By Anubhav Srivastava. (Register For His Workshop – Super Confidence For Super Success)
Helen Keller is one of the biggest role models in history, not only to women, not only to people with disabilities but to anyone who wants to overcome difficulties in their life and knows of her story.
At a young age Helen Keller developed an illness that resulted in both deafness and blindness. Helen was a resentful child frustrated by her inability to communicate. Her relatives asked her parents to put her in a special institution but they refused. Finally they hired a teacher called Anne Sullivan who would change her life forever. Through intense discipline and a desire to learn, Helen soon made rapid progress. She learned how to read Braille (a script for the visually challenged), write and even tried to speak.
She went on to attend college with people who did not have the same challenges as her and yet she graduated with honors and became the first deaf/blind person to get a college degree. Thereafter she became a famous author, speaker, activist and went all across the world educating and inspiring people. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest civilian award in USA. Even though she was not given much in life and had to work hard for everything, she dedicated her life to the society. Her resolve and determination inspired millions across the globe and turned her into a legend who will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Let’s take a look at these sayings by Helen Keller along with my detailed explanation/interpretation of them.
1) The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
Love, Happiness and all the other amazing emotions are what truly make life an experience worth living. These things cannot be seen and touched. They are intangible and yet, without them life means nothing. If you see something but cannot feel it emotionally, it cannot give you any joy.
In this quote, Helen Keller who could not speak or hear emphasizes that to truly see the beauty of life one must begin to experience things emotionally with their heart. She perhaps also emphasizes that just because someone is disabled, it does not mean they cannot experience the beauty of life
An open minded individual who maybe physically disabled but has a magnanimous heart has a better chance of seeing the beauty of life than someone whose eyes, ears and limbs work perfectly, but is ultimately a cold and emotionless person.
2) Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
This Helen Keller quote emphasizes the importance of going through testing times in our lives. Times that may give us a lot of suffering but also give us a lot of lessons. What you get in life doesn’t make you someone worthy of admiration by default. Yes, you will attract money minded people that way but you will not attract respect. What truly commands respect is when you have to beat countless hurdles and overcome insurmountable odds to get to what you want to achieve. In this case, even if you fail to achieve what you people will respect your grit. Struggles are what will develop your character.
At every point in your journey you will be faced with choices. The easy choice which is to quit or the hard one which is to keep pushing on. The choice you take will be what develops your character. You can take the easy way out and go back to whatever you were doing. Or you can take the hard choice and tell life, “Give me all you got!”. In the process of overcoming all the obstacles that life throws at you, you will come out much more stronger, wiser and a beacon of hope for everyone else facing similar struggles.
3) Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.
Life despite all its struggles is ultimately like a roller coaster. You go through great highs and great lows and that is what makes it so exciting. If life was a smooth ride it would be super boring. The challenges you face and the reward you get after successfully overcoming those challenges are what makes the journey enjoyable.
This Helen Keller quote also emphasizes the importance of living a life that positively impacts our fellow living beings (including animals). When you live only for yourself, you get momentary pleasure out of the hedonistic life you may lead but ultimately you will feel empty. When you live your life for others you will realize that the real secret to long term happiness is making others happy.
4) The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.
Sight simply means the ability to see things. Vision, in this context is something entirely different. Vision is to conceive possibilities of something grand in your mind far before it ever becomes a reality. It is the ability to see things that others way before others can even think of them ever happening.
Helen Keller, herself did not possess sight but had a tremendous vision. Even though she could not see physically, nothing could limit the imaginations of her mind. She knew that none of her limitations would limit her dreams and went on to achieve everything she wanted. She became the first deaf and blind person to earn a degree, went on to be an famous author, activist, speaker and inspired millions across the globe with her resolve of steel.
5) The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.
All of us want to be heroes. Because it seems all revolutionary things were done by one single person or a very small group. We think Mahatma Gandhi helped India get independence when there were in fact millions of people who dedicated their lives to it and it is their cumulative action that got us to where we are today. We think it is John F Kennedy’s declaration that helped Man get to the moon, when it was the thousands working at NASA who did the real job.
We put a single hero on a pedestal whilst ignoring the team because it is simple for our brain to process the information if we associate the achievement with a single person. Everything that we achieve, not just huge events, but even small things are often the results of the efforts of people we do not even appreciate. You get electricity because someone is working to ensure you get it. The bread that you eat is the result of the efforts of people making it in the factory.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the leader or just one of many workers. It does not matter whether you are building a spaceship or cleaning the roads. As long as you are committed to your job like a hero, you are a hero.
6) Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
The one thing we all want in life is security and stability. Security makes us feel safe. But true security does not exist. It does not exist when when you drive your car on the way to work. It does not exist when you work on your business. It does not exist in your job. It does not even exist at home.
If you think that by avoiding your fears you are keeping yourself safe, you are following the Ostrich Approach. An ostrich is said to bury its head in the ground when it sees danger. By burying its head in the ground it thinks it is safe. Of course it isn’t safe, it’s pure avoidance. The danger is still there. You have to face your fears to beat them.
You are going to face a lot of risks when it comes to following your dreams. There is nothing wrong with planning to lower the risk of danger. There is nothing wrong with having a strategy to ensure that your chances of success go up, but ultimately you have to make the decision. Ultimately if you want to succeed you will have to take the leap. They say think before you leap. True, But don’t think too much or you will never leap. If you take the leap, your chances of success maybe 1 in a hundred. But if you don’t they will be zero.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address. Facebook: http://facebook.com/anubhav981
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