The Opportunity of Adversity by Aimee Mullins #TED

Watch as Aimee Mullins delivers one of the most powerful TED Talks I’ve listened to definitely worth your twenty minutes.  I’ve provided some highlights and notes below.  The power of our words can grant or keep others from reaching their potential.  Great talk about embracing adversity and learning to grow through it:

Here’s a link in case the video above is not working.

Our definitions have an impact far greater than we can imagine.  Defining disability.

Everyone has something rare and powerful to offer society.  The human ability to adapt is our greatest asset.

Overcoming Adversity

Implicit in the phrase overcoming adversity, is the idea that success or happiness is about emerging other side of adversity unscathed or unmarked.  As if successes have been from sidestepping a life of prosthetics.  We are changed we are marked by adversity and this is a good thing.  Adversity isn’t an obstacle we need to get around, in order to resume living our life, it’s part of our life.

The question isn’t whether you will meet adversity, but how you will meet it.  Our responsibility isn’t just to shield our kids from adversity, but to teach them how to deal with it well.

“The only real and consistent disability I’ve experienced is the idea that I could be described by those definitions.”

Aimee Mullins at the premiere of Baby Mama at ...

The model of what is broken and how we fix it, may be more debilitating than the prognosis itself.  We must see through the pathology and into the range of possiblity for the person.

Find opportunities wrapped in adversity.  Not overcoming adversity but opening ourselves up to it.  If we are to see adversity as natural, consistent and useful we will be less burdened by it.

Change and Adversity

It’s not the strongest or the most intelligent that survives, it’s the one that is the most adaptable to change.  – Darwin

Transformation and adaptation is the greatest human skill.  Reimagine adversity as something more than tough times, see it as change we haven’t adapted ourselves to yet.

The greatest idea we’ve created for ourselves is the idea of normalcy.  Who’s normal?  Would you want ot meet that poor beige person if they existed?

We must change this hideous idea of normalcy to possibility or potency, we could enable others to engage their potential.

The X Factor

“I was the doctor who was forced to give your parents the news that you would never walk or run.  You’ve been making a liar out of me ever since.”  The potential of the human will.

Even given a modicum of support, a child will achieve.  All you really need is one person to show you the power of your epiphany, you are educating them in the best sense.

Educate comes from the root word, “educe” to bring forth from within.

The only true disability is a crushed spirit, doesn’t see hope, doesn’t have childlike curiosity, or imagination.

Working to redefine adversity today. Change is the only constant.

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