How Dyslexia Taught Me to LIVE
I have dedicated my entire life to creating a life of freedom. I took a long detour to get here but now — there is no going back. And oddly enough, I thank Dyslexia for helping to free me and for teaching me to really LIVE.
At eight-years-old, I was diagnosed as profoundly dyslexic. I was told that I would always be less than everyone else; that I wouldn’t be able to perform the same in school; that I wouldn’t be able to read at the same level as everyone else and that writing would always be a chore for me. For the next ten to twelve years I went through the rest of my schooling career believing what these people told me. I lived my life as if I was less smart than everyone around me.
I couldn’t read or write well. I didn’t succeed in school at all.
I ended up dropping out of college after two years; it was just easier for me to go find a job than it was to stay in school. Subconsciously, I had created the beliefs that I was less-than and that I was stupid. Once those beliefs existed, they became the truth and from then on, that was how I saw myself.
When I reached the point in my life where I was ready to change, I began examining the things in my life that weren’t working. Dyslexia was by far my biggest challenge and I took it head-on. I started to research more about it and found a book called The Gift of Dyslexia. It completely changed my life. For starters, it changed how I viewed my dyslexia. This was the beginning of my first experience with transformation. I realized that what everyone had told me that led me to believe I was stupid, inferior and less-than, was in fact not a curse at all. Rather, it was the greatest asset I had.
Dyslexia gave me a whole variety of incredible gifts, gifts of visual imaging and visual creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership skills, the ability to intuit solutions from a wide range of information, the ability to build and create. It eventually gave me the competence to found my own companies. All of this was a result of my dyslexia and I came to be extremely thankful for it. What I had once viewed as my biggest inadequacy, I now viewed as an incredible gift. I realized that I was on to something. It was not our so-called struggles, issues or problems that got in our way, rather, it was how we identified them. It was the beliefs we created as a result of the obstacles that got in our way, and not the obstacles themselves.
When I changed how I viewed my dyslexia, my entire world changed. My sense of self-worth improved and doors opened in ways that I didn’t even know existed. The possibilities were endless. Could I do this with other aspects of my life that weren’t working? What other wounds had I faced? What other stories had people made up about me that I had believed and turned into fears, doubts and anxieties?
I started to look at other problem areas of my life and found that my perspective had already begun to change. If we get to choose the meaning that we give to events ourselves, then all we have to do is alter our old beliefs and let the healing process begin. All that energy that we have spent believing negative things about ourselves can now be put to a much better use: creating everything that we want.
As we travel along our path of life, heading towards our dreams, visions, and goals, we will always find obstacles along the way. But it is not the obstacles that block our path. Rather, it is our tendency to focus on them so wholeheartedly that we lose sight of the path altogether. It is so hard to see our goals when all we’re focused on are the obstacles.
Instead of viewing something as an obstacle and letting it prevent us from living the life we imagine, we can choose to look at it in a different light and see it as an advantage. And then, we can truly create a life of freedom.