Never give up. Each of us starts out in this game of life being dealt a certain hand. It is then up to us to decide how we will play our cards and deal with the unavoidable obstacles that will continually try to knock us down. While there may be times when it would be easier to just throw up our hands and give up, sticking it out and giving it our all can lead us to greater rewards than we could ever imagine.
As a young girl I was diagnosed with a muscular affliction that prevented me from doing many of the typical childhood activities. I spent many days sitting inside my family’s apartment watching other kids do the things I wished I could do. People frequently called me names and bullied me around back then.
One particular instance has always stuck with me. Walking home from school one day, I was followed by a group of kids who were taunting and throwing things at me. When I got inside my apartment building I turned to them and yelled, “Someday I’m going to be so famous, you will never be able to touch me!”
It was not only these bullying children but also the doctors and adults who told me that I would never be able to make anything of myself. Being told that I “couldn’t” so many times ended up serving as my motivation to tell myself I “could.” This criticism served to be some of the best motivation to working through the physical and mental obstacles I was faced with. One of the greatest rewards of overcoming an obstacle is being able to go back to all those naysayers and prove that you are, in fact, something.
The greatest piece of advice that I could give anyone is don’t be afraid to try. You never know what you are actually capable of until you at least give yourself the chance to prove yourself, and everyone else, wrong. Even if you don’t succeed, you can still walk away from the situation knowing that you at least gave it your best.
Once I decided to prove all the bullies and pessimists wrong, I realized that I wanted to be involved with the entertainment industry. I had always been fascinated by movie stars and singers – especially Eddie Fisher. I knew that I had to do everything I could to meet him, so I decided to go to Manhattan and while I was there, talked myself into organizing the International Eddie Fisher fan clubs. Since my mother had to carry me up the stairs from the subway to street level, I had never travelled the route by myself. This was my first trip to Manhattan all on my own at the age of 13 (and one my parents did not know about). What was normally a 10-15 minute long trip from Queens to Manhattan, took me 2 1/2 hours to get there that day. I had to take every stair step by step and rest after every few. When I finally got to the top of the stairs I realized that even in just this one trip I had physically overcome more than I had ever thought I would. It was so empowering!
When it comes to the obstacles in life, it may seem like there is little that we can control ourselves. The secret to success in so many aspects is to look at these obstacles as challenges that will make our victory so much sweeter in the end. Don’t be afraid to try – you never know what you are capable of until you do.