Meet Joseph Grunfeld. Joseph is a 62-year-old New Yorker who has defied odds all his life. “Born with a heart murmur,” according to the New York Post, “he’s had three back operations, suffered a stroke that left one arm entirely numb, and has mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis.” And earlier this month, Grunfeld defied odds once more.
He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro’s peak of 19,340 feet. Grunfeld, who has difficulty walking, said it was not easy. He had many people, including doctors, tell him no along the way, but he refused to give up. Grunfeld was able to climb the mountain with the aid of walking sticks and a team of volunteers. Joseph Grunfeld was able to accomplish his goal and fulfill his dream because he didn’t give up.
How often do you feel like giving up in life? Seeing a dream realized or obtaining a goal becomes hard, so we want to stop. A long-term relationship enters a rough season, so we just want to bale. It may be tempting to quit, but Joseph Grunfeld’s story reminds us pressing on can bring victory.
Our victory may mean defying odds and staring down stereotypes, but we can.
You and I may face overwhelming odds, but we can defy them. Statistics are just numbers on paper. They do not chart the course of our lives if we do not allow it. Maybe you’re facing odds that say you’ll never earn a degree. Odds are you won’t be successful in that career path, but it is your passion.
For you and me to realize our dreams and achieve our goals, it may mean we have to ignore the stats. It may take us longer than it does everyone else. We may have to take a different approach than others, but that is okay. Hard work and persistence will overcome stats. You and I can defy the odds.
Staring Down Stereotypes
You and I may have to face down some stereotypes. Society tries to place people in boxes which do not fit. I’m sure you are aware of any stereotype you face, but it does not describe you.
You and I can not allow stereotypes to play games with us. We must do our best to ignore them and press on. Breaking through stereotypes gets society thinking which may make it easier for others in the future. So, not only are we realizing our own dreams, we are helping shape the future.
Where Can We Find Strength?
We can find strength in others who have went before us. Their stories may encourage and inspire us. We can draw strength from our spirit. A stubbornness within ourselves not to give up. As a Christian, I believe we can find strength to defy odds and stare down stereotypes in the Lord.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Realizing dreams and achieving goals can be hard, but don’t quit. You can defy the odds and stare down the stereotype.
As for Joseph Grunfeld, he has no plans on quitting. He has climb one mountain and has a second in mind. “I’m revved up,” Grunfeld told the New York Post.
What is the next step you need to take in realizing your dream? What’s the next step in achieving your goal? Identify it and do it. You may need aid and extra time, but that’s okay. You can do it.
Previously published on Get Encouraged Blog