Your disadvantages could be your greatest advantage!!!

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.  ~Walt Disney

It’s a new year with new promise and new challenges and if you are lucky some real big disadvantages turned to your greatest advantage.  You would think that those folks that have the easiest and the most cushy start to life would have it made in the shade so to speak. It turns out however the people throughout history who have had the greatest disadvantages have made the greatest impact on their lives and ultimately the lives of others.

Most of our world’s  famous CEOs and big corp business owners were born in poverty and lack. They all had the ability to push past all their failures and find the advantages and the opportunities that can only be found in a struggle. There are high level stats to back up the idea that being born in an advantaged household may impede people from success because the risk and the growth so needed for success is not there.

We all can most likely recite how many times Edison tried to make the lightbulb work, 10,000 times at least. I would imagine I would have given up after a few hundred tries. I am not sure if I would have tried at all and for what.  His imagination and his spirit lived long after his failures and made our life much brighter. Pun intended!!!

Elvis Presley flunked out of music class and was rejected by a quartet because his voice was not good enough. Wise friends told him to stick to truck driving. This Elvis loving girl is so thankful he did not listen to his well meaning friends.

Fred Astaire was told,”You can’t act, you can’t sing and you can dance maybe a little!!!”  Fred Astaire ended up being deaf to the naysayers and went on to do nearly 50 movies, winning several Emmys, Grammys,  and an Oscar. Fred Astaire started performing at the age of 6 and did not experience any success at all until he was into his 30’s.

If Charles Shultz had given into all of his rejections we would never have experienced Charlie Brown and that adorable hound.  When he was younger, his high school yearbook staff rejected every cartoon he submitted. He even flunked out of 8th grade and was certainly not on anyone’s radar to be one of our most influential writers with the most beloved characters. 

There are so many stories I could share such as Walt Disney being told that he lacked creativity!!!!  Michael Jordan not making the team. Michael Jordan pointed out that he missed far more times than he made it!!!!  

I hope that this year is your year to focus on your wins and learn from your losses and mistakes. I pray you have enough losses and mistakes to propel you to your highest potential. I just don’t think we can end up where we need to be without the struggle.  I thank God all the time for the adversities of my youth and adulthood that enabled me to be grateful for every little victory along the way. 

Because I have known lack, I recognize plenty. Because I have known heartache, I appreciated a love that was like no other.  Because I have been surrounded by addiction and mental instability I appreciate and cherish my sober home and the  emotional health that follows. 

We are a generation that has skated by with a fairly stable world until the last few years. We have all learned that we can shift and pivot and make our world GREAT in spite of and also because we have risen to our challenges. I suspect that all of us are stronger and wiser and more adaptive than we have ever been.   

It is my prayer that this year we continue to learn and grow with the challenges that we face and that we are grateful oh so grateful that it has not come easy. But it has come triumphantly because we persevered.  I am proud of us!!!

I adore you all!!!!!  WE are so very very strong and powerful together!!!


Karen Key Smith

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