How do you deal with life’s challenges? When I am personally getting challenged by life’s experiences, either through friends or business, I like to take the time to reflect and recognize how incredible we all really are. In these times, I look for inspirational stories to remind me that there are many people who overcome insurmountable odds to accomplish unbelievable things. 

There is a young woman I know who has overcome brain surgery, and bounced back to be her delightful and productive self, without seeming to missing a beat. She is a daily inspiration for me when I see her smiling and working toward making things better. She is a Doer and has great things in front of her for sure. She has overcome insurmountable odds, but that won’t be the end of her story. 

Like the young women I mentioned above, stories of true courage, dedication and determination can remind us how extraordinary we are, and inspire us to accomplish more. It makes me think about how many people around us are so incredible and awesome, and how everyone has an unbelievable story to share. So, I’ve included a link to an article below about 12 inspiring stories of bravery and the ability to overcome life’s challenges, to remind you that you are incredible and extraordinary, too.

So let me ask you right now… How are you going to convert your current challenges to big, audacious accomplishments?

Given that if you are breathing right now there cannot be any argument that you are incredible and awesome. So the question becomes what are you going to do with that? What are you going to do today to build on this incredible and extraordinary base of humanity that you are? Yep! I think you know the answer is that Doers intuitively think about what they can accomplish. No matter how insurmountable the odds may be, they go and accomplish it.

A year or so ago, I was asked to open UCSD’s Ignite Innovation Summit with a short talk. These entrepreneurs attending are mission critical to the change we need in the world, so I didn’t want to take this lightly. I made it a priority to spend time thinking about what approach I should take and what message I wanted to deliver.  

One day, when I was visiting the Microbiome Center at UCSD and getting a presentation on the microbiome and the impact that this body of bacteria has on our health and wellness, I found the inspiration I had been looking for. One of the researchers disclosed how little they really know about how all of these bacteria impact our health. Researchers know they talk with other parts of the body, they know it is all connected, but they don’t know exactly how. 

It was a “wow!” moment. I realized how incredible that fact was, and how extraordinary we really are. How could we not be? Think about our bodies, processing the air in our lungs, delivering oxygen to the blood stream, and picking up the carbon waste and expelling it––all in real time, every moment we are alive.

Face it, we all take life for granted at times. It can be easy to temporarily forget how incredible and extraordinary we are when we are in a challenging environment. But opportunity is always there, waiting for us to grab it. It just presents itself in different ways to each of us. The challenges of life can even be opportunity itself, if we are open-minded enough to recognize it.

Right now, life’s challenges are presenting in a huge, huge way for me (more to come on that later.) But I feel like I am at a beautiful juncture again in my life and my career. The reason I think it is such a beautiful time for me is that I have the opportunity to make a difference again. How glorious!

So, ask yourself the same thing I’ve asked myself: Even if the odds seem insurmountable, what big and audacious goal do you want to accomplish? Let the stories below inspire you to do even more that you think you can.

Doers On— 


Read these 12 inspiring stories from Inc. Magazine, and find out how these successful people overcame adversity to achieve unbelievable things. The list includes people from all walks of life such as Albert Einstein, E.O. Wilson, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Watch my UCSD Ingnite Innovation Summit talk.