Helen Keller was an amazing woman. At 19 months old she went blind and deaf, yet that didn’t stop her from achieving her dreams. Helen was not a person who made excuses, she made things happen. She is a constant reminder to all of us that anything is possible. Despite her circumstances, Helen Keller became a world famous author, activist, and speaker. One of her many accomplishments includes being the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. I believe we can learn a lot from Helen Keller’s life and the non-negotiables she lived by.
7 Non-Negotiables for Success:
1. GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS. I often tell people to go after their dreams and turn them into a reality. My skeptics would say, “That’s unrealistic,” …but what’s the point of being “realistic.” Nothing great has ever been achieved by a “realist.” Albert Einstein was not a realist, the Wright Brothers were not realists, Thomas Edison was not a realist, and Alexander Graham Bell was certainly not a realist. What is “realistic,” its often, nothing more than the self-imposed limitations adopted from society? Take the limits off; Life is too short to blend in.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.” – Helen Keller
2. YOU MUST HAVE A VISION. Do you have a vision, a goal, a plan, a mission for your life? Isaiah wrote, without a vision the people perish. Great leaders are always great visionaries, they have an internal picture of where their going; their fixated on their vision. What’s your vision?
“It’s a terrible thing to see, and have no vision!” – Helen Keller
3. NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE. The beauty of “time” is that you can accomplish just about anything if you keep at it long enough. Set your mind on what you want to accomplish, and don’t stop until you get there. They say the usefulness of the postage stamp consists in its ability to stick to something until it gets there. Learn from the postage stamp; stay committed to your dream until you get there.
“We can do anything we want to do, if we stick to it long enough” – Helen Keller
4. EXPERIENCE IS PRICELESS. Knowledge is nice, but experience is priceless. Learn from all of life’s lessons! Never be afraid to get your hands dirty by getting some first-hand experience. Only experience can bring full understanding.
“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”- Helen Keller
5. BE POSITIVE. Although we could focus on the negative things around us, it doesn’t do us much good. Helen Keller said, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.” I think this is good advice. Decide to see glass as “half-full,” things are not getting worse, they’re getting better!
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”- Helen Keller
6. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WINNERS. Winners hang-out with winners. Don’t be caught hanging-out with negative people. Negative people are like “vampires,” they suck the life from everything around them. They’re always saying “how you can’t, why you can’t, and how you’re going to fail when you try.” If you hang with these “chickens” for too long, you’ll forget that you have the ability to soar like an eagle. Decide to spend your time with those who believe the impossible is possible.
“While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.” – Helen Keller
7. YOU CONTROL YOUR DESTINY. Everything you need to succeed, you already have on the inside of you. Success is yours for the taking, but you have to believe it, and you have to be convinced that you deserve it.
“What I am looking for is not “out there,” it is in me” – Helen Keller