‘We all have that inner strength inside of us.
We just never get tested to see how incredible we all are.’ Turia Pitt

This quote could be thrown among the social media Instaquote movement and wouldn’t cause much of a stir these days.

However, when you know the story behind these words, it becomes quite clear that there’s something greater to us human beings than the flesh and bone that comprise us.

You see, these words belong to Turia Pitt who, after suffering burns to 65 per cent of her body while competing in a 100km ultramarathon in the Kimberleys in 2011, hasn’t let this life event define her.

While for many people, life’s challenges (big and small) can become their life story, people such as Turia refuse to let any challenge define them. To give you some context here, Turia Pitt now has three fingers. Her physical appearance has completely changed. Turia still has regular operations and is unable to regulate her own body temperature. And that’s just to name a few challenges!

‘There are a lot of positive things that have happened,’ Pitt told 60 Minutes in an interview last year. ‘I’ve found out just how strong I really am.’

No doubt you know people who have experienced tremendous challenges in their life. There are those who will define those challenges as ‘negative’ and others who will refer to them, as Turia has, as ‘positive’. It seems, based on the examples of Turia and countless others who have experienced severe challenge, that the choice is up to us.

There’s no doubt that challenges in life provide us with an opportunity to define what’s really important to us. You don’t like your job? Tell that to the person who’s been unemployed for 18 months. Find yourself constantly conflicting with your children? Ask the couple who’ve been trying for years to have children if they’d like your problem? Struggling to make ends meet? Consider the two billion people who live on less than $30 per week.

In any scenario we find ourselves, there’s always someone worse off. Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest survivor of the Holocaust up until her death at age 110, lived by a mantra: ‘I have no room for pessimism or hate’. This came from a woman who lost her husband to the gas chambers. When asked whether that mantra extended to Hitler and his Nazi regime, she calmly stated, ‘We are all sometimes good; sometimes bad.’

Given the media we are exposed to in 2017, it is quite easy to have an attitude of pessimism and hate toward people, businesses and society in general. We may even be pessimistic toward our own lives, opportunities and so on.

Yet despite this, there still remain thousands of role models around the world who continue to show us that the soul has no real limits, and only we get to define how we choose to live our lives.

– Marcus Pearce