meaning. We have several choices when encountering them. We can try to “detour around them” or we could let them “change our direction to head back.” The last option is to “go right through them.” THIS option is what gives us our ultimate satisfaction. Many of us let life’s obstacles deter us from achieving greatness. We say things like “I’m too old to do that” or “I’m not fast enough or strong enough to accomplish this.” In other words, we make our “own” obstacles to keep us from reaching our potential. Great accomplishments are usually derived from “great dreams” so if you create your own barriers then you are in essence your own “worst enemy. “We all should know better, but many of us actually “set ourselves up to fail.” We don’t put our full effort into what we want because we are sometimes more afraid of succeeding than we are of failing, so we often only give %50 or less towards our goal to justify the fact that we “will probably fail anyway.” It is like climbing up a mountain, but deciding to fall down from it when you are only a few feet above the ground as opposed to falling from near the top. When you fall from only a few feet it won’t hurt as much and then you can at least say “I tried it.” However, if you convince your mind and soul that “nothing less than reaching the top will do” then you will “take” that risk because you are “on a mission.” EVERYONE should have goals in life. Once you stop striving for your goals then that usually means that life is just about over. As long as you are still in good health then chances are you can “accomplish something.” Dare to go “beyond your own limitations” and reach your fullest potential. If you truly believe in it, then you deserve it… “MAKE” it happen… This is just a small word of encouragement today, and I hope that someone sees a blessing in this somewhere. “We are… what we dream…” Have a great day, and I wish the absolute best to you and yours today.
Patti Labelle and Brett Jolly in concert