Within every human being, exists an infinite supply of creativity,
strength and wonder.
You are capable of more than you know.
Let me tell you about a real life Superhero I know. His name is Mike
Mike Berkson was born a few minutes after his twin brother David, on February 4th, 1989. Shortly after birth, Mike was diagnosed with
cerebral palsy. Doctors told his parents that he would not be able to
talk and he would never be a student in a regular classroom. By the time Mike was 3, he was not only talking up a storm but had a thirst for vocabulary. Mike sets BIG goals. Mike excels in English and History, is creative in writing short stories and has ambitions in film making.
Mike lives in a Chicago suburb and now attends high school. He loves rap music, Seinfeld reruns, movies, girls, and many other things most
teenagers are interested in. Mike is unique in that he has to work
around some obstacles in his day to day life that you and I will never
be faced with.
Because he is confined to a wheelchair, and has limited use of his arms and legs, he is paired with someone to help him through the day so he can attend school and get the quality of education he deserves. For a few years, my friend Tim was fortunate enough to be paired with Mike and serve as Mike's aid and helper.
Ponder the things you do every day and imagine being physically unable
to do them. Tim was responsible for taking notes for Mike, assisting him
with eating, the bathroom, transportation and all the things that we do without thinking about.
As Tim and Mike grew closer and Tim became a member of Mike's family,
Tim felt a yearning to share with the world Mike's awesome attitude, and
how Mike deals with prejudices, ignorance and inconveniences despite his circumstances.
Tim was so inspired by the Superhero within Mike, that last year he set a goal to write a book about Mike and run 1,200 miles from Florida to Chicago to promote it.
Just one tiny problem...at the time, Tim could hardly run 30 minutes and
in order to achieve his goals within 4 months, he would have to write
the book at blazing speed AND get into the kind of physical condition to
maintain a pace of running 40 miles per day for 31 straight days.
Impossible you might think? No. Remember I told you that you are more powerful than you think you are.
You see Tim had a unique source of motivation to fuel his goals. He had
Mike. He had the examples from years of watching Mike display the traits of a real life Superhero. Tim had the inspiration of making a promise to an exceptional young man. Tim had the motivation of a purpose greater than himself.
Tim had the yearning to pursue a series of goals so much bigger than
anything he had ever done before, that he just had to try. As a tribute
to Mike, Tim had to push himself beyond anything he ever previously did, as Mike does every single day.
Some people in life believe you should only pursue goals you know you can achieve. Others believe the success lies in the growth that occurs
from stretching beyond your previous wins, and that all growth is
How do you define success?
I interviewed Tim recently on my radio show. Tim explained how he found an endurance coach and transformed himself from a couch potato into an ultra endurance champion. Tim did not reach his goal of running 40 miles a day. You see, his plan was flawed. He made a lot of mistakes. His schedule for the run was so tight, that he did not allow himself any room for error, like weather, funding, or the hazards of running alongside traffic. His approach for raising money was limited. He had a skeleton crew of one to accompany him on the run.
He had to return home by a certain date, regardless of how far behind he was, so he had to drive the distances to catch up when he fell behind.
Shortly after he started his journey, he realized he would not be able
to achieve the 1,200 miles and still make it home on time. But he kept
running anyways, he wanted to Keep On Keeping On. He would rather
continue stretching himself than consider quitting.
Why is Tim's journey considered a success by many? Because he dared to pursue it in the first place. Because he did finish his book about Mike in record time. Because he succeeded in transforming his body into an Ultra Endurance Machine for that time. Because he DID succeed in running an average of 24 miles per day for a total of 700 miles. Because he didn't quit, even when he realized he could not reach every goal he set for himself. Because he touched the heart of a young man who looked up to him. Because he inspired a lot of people to go beyond what they previously thought they could do.
Because for a moment in time, he taped into the Superhero inside himself and unleashed more of his own potential.
Rising above circumstances like a champion inspires other people.
We must re-evaluate our perspective on what success really is.
Are you a success if you play it safe your whole life and never dare
anything unless you are guaranteed victory?
When you set BIG Goals, it is important to set many smaller goals that coincide with it. Even if you fail to reach your deadline for one Goal,
you will still succeed at many, and you will build your confidence to a
much higher level. Give yourself empowering reasons for getting up when you feel down.
There is a Superhero inside YOU.
What Goals can you set that will inspire you to unleash it?
Keep On Keeping On.
Live Your Dreams.
Note by Jill Koenig
Edited by Lawyer Asad