Copyright 2005 Michael Murray
Have you ever watched ABC’s hit TV show Lost? My favorite episode was titled “Walkabout”. In it, we learn that mysterious outdoorsman Locke was actually paralyzed from waist down before getting on doomed 815 flight which crashed and, somehow, gave him use of his legs back.
Locke was actually planning to go on a Walkabout, which is an outdoor adventure. But leader, seeing Locke’s limitation, forbade him to go. Angrily Locke shouted “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” We then flash forward to plane crash, and see Locke on ground, slowly moving his legs. Then stand up. And walk.
You can probably guess where I’m going with this, but before you write this off as another “motivational” article, stay with me for a minute.
I’ve had many “Locke Moments” in my life. Although I’ve never said his line to anyone before, I’ve sure thought it. When you’re born with umbilical cord wrapped around your neck and barely live, you get used to people telling you what you can’t do.
First, doctors told my parents that if I did live I wouldn’t be active at all. I’d basically be a vegetable. They told my parents to put me in a home. They didn’t listen. “Don’t tell us what he can’t do!”
So, they took me home and it turned out that mentally, I was fine. I had Cerebral Palsy and doctors said I’d never walk. Well, they were right… for first 7 years of my life I crawled around on my knees. I went through physical therapy multiple times a week and was quite determined for a kid. At 7 years old, at my grandparents’ house, I took my first steps, to everyone’s amazement, including myself. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
As I got older, people urged me to get into technical side of computers and get a good job. I hated that stuff. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. People warned me about this. It’s too risky. But I pursued ventures both online and offline, and I’ve made money in both. In fact, next month I’ll be selling a 4-acre piece of land. I’ll net $144,000 on deal. Glad I took that risk. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”