Actress Shirley McClaine once said: “You can take the subtlest of signals and use them to transform impossible problems”. Understanding your personality type, which is influenced by your mind’s natural thought process, heightens your awareness of these signals. Ignoring these cues can lead to unfulfilling life decisions.
For people with disabilities, fear, intimidation and societal bias can also be the culprits behind career dissatisfaction. As my readers know, I am a big music fan and I love going to concerts. I am frequently inspired by my favorite musicians. I recently saw John Mellencamp at the Providence Performing Arts Center. He first became popular as John Cougar in the 1980s when I was in high school, listening to vinyl records and cassette tapes.
After the show, I visited Mellencamp’s website to find out more about his new album. While reading his Biography, I learned something really amazing. In 1951, Mellencamp was born with spina bifida, a birth defect caused when the spinal column does not form properly and part of the spinal cord is exposed. Children born with spina bifida may have extensive neurological and physical problems. During the 1950s, many infants born with spina bifida did not survive. But, John Mellencamp was extremely fortunate. A neurosurgeon at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, performed an experimental operation which enabled Mellencamp to live a perfectly normal life with no limitations whatsoever. In fact, Mellencamp was unaware of his amazing medical history until age sixty-two, when he met the now ninety-seven year old doctor who operated on him when he was just days old, saving his life.
Had John Mellencamp’s family told him about the surgery and focused on protecting him from harm, he may never have achieved all he has today. Fortunately, disability and medical issues are not shrouded in mystery as they once were. Yet, fear and bias may still influence career choice and other personal decisions. It’s important to discover your strengths, explore your options and find a career that’s right for you. Sure, there are always practical considerations. Being legally blind, becoming an airline pilot wasn’t an option for me! Just remember that ABILITY is the root word in disability.