I am always touched and inspired by those who are able to overcome difficult circumstance and be something great.  One of these people is a man by the name of Jim Stovall.  Jim is a national champion Olympic weightlifter, a successful investment broker, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. Jim is also blind.  He has overcome this disabling condition and decided to do amazing things with his life.  He has not set limitations for himself but seen challenges and overcome them.  I believe one of his greatest accomplishments is being the co-founder and president of the Narrative Television Network, which makes movies and television accessible for our nation’s 13 million blind and visually impaired people and their families.

I first found out about Jim because he wrote the book that turned into one of my favorite movies, “The Ultimate Gift.”  It goes through the story of a spoiled young adult who believes he is getting a large amount of money as an inheritance from his grandfather.  Instead, his grandfather bestows on him a series of “gifts” that turn out to be lessons rearing him in life and the true meaning of happiness.  It is a really fun movie but the lessons it teaches are amazing.  I love thinking about the different “gifts” discussed in the film and how they really are blessings in our lives.  To name a few:  Love, Learning, Giving, Work, Friends, Problems, Family, and the list goes on.  Many of these you may not think of as gifts at first, but when you ponder their importance in your life, it is easy to see how they truly are blessings.

I love one of Jim’s article, “Inside Out”, that focuses on the gift of work, stating:

“We live in a society that constantly focuses upon immediate rewards and instant gratification. We want microwave efforts with crock pot results. Nothing worth having ever comes quick and easy. There are three states that we can dwell on in our lives. These include being, doing, and having. In our world today, everyone is focused on having. They want to have everything now and worry about paying for it later.

When we understand that success is planted on the inside and manifests itself on the outside, we begin to realize that the knowledge we gain and the wisdom we apply are the keys to our success. We must…learn that it is a marathon, not a sprint.”

How true and what an important thing to teach our families.  No matter our circumstances, hard work can get us through our challenges and help us do the amazing things we imagine in our lives.  Who do you know who has overcome a difficult challenge and used their knowledge to help others?

from Stuart Grout