Sunday, February 28, 2010

Four Fabulous Teachers - #1: Aimee Mullins

I am setting out to blog about four people I find truly remarkable for their life teachings. First up? Aimee Mullins, a teacher of the potential of the human will.

Aimee was born with fibular hemimelia, a limb anomaly wherein there is partial or total absence of the fibula (shin) bones. She had both legs amputated below the knee when she was only a year old.  However, as she jokingly remarks in a TED talk - from the moment she was born and her doctor communicated that she would never be able to walk, Aimee has been making a liar out of this doctor ever since (she is a World Record Holder in the 100 meter, 200 meter and Long Jump).

Throughout this TED video, Aimee speaks to the opportunity that lies in adversity and about the X-factor, the potential of the human will; "the human ability to survive and flourish is driven by the struggle of the human spirit through conflict into transformation."

Rather than see adversity as something we need to sidestep, Aimee rather sees it as something to embrace so that we can be successful not in spite of it of because of it. "Adversity gives us a sense of self - a sense of power. Adversity is more than just tough times but, rather, change - adversity is just change we haven't adapted ourselves to yet.

She also remembers, however, that this is not something we can always simply do on our own.  We often need help from others so we can see this opportunity that lies in front of us, or maybe we just need one person "all you need is one person to show you the epiphany of your own power and you are off."


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin

1 comment:

  1. Inspirational!
    I've always loved the former professional baseball player, Jim Abbott. He was born without a right hand, and threw a no-hitter while pitching for the New York Yankees (we won't hold that against him) in 1993. The potential of the human will is truly astonishing!