It’s How You Use it

Uncommon Grace

It doesn’t matter what talent, what skill, what resource you have, whether inborn, purchased or gifted to you. Unless you’re putting it to good use, it’s worthless.

A friend recently sent me a link to a YouTube video of a “handicapped” couple winning a top prize in a regular (non-handicapped) dance competition.

They’re a couple who, by conventional thinking, have less than most, but who have dedicated themselves to using what they DO have to the uttermost. And they’re beautiful. The dancers’ names are Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei, and here’s their story in brief.

In a Chinese modern dance competition, these two were among the top winners. The lady, in her 30’s, had trained as a dancer since childhood. Then she lost her left arm in an accident and fell into deep depression for years.

Then she was asked to coach a Children’s dancing group, and she regained her love of dance. She attempted some of her old routines, but, with one arm missing, she had little sense of balance.

Eventually she relearned how to do the simplest turns and spins without falling. Then she heard of a man in his 20’s who had lost a leg in an accident. He also suffered from depression and anger. She found him and asked him to dance with her.

He had never danced, and to dance with one leg… what kind of cruel joke is this? “Impossible!”

But she didn’t give up. Finally, he reluctantly agreed, thinking, “I’m not doing anything else anyway.” She began teaching him. The two argued and split several times; he had no idea how a dancer uses his muscles nor controls his body. He didn’t even know the basics of dancing. Anytime she grew frustrated and impatient, he would walk out.

Eventually, they both overcame their self doubts and began training seriously. They hired a choreographer to design routines, and they entered the competition. They ended up winning not only one of the top prizes but also the highest respect of everyone who witnessed their dazzling and graceful routine.

I was especially struck by how the man, a non-dancer with no background or experience had turned into a commanding, graceful presence on the stage. His teacher never wasted time asking if he had any talent. She just intended an outcome and started toward achieving it (which is the secret of all achievement).

So I return to the title statement: It’s How You Use it (and not what you’ve got) that makes you an amazing person.

So What DO You Have?

When you sit to make your list of things you have, what’s on that list? Got two arms, two legs? Be thankful. Can you see, hear or speak? Think gratitude. (And if you don’t have one or more of these, then consider this couple and their example.)

Then there’s the list of things you have but aren’t using. Is it almost identical to your first list? Does it include all the books on your shelf? All the CDs, the Manuals and DVDs and training courses? All the PDFs and MP3s on your hard drive?

And your time? How is it being used? Are you storing up memories of time spent with loved ones? Or years of TV shows? Are you expending effort and energy pursuing a dream like the dancers did? Or are you potatoing on the couch?

“Oh, but that’s hard…”

Well, yeah, it is. So what? So is coming to the end of your life, looking back on all the things waiting for “someday,” and watching the curtains close.

I repeat – what’ve you got that you’re not using? What could you do about it?

“Oh but I don’t know how…”

That’s pure malarky. We have the Internet. We have access to more experts, more teachers, more speakers and coaches and consultants and libraries and resources and assets than ever before in the history of the world. Knowhow is everywhere.

What’s missing in most cases is not know-how but “want-to” … in other words motivation. We may never have trained ourselves to make decisions and put forth effort on demand. Our world makes survival easy, so that’s the way we take it … easy.

If you’d like to gear yourself up to be a real achiever, maybe for the first time in your life – or if you’re already an achiever and you want to shift it up to another level – there’s lots you can do.

One that I’ve used over the years is self hypnosis.

Using self hypnosis anyone can learn to take control of their own thoughts, their own actions and their own feelings.

But is it hard to learn? Honestly no it’s not. You’re probably already doing all sorts of stuff that’s more complicated. If you can drive a car, send email, or dress yourself every day, you can easily take control of your own mind to decide what’s to happen in your own head.

Remember, what’s important is not the advantages or the talents you were born with (nor those that you think you were NOT born with). The most important factor is, how’re you using what you’ve got right now?