Ever wonder how some people seem to rise above whatever obstacles are thrown their way? We all face challenges in our lives, but what truly defines us is how we handle each situation.
Our attitude can make all the difference, and no one sums this up better then holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist who survived 3 years in Nazi concentration camps. After WWII, Viktor chronicled his experiences in the famous 1946 book “Man’s Search For Meaning” where he concluded that those who continued to choose their own attitude despite the circumstances and found meaning in it, were able to move forward with renewed hope.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl
This profound philosophy can be found each and every day with ordinary people who choose a different limitless reality that is truly inspiring! Two ocean souls that come to mind are surfers Bethany Hamilton and Jonas Letieri. Both faced traumatic incidents that resulted in the loss of limbs.
Bethany, lost her left arm to a tiger shark at the age of 13 yet was back in the water a month later and won her first national surfing title 2 years later. She continues to surf professionally and most recently won 3rd place at the Fiji Women’s Pro event in May, 2016. Besides being a pro-surfer, Bethany, now 26, continues to live life to the fullest as a wife, new mom, best selling author, motivational speaker and the Founder of her own charity that reaches out to amputees and youth.
Jonas, a surfer since his childhood, was doing volunteer work when the unthinkable happened. He came into contact with a loose electrical wire which resulted in the amputation of both arms at the elbow. However, with the help of his father, they crafted a way to attach his paddle to his arm so he could continue to surf. Jonas recently competed in the Ocean Festival in San Clemente, CA and is gearing up for the Molokai to Oahu World Paddleboard Championships in late July, 2016.
There’s no limits, right? I almost lost my life, I lost my hands. But I didn’t lose my life, I didn’t lose my dreams.” ~Jonas Letieri
Clearly, the human spirit can be quite remarkable. These examples show us all the importance of choosing our own attitude. The next time you are facing a challenge, ask yourself this question: Will I let circumstances dictate my fate or will I choose my own path?
If you know of other inspiring souls, please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear about them!