With a few hours to go until the dawn of a new year, I’m proud to introduce to you my first Guest Blogger, Emil Levin, 22 from Sweden who has some inspiring words.
Having Spinal Muscular Atrophy from birth, it would have been very easy to just give up and let life pass you by. But not Emil. I first met him when as part of a Real Men’s Clothing FB group, I was introduced to someone that lives every day.
Have you ever said to yourself: ”why me?”. Or maybe: ”I can’t do that, it’s to hard”. I bet many of you have – I know I have, a shitload of times.
My name is Emil Levin and I’m a co-founder of Helvin Watches. I was born with a disease called SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). As the old saying goes, ”mind over matter”, I strive to make my mind as strong as I possibly can.
Strong so that every goal, every obstacle, every single dream I have will be handled the right way. Some might say I’m trying to compensate for my weak physique. I prefer to see it as my own responsibility as a man to become my very best self.
There was a time when I had somewhat of a devil may care attitude. I didn’t really care about much. ”Me working? Nah no way, I’m in a wheelchair, I can’t work”. ”Why should I study? I won’t be able to work anyway”. Instead of looking at the possibilities like creating your own company, which would easily solve the ”I can’t get a job” issue, I got stuck in a negative pattern. That pretty much sums up my earlier life. I made myself the victim, when in fact I had the opportunity to make myself a star. I was a hostage of my circumstances. I later realized that even though the cards in my hand more or less sucked, the important part is how I played them.
Sounds lame? Maybe. But try to see it like this: What do you gain in victimizing yourself? Is it worth being self-abasement, irresponsible, negative and so on, just for – let’s say – compassion? I think not. When your self-esteem and self-worth gets damaged, you know it’s not the right path your walking *cough* driving.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a total wreck. On the contrary I actually handled myself pretty well. However I always had this nagging voice in the back of my head that my disability was a hindrance. Which of course it was in a way. I mean, I often had to face one of my greatest enemies: The stairs. What I did to counter these thoughts was to embrace them. Yup that’s right, I accepted my disability as the way I am. That might be easier said than done, but the key is to first identify your problem and if it can’t be fixed, simply try to find the good parts with your problem, and own it. After all, it’s pretty cool to be unique, right?
I face obstacles everyday. Literally everyday. I mean all it takes is a staircase and no elevator and then I’m done right? It sure feels like it sometimes, but then I remind myself. There’s always a way around it if you only want it bad enough. Hell, I could even get my friends to carry my 150kg wheelchair up the stairs if needed (yes they have done it). Whenever I face a problem, I know that the outcome of me solving it will be well worth the trouble. As the great actor and playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as Molière, once said: ”The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it”.
I now challenge all of you to try your best in making 2017 the best year yet. Don’t be the victim and don’t let your circumstances determine your results. I promise you, it’s better to rock what you have than to cry over what you don’t. Good luck everyone!