Overcoming obstacles

Although its Sunday lunchtime, when many families gather together, I’m sitting alone in our house as my wife and two younger daughters are all working and our eldest is 275 miles away! I will return to this on Wednesday with a look at habits and routines.

I don’t usually like intrusive noise in my environment, but prefer undistracting music rather than silence. However, at the moment I can hear the television in the room next door which is broadcasting the Great North Run. This is a half marathon road race, where thousands of people rise to the challenge of running 13 miles and usually trying to raise money for worthy causes.

I have touched on challenges like this before, such as my Big Swim, and the Confidence Marathon posts. Important as setting ourselves challenges can be, it nice to be reminded that throughout the world people are having to overcome challenges imposed on them by circumstances of birth and nature. Today, everyone who competes in the Great North Run is doing so from choice. No one chooses, for example, to be born deaf.

I use the example of deafness, as this morning I found a comment on my “About” page by someone called Stephen Hopson. Stephen is a motivational speaker and author, amongst other things, and runs a blog called Adversity University. Stephen is a couple of years younger me, but started life with the disadvantage of being born totally deaf. But in his life he has become a top Wall Street Stockbroker and has a pilots licence. His goal is

“to help transform the way people perceive life and how they can overcome obstacles, using my own experiences.”

Stephen has a great YouTube video on his blog that shows how his life was transformed by a teacher whose three words “That’s Right Stephen!” propelled him forward. I look forward to reading more of his blog in future as he has some great insights and, as he aspires to, does make you look at things in a different way.

There is a charity I support called Motivation. This was co-founded by David Constantine to empower people with disabilities in countries where disabled people are hugely marginalised by their societies. David is a wheelchair user himself and his story again illustrates how someone with a physical limitation can overcome obstacles that bring most able bodied people to a halt.

Hearing how others have overcome obstacles to achieve big things should inspire you – not so much to go and run a race like a half marathon. But to find ways of overcoming the many obstacles and problems that we meet in everyday life. We make excuses and give up far too easily!

Stephen Hopson October 1, 2007 at 12:51 am


What a very nice, generous gesture to mention my site and to point your readers to the YouTube video on my blog! Thank you so much for the gift. I truly appreciate it.

As I mentioned to you, I have begun subscribing via RSS feed to your site so I look forward to more uplifting articles from you. You have a wonderful style of writing that reasonates with me (and I’m sure your readers).

Have a great beginning of the week and thanks again for generously telling your readers about me. It is hugely appreciated. I hope that at least one person on your list is a teacher – wouldn’t that be cool?


Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk October 3, 2007 at 12:32 am

The person who is inspiring me the most right now is Dr. Randy Pausch. It’s hard to ever indulge in self-pity after you’ve read/heard his story.

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