Nobuyuki Tsujii was 20 when he was awarded Gold Medallist at the prestigious Van Cliburn international piano competition in 2009. In fact, he started winning national awards when he was 7 and has since performed in Carnegie Hall and Tchaikovsky Conservatory among other renowned concert halls. He is known for his refined and effortless playing and keeps is audience spell bound from beginning to the end.
Yet this Tsuijii's message for us – "There are no barriers in the field of music."
Patrick Henry Hughes is 21, wheelchair bound and born totally blind. Who would have thought that his fingers could glide and fly across the keyboard as he played Claire De Lune so passionately?
I was drawn by Patrick's attitude and philosophy of life. Where most would be angry with life and cry "unfair", Patrick is grateful for what he has. "God made me blind and didn't give me the ability to walk. Big deal. He gave me the talent to play piano and trumpet and all that good stuff." says Patrick.
He isn't fazed by what many of us would consider as insurmountable obstacles. Nothing seems to be too difficult for him. He attends University, enjoys life and plays in the local marching band. Yes. You have to watch this video clip to "see" what I mean.
I am inspired by these heroes (including Patrick's and Tsujii's parents and support groups). They see opportunities in their difficult situations, they find a way around their limitations, work hard towards their dream and smile their way through life's challenges. They do not waste their lives mourning for what they cannot have, they rejoice in what they do have and make beautiful music out of it.
The next time you feel beaten and discouraged, remember the Helen Kellers (both blind and deaf) and the Stevie Wonders, the Tsujiis and the Hughes. It's time to focus on what we can do and what we do have. Because "What we focus on will expand", Cheri Huber.
Action item? May be a good idea to list 3 things that are challenging you now and find out who else have overcome those challenges and how they did it. You may get different results from them yet their stories will warm your hearts and give you the sound of Promise.
If you find these heroes inspiring, press the "share this" button or the "retweet" button if you have a twitter account. You never know who may be encouraged by their music and it does not cost you anything to do this. Thank you for sharing.