The Message Behind the Message

I came across an article that discussed how dyslexic entrepreneurs have a competitive edge (And here is another one, and another one).

 Among the list of successful dyslexic entrepreneurs were Ted Turner, Richard Branson, and Jamie Oliver.

Who doesn’t love success stories of people taking control of their life inspite of the challenges they face?

In fact, it wasn’t the first time I’d come across an article like this. Malcolm Gladwell even wrote about how he believed dyslexia could be an advantage in his book, David and Goliath.

A quick google search of dyslexic business leaders will yield some impressive results and stories of some really successful people overcoming this learning disability. 

When I first read this, I remember thinking, “wow, this is impressive! If only I had dyslexia so I could have the same edge and level of success.

But I don’t, so I filed it away in the “interesting but not applicable” folder of my brain.

….HOLD up a second! Did I REALLY wish I had dyslexia? What the funk is that all about? 

Did I really simplify their success as the result of a specific challenge? And the absence of it in my life was enough to justify not learning from their journey?

I used to find myself dismissing stories like these because they weren’t perfectly suited to my own situation. I found it easier to romanticize about others success stories and list all the reasons how it doesn’t apply to me. I wouldn’t dig deeper to find the nugget of truth and apply to my own life to make meaningful behavioral change. 

No one’s journey is going to perfectly match mine. That doesn’t mean there isn’t something to learn from others. 

What’s the message behind the message? 

Challenge yourself to back against the urge to simplify a story and write it off if it doesn’t apply perfectly to you. 

Our ability to grow is rooted in our worldview. 

And these stories can either seen as a source of learning opportunities or as a bunch of interesting stories that don’t apply to you.

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