Twenty-five-year-old Oscar Pistorius is making history at the Olympics this year. The 400-meter track star from South Africa became the first double amputee to compete in the track and field event. Pistorius was born without fibulas and his legs were amputated below the knee before he was a year old. Although he qualified at the 2008 Olympics, track’s world governing board ruled he was ineligible to compete because his blades were deemed a competitive advantage. This year, he’s making a strong statement for disabled athletes who aspire to compete with able-bodied athletes. Pistorius’s determined performance and physical and mental strength gives all of us the courage to aspire to something even greater.
In June 2011, 9-year-old Rachel Beckwith asked family and friends to donate to her birthday fundraising campaign instead of giving her presents. Her goal was $300 to provide safe water to developing nations. At the end of the campaign, she was $80 short of her goal but told her mom she would do it again next year. Rachel died in a tragic car accident a month later. Word of the accident and her birthday campaign spread through news reports and people around the world began to donate. A few months later, more than $1.2 million was raised through her fundraising page, giving 149 communities and 60,000 people clean water. Rachel’s sincere desire to help others inspired people around the world to come together and make a difference.
Earlier this week, NASA’s Curiosity rover made a historical landing inside Gale Crater on Mars. The spacecraft has been on its journey since November 26, 2011 and traveled approximately 352 million miles. Curiosity is the most sophisticated roving laboratory to land on another planet and the $2.6 billion rover houses highly technological equipment. Curiosity will take photos, collect and analyze samples and make impacting discoveries that will allow significant strides in learning about our universe.
As entrepreneurs, we are continuously faced with the word impossible. It may be a daily, internal thought you push yourself past, a daunting task such as raising a specific amount of working capital to keep your business open, or the desire to break into new markets. Many times, as demonstrated by these three examples, impossible is just a word. When we stop and listen, we’ll find the inspiration, resources and determination we need to prepare, perform, and accomplish our goals. What “impossible” goal will you conquer today?
We’ll leave you with this quote by Oscar Pistorius: “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”