We all face burdens. Sometimes the barriers in our way seem so high, so large that they cannot be surmounted. So we don’t try. But just when you think you don’t want to face the barriers, an unecpected event challenges your conventional thinking.

I don’t watch much television. But this past week, I watched and was moved by a wonderful singer on America’s Got Talent named Mandy Harvey. Her story provides the inspiration for all of us. At age 18, Mandy was struck with an illness and was rendered totally deaf. After a period of mourning, she has picked herself up and is a singer. More than a singer, she also plays an instrument and writes her own melody and words. And remember, she is DEAF!

The title of the song she sang on the show was “Try”. You can listen here (it’s only a 2-minute long song)

The lyrics resonate:

“I don’t feel the way I used to
The sky is grey much more than it is blue
But I know one day I’ll get through
And I’ll take my place again

If I would try

So I will Try

There is no one for me to blame
cause I know the only thing in my way
Is Me

I don’t live the way I want to
That whole picture never came into view
But I’m tired of getting used to
The Day
So I will try

If I would Try”

“I know the only thing in my way is me“. Can it be said any better? We all underestimate our ability, our power, our capability to overcome. If we can only recognize that we are in our own way. It may take someone else to help us realize that, but there is real power in knowing we are the barrier. Because “me” can be changed and overcome.

Sometimes the burdens are heavy (“the sky is grey more than it is blue”). I am not downplaying all that we have going on in our lives. But progress only asks for that three letter word, “try”. In Mandy’s case, her career was suddenly, unexpectedly crushed. Her desire to sing seemed to end. How do you come back from being rendered deaf, when your whole life has been dedicated to singing? That is a pretty huge barrier.

Perhaps you are out of job and growing more disenchanted with the job search. Maybe you are in a job you hate, but the “whole picture won’t come into view”. You, or someone you know, might be frozen by anxiety, self doubt or fear. Sometimes finances can be a very large barrier to progress, hold you in place, or cause you to make rash decisions. But Mandy’s example, and her lyrics, point to another way.

So I will Try

I like the way she transitions from “if” (“if I would try”) to “I will” (“so I will try”). That is the first step. The acknowledgement that “if” I would try, perhaps something will come of it. I would think in her case, there were few clear paths, or trails that someone else blazed that she could follow. Her path could not have been clear. Isn’t that what many of us face?

I hope your challenges are not as big as Mandy’s (I don’t believe mine are). Like Mandy, find the courage to move forward – even if the next step after the first one is not apparent. Dare to challenge the perceptions of what is possible or not. Be willing to go in front of others (in her case, thousands of people) and TRY.



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