- Channeling your challenges in a positive direction
Channeling your challenges in a positive direction
Channelling your challenges
in a positive direction!
Many people, in South Africa, young and old, live with a chronic disease or permanent disability.
What is a chronic illness?
- A chronic disease is an illness which is either life-long or one which is re-occurring (it comes and goes throughout their life).
Some of these diseases and disabilities can be extremely challenging and difficult to live with.
Here is one way you could approach your situation.
You can either allow yourself to be ‘disabled’ by your illness or disability … or you can channel your situation and make it a positive part of your life. Embrace it. Use it.
There are so many examples of people living with extreme challenges who are making amazing positive contributions to their community and country. They have not let their ‘challenge’ destroy them.
- Victor Vermeulen was a rising cricket star in this country
After a diving accident he was paralysed from the neck down and now lives in a wheelchair. Victor, ‘picked himself up’ and with his positive attitude and will to live life to his fullest potential. He is doing just that. He has become a very successful motivational speaker.
- ‘Epilepsy is not disabling.’ – Jonty Rhodes
From one cricketer to another - Jonty Rhodes has epilepsy but this disease did not stop him becoming one of the world’s best cricket players. He’s now a cricket fielding coach as well as a motivational speaker.
Motivational speakers help motivate others in a similar situation or even motivate healthy, abled people. What better way to get a positive message across. If you can do it, almost everyone can! Some motivational speakers are very busy and earn a LOT of money.
Skills needed for this career choice: be a good speaker and communicator, confidence and positive energy.
Other sporting, disabled motivational speakers in SA are Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit.
On a different note:
- Zackie Achmat. Activist. He has channelled his illness (AIDS) and skills into starting TAC, Treatment and Action Campaign for AIDS sufferers. His tireless work and dedication has helped millions of people around SA.
- South African, Judge Edwin Cameron is an AIDS patient. His challenge has not stopped him applying himself as one of SA’s best judges.
- In 2009, Darren Rajbal, was named the most talented person in South Africa when he won ‘South Africa's Got Talent’. He’s a deaf dancer! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu_AMSJOJYI
There are many chronically ill and disabled people in South Africa with very successful and rewarding careers. Whether they’re deaf, blind, haemophiliac, or are suffering from high blood pressure, they are determined not to let their situation beat them. It’s about attitude.
‘There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle.’ - Albert Einstein
Volunteers – may become fund raisers for organisations helping others with similar challenges. They could either help fundraising by phoning, cold-calling or even taking on extreme fundraising challenges. For example: Climbing Kilimanjaro with no legs.
If you are living with a challenge or challenges – think about using them to your advantage.
Here are a few ideas:
- You could start off small by assisting or volunteering in your school, college or community. You may like to give a motivational talk to your class or give a talk in your church hall etc.
- You may consider volunteering at your local organisations. If you’re deaf, you don’t have to volunteer at a deaf organisation. Volunteering at any organisation which assists chronic disease sufferers or people with disabilities would be welcomed.
As a ‘sufferer’ yourself, you understand the feelings and needs of people in a similar situation. This understanding is priceless.
Depending on your challenge – you could assist by answering the phone, do office admin, help with fundraising, driving disabled people where they need to be, etc etc.
A little help goes a long way. By assisting others – you will also feel better about yourself. It’s a win-win situation. You may even meet people who are incredibly inspirational – living with worse challenges than yourself.
Try to remember that these organisations are run like businesses and any work or skills you can learn while working or volunteering for them is good for you. You could add these skills and work experience to your CV at a later date.
Here are just a few examples of organisations, in South Africa,
which may help you … or, which you may like to be a positive part of:
- DEPRESSION: South African Depression and Anxiety Group
- DIABETES: Diabetes of South Africa
- ARTHRITIS: Arthritis Foundation of SA
- AIDS: Treatment Action Campaign:
- AIDS HELPLINE: 0800 012 322 (24 hours, FREE, confidential)
- ASTHMA: National Asthma Education Programme
- EPILEPSY: Epilepsy South Africa
- HYPERTENSION (high blood pressure): Southern African Hypertension Society
- OBESITY: South African Society for Obesity and Metabolism
- HAEMOPHILIA: South African Haemophilia Foundation
- MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: MS South Africa
- PARALYSIS: Quadpara Association of South Africa
- DEAFNESS: South African National Deaf Association
- BLINDNESS: South African National Council for the Blind
- AMPUTEES (loss of limb/s): Childhood Amputees of South Africa
- STUTTERING: Stuttering Foundation
For almost every chronic illness and almost every disability - there is a support group or organisation for it.
With your skills, empathy (understanding) and assistance - you too could make a difference. Giving, instead of taking is extremely rewarding.
Plus - Who knows where your skills will lead you? … Who you’ll meet … What connections you’ll make. Doors may open in places you’ve never dreamed of.
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‘So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.’
- Christopher Reeve (‘Superman’ actor, who ended up, after a horse-riding accident, a quadriplegic, in a wheelchair)
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Other articles to read:
- The secret to attracting whatever you want
- What's the worst that can happen?
- Why are some people always happy?
- LIVING WAY - empowerng local communities
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