Copyright 2004, 2008, 2011 by John T. Reed

Life is tough. We all have handicaps.

The question is, “What are you going to do about your handicaps?”

Too many people just whine about them. “Woe is me. I have these fourteen handicaps. No wonder I can’t get anywhere in life.”

Like I said, we all have handicaps. If you focus on your handicaps, you are finding excuses for losing. Finding excuses for losing leads to losing. Finding excuses for losing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Finding excuses for losing soothes the pain of losing, makes it easier to accept losing.

You can tell that you are finding excuses for losing when you hear sentences in the following format coming out of your mouth:

No wonder I can’t succeed. I have _______ handicap

where “_______” is something that is beyond your control. Never allow yourself to talk like that. Don’t even let people around you talk like that. If they won’t knock it off, get away from them.

If something is beyond your control, forget about it. Don’t talk about it. Worry only about the things you can control. Work around the things you can’t. For example, if you are five feet tall, you probably cannot become an NBA star. You might be able to become the world’s greatest foul shooter. People who are good at that put on paid exhibitions. And it matters not how tall they are.

But look at the people who are NBA stars. Many came from single-parent or even grandparent or aunt homes, poor backgrounds, violent neighborhoods. Those are big handicaps. But obviously the guys who are starring in the NBA who had those handicaps did not focus on them. Instead, they found ways to win. In many cases, their sports coach deserves the credit. He or she got them to focus on finding ways to win and chewed them out whenever they started finding excuses for losing.

Focus on your strengths and weaknesses and figure out where your strengths are appreciated and your weaknesses are either insignificant or irrelevant. For example, being facially ugly is irrelevant if you are a radio personality or direct mail entrepreneur or a whole bunch of other occupations.

Choose your goals wisely. Choose goals that reflect your strengths and weaknesses that you cannot correct. But once you have chosen them, attack, attack, attack! When you hit an obstacle, find a way around it.

All around you, people with significant handicaps are finding ways to win and winning. Don’t go to your high school reunion with nothing but long list of excuses for losing only to find that your classmates who could have created even longer lists have found a way to win instead.