I was having a pity party the day before a Ballroom Dance Competition. It was hot, I was tired, my legs were sore, we hadn’t rehearsed enough, I’d never remember all my steps, and on and on. I was being such a grump even my dogs were avoiding me. Fine. I can take a hint.
I settled on the couch and looked through some good-feel websites, hoping to get myself in a better place. I did more than that. I found a sensational source of positive inspiration, in the person of Dr. Joshua Miele, who at all of four years old, was burned and blinded by acid in a most unfortunate event, yet went on to create an extraordinary life for himself – and
others. Dr. Miele has devoted his career to inventing ways for vision-impaired and other disabled people to navigate through life without bumping into obstacles and facing innumerable issues in the course of their day-to-day. Now, at 53, married with children, Dr. Miele is a Principal Accessibility Researcher with Amazon! He is charged with developing ways to make Amazon’s many products accessible to all, a job he relishes.
So much for my pity party! Dr. Miele speaks of never having considered himself a victim. He doesn’t think of himself as a walking tragedy, either. Just as someone who has had something happen that needed to be dealt with. His attitude is what fueled his desire to achieve a happy and successful life and by doing that he can help others do the same.
Attitude! It truly is what makes the difference. It’s not what happens to us, but how we respond to it that determines how any given event impacts our lives. Dr. Miele’s story reminded me once again, how much more important it is for us to mind our response than it is to moan and groan over the whatever. It’s irrelevant whether the event was traumatic or – like my pre-competition whining – simply annoying, our willingness to adopt a forward-looking, solution-oriented attitude can make all the difference between finding happiness versus dwelling in misery.
I got myself up off that couch, strapped on my dancing shoes, and practiced my routines for the umpteenth time, only now with renewed hope and enthusiasm. With a panting audience of two happy dogs once again in attendance.