Achieving goals often requires taking risks, but all too often in life, we’re afraid to take that shot in the dark.
Blind since the age of 8, Lex Gillette was determined not to let that fact keep him from achieving his goals. By the age of 32, Lex had earned 4 Paralympic medals, 2 world championships, and a world record in the long jump.
At 9, Lex asked his parents for a basketball hoop he could hang on the back of his door. He tied the bottom of the net together so the ball wouldn’t fall out and he began taking shots. In the beginning he was terrible but with practice he was soon able to make the ball go in the basket from anywhere in his room by envisioning where the hoop was.
What he realized was that in life, sometimes we’re afraid to take a shot in the dark. But envisioning where that rim was helped him sharpen his focus tremendously. It was this razer sharp focus that propelled Les to win 17 national championships.
Picture this, a tall, lean, black athlete standing at the end of the long jump runway. But this athlete is blind. His coach is at the other end of the runway, past the landing pit. This blind athlete tunes into his coach’s audible instructions. His coach then begins to clap and yells “fly, fly, fly”.
Lex homed in on the sound of his voice and took off in his direction. On the 16th stride he lept into the air and soared to a world record jump. He heard the roar of the crowd and knew he would be making a tip to the gold medal stand.
Was Lex born with the desire to succeed or does it come from facing adversity?
Do we need to lose our sight in order to see a better version of ourselves? The best view of ourselves?
Navigating through life without the use of eyesight has allowed Lex to ascend to new heights and push the limits of courage, faith and self-determination. The inability to see was not the determining factor in whether Lex would succeed or not. It was having a vision, seeing something before it is in existence, and working tirelessly to bring it to life.
It is that very power that has propelled Lex Gillette into being the best totally blind long jumper in the world. The ability to see things before they exist is a power available to all of us. Lex believes that the dream of flight can become a reality limited only by the power of your imagination. When you have a vision of soaring to new heights…wings are just a detail.
Close your eyes now and envision your highest potential, paint a picture of yourself at your absolute best.
What do you see? Do you see your life the way it currently is? Do you see your business, your practice, your relationships with your spouse, your kids, your co-workers as they currently are? Or do you see them how they could be? What does that vision look like? Vision your relationships with those most important to you, family, friends, customers, partners. Vision your health, your wellbeing, your serenity, your peace. What do you see? Vision your lifestyle, does it match up to what you see? If not, are you willing to put in the time and effort so it will?
Lex would remind himself that “For those determined to fly, having no wings is just a little detail.”
“Sight shows us what is, Vision shows us what could be.”
“Sight shows us our current reality, Vision allows us to have that reality”
“Vision gives us the ability to show us where we want to go, and who we want to be. A lot of people have perfect sight, but they don’t have 20/20 vision.”
“Don’t accept the current sight in front of you, have a vision of what your realty could be. Sight limits us to see what is, Vision frees us to see what could be. Either accept the current realty or take a shot in the dark.”