Obstacles or stepping stones? You decide…

My new book, FIT FOREVER The Next Step comes out June 1.  The following excerpt is one of the daily motivations included in the book.

“An obstacle is often a stepping stone if we look a bit closer.”

Obstacles are really a matter of perception.  At a distance we may see an obstacle as some frustrating blockade keeping us from success.  But as we look closer and focus our attention forward, that obstacle may be the very thing needed to move us toward victory.

History doesn’t lie.  It has shown us that many of the greatest people of all time encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they tasted victory. In the end they won because they refused to be defined by their defeats.

A perfect example is Jim Stovall, the person who wrote the forward for this book. Jim has taken the number one challenge in his life – blindness, and found a way to inspire others.

In the midst of his visual obstacles, Jim is founder and president of the Emmy award-winning Narrative Television Network. Although originally designed for those who have difficulty with their vision, over 60% of NTN’s nationwide audience is comprised of fully sighted people who simply enjoy the programming.  He has been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, and is a highly sought after writer and speaker.  Jim is the author of the best-selling book, The Ultimate Gift, which has subsequently been made into a major motion picture with big name stars like James Garner and Abigail Breslin. For his work in making television accessible to our nation’s 13 million blind and visually impaired people, the President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity selected Jim Stovall as the Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997.  He was also chosen as the International Humanitarian of the Year in 2000, joining Jimmy Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Mother Teresa who were also former recipients of this honor. Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes magazine has referred to Jim Stovall as “one of the most extraordinary men of our era.”

I’m with Lou Holtz, the only college football coach to lead six different programs to bowl games and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, who said, “show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”  I think Jim Stovall has certainly turned his obstacles into stepping-stones.  If Jim can be successful without his sight, the possibilities are endless for those of us with perfect vision.

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