Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott defied all of the odds to become a major league baseball pitcher. Despite being born with a disability, he truly believes that more has given to him than was ever taken away by his birth defect. He talked to our group about the need to A.D.A.P.T. in order to overcome our circumstances and achieve our goals:
- Adjustability: Thinking of a different way to do things, given your circumstances. For Jim, he had to make adjustments just to be able to tie his shoes. For Drew, we use a food saver to water proof his cochlear implants for swimming. No matter what the circumstance, little adjustments can make just about any situation work.
- Determination: We are constantly told about the things we can not do. If we start to believe that we can not do something, it limits our abilities. We must filter out all of the negativity in order to reach our goals.
- Accountability: Never let the circumstances of life be an excuse for not meeting your goals. You are accountable for your actions. Have you made the most of your talents today?
- Perseverance: At times, your goals may not seem possible. But so much is possible if you just hang on to your goal and keep working!
- Trust: The ability to know that you are prepared and can do anything! Bring trust into every situation! You can achieve just about anything if you trust in your abilities.
This presentation was designed to speak to my inner "sales representative" soul, in a time of economic strife, but instead struck special cord as a mom of a child with special needs. There were points during his presentation where I could feel myself tearing up. What did Jim's parents do to raise such a strong, secure, determined son? How had Jim handled being made fun of for being and looking different? When did Jim learn of his disability, and what did his parents tell him about it? There were so many questions that ran through my mind. I wanted to learn as much as I could from him on how I can impower Drew to be self-confidant, determined, successful and proud of being different.
Fortunately, Drew's Dad and I were able to spend a considerable amount of time one-on-one with Jim, and were able to talk about our personal situation. We asked Jim if he could give us any advice on how to empower Drew. Jim told us of his Dad, and that one of his dad's key motto's to him was "Be a leader today!" Jim's Dad talked with him each day about the choices he had to make, and that if Jim was a leader, all of his friends and classmates would follow.
Jim also spoke of how being a part of a team, as baseball provided, was a great way to help him "fit in". He strongly encouraged having Drew participate and lead in team sports, which would lead to acceptance without questioning his differences.
If you believe in yourself, nothing can stop you, and then amazing things can happen. We left with an autographed baseball: "To Drew, Anything is Possible!" Jim Abbott
***Drew's Dad here...I just wanted to add this video in case one of you hadn't heard of Jim Abbott. Enjoy!***