The Box

Originally published on LinkedIn

Mohammed Qahtani of Saudi Arabia didn’t speak his first word until he was 6 years old and then struggled with a stutter. In August 2,015, he won the World Championship of Public Speaking in Las Vegas giving a speech entitled, “The Power of Words” to the 2500+ attendees.

To win the championship, Qatani defeated 30,000 participants from 135 countries over the course of 6 months of competition.

“Your mouth can spit venom, or it can mend a broken soul,” he said. “Words can be your power. You can change a life, inspire a nation, make this world a better place.”

As you might expect, he grew up being teased for his stutter.

You can imagine the limitations Qahtani was encouraged to believe as a result of his delayed speech.

“You’re stupid,” could have been said to him a thousand times.

And years later, he stood on a stage victorious.

What’s your excuse for not having the life you want?

Poor education?

Racism?

Ageism.

Wrong social class?

Lack of opportunity?

So what?

Yes, I understand that you have been and are being conditioned to live in a box of expectations and beliefs yet your determination, your will and your belief in yourself in the face of conflicting “information,” (actually opinions, not information, can be the difference between the life you want and the life Mohammed’s friend, Nasser, experienced., desperate for his father’s approval.

Yes, words are powerful.

So is belief.

In Stephen King’s, “The Shawshank Redemption,” a character, Andy Dufresne says, “Get busy living or get busy dying.

Which will it be?

 

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2015

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