As the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics come to an end, we at Four Pillars Executives reflect on what it means to be a Paralympic athlete. While not receive as much media attention as the games in July, the Paralympic games, held August 7 through August 18, hold special meaning for those of us at Four Pillars Executives, because the games symbolize the road to overcoming obstacles.
All of the athletes at the Paralympic games have been diagnosed with some kind of physical or mental injury that has compromised one or more of their abilities. While some of these injuries have been had since birth, such as being born without one or more limbs, others were diagnosed later in life. In addition to their condition, some of these athletes have also had difficult childhood and adult lives. For example, one Paralympic gymnast was put up for adoption shortly after birth, simply because she was born with no lower limbs. Others endured bullying during childhood or received special treatment from others.
However, none of these happenings or conditions stopped them from doing what they love and doing it well. Each of these athletes has had to overcome many obstacles in their lives, particularly with regards to their sport. At many times, we are sure they thought about quitting and giving into their disability. Using technology such as wheelchairs, athletes who have little to no function in their lower extremities can play basketball, hockey, soccer, cycling, volleyball, tennis, and even compete in track and field. These athletes did not give into their disability and did not let it control their life. Instead they took control decided to do something great by competing in sports.
At Four Pillars Executives we find constant inspiration in the athletes and their achievements. Many things in our lives are uncontrollable and we have to learn to overcome them and continue to move towards success. We teach our office members to take control of what they can control and make that work for them. By focusing on what we cannot control, we give away our power, but by realizing and taking control, we have the power to succeed. The Paralympic games are the greatest showcase of this idea, and are an inspiration and a reminder to never let anything hold us back. We can be successful in the worst and best of time, if only we have the courage to overcome. As the games come to an end, we encourage you to seize each day and focus on what you have the power to control. It is then that you will see success.