It is attitude, not circumstance, that makes success possible in even the most unlikely conditions.
What do a surfer and a theoretical physicist have in common? Bethany Hamilton and Stephen Hawking both rose above difficult physical circumstances by possessing attitudes of positivity, focus and determination.
Bethany was barely a teenager, just thirteen years old, when she lost her left arm to a tiger shark. She was already a champion surfer, having started seriously surfing at age eight, winning competition after competition. She came from “surfing stock” as both her parents were avid surfers.
After the attack, she was rushed to a hospital for surgery and began the road to recovery. Determined to continue surfing, she went back into the water only three weeks after the incident. She learned how to swim with one arm, and how to balance herself on the board. Just two years later, she took 1st place in the NSSA National Championships. She even wrote a book called Soul Surfer.
Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist working on the basic laws that govern the universe. He holds twelve honorary degrees, has written several books and has been the recipient of many awards. And before he had ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) – an incurable, degenerative disease – he was even competing in college-level rowing at Oxford.
As Hawking’s disease progressed, his disabilities increased to the point where he could no longer walk, no longer feed himself, and due to a pneumonia and subsequent tracheotomy operation, no longer talk. This never stopped him from becoming a famous science guru known throughout the world. And through a speech synthesizer, his lectures have been heard far and wide. He is married with three children and a grandchild.
Anyone has to admit that circumstances were stacked against these two very successful people. But they rose above the challenge and have made a positive difference in countless lives. If they can, you can, too.
Read about inspiring stories of personal triumph in our Finish Strong Motivational Gift Book.
See the trailer to the documentary: Heart of a Soul Surfer: The Bethany Hamilton Story.
We have an entire Attitude-themed section of motivational posters, awards, books and more…