Sometimes just a snippet of conversation is enough to turn your day around. Sometimes you don't even need to be part of that conversation for it to take effect.
I was having a grumpy, no-good, very bad day. There was really nothing significantly wrong - it was just one of those days when the gremlins were winning. You know the ones... "you're not talented enough, you shouldn't bother trying, you're wasting too much time, you're not focused enough, nobody will listen to you, you might as well forget about the proposal you sent in yesterday - it'll never happen."
I was walking through the skywalk at lunch time, heading for the far-away food court where I could feel sorry for myself and eat unhealthy food without any colleagues finding me. Didn't I deserve to eat fast food crap, after all? Hadn't I earned the right for a little pity party with extra calories?
"He lit himself on fire when he was 2 years old." That was the first snippet I caught from the woman on the cell phone power-walking past me. It was enough for me to quicken my pace to keep up with her.
"He had burns all over his body, one of his hands fell off and all of the fingers on the other hand fell off."
"With only one thumb, he learned to tie his shoes at 12 years old and he said that changed his future."
"Now he's a famous drummer. If he can do that, there is NOTHING that I can't do."
That was all I heard, but that was enough to shift something inside of me. What the heck was I doing, moping around with this "poor me, I'm a failure" attitude?
I ate my lunch, but it was curry instead of mac-crap. When I got back to my desk, I googled "drummer with no hands". Sure enough, the story was true.
And if he can live without excuses, why can't I?