Posts Tagged ‘Richard Branson’

Dyslexia – not an easy word to spell

Love the irony of the above word. Why make it so difficult to spell if you have this disability. MMM there is another word I just hate – disability.

I have dyslexia yet here I am blogging with loads and loads of words. Yes it does take me a fair amount of time to string these letters in the right order to ensure that the able minded people who read my dribble can make sense of what I am typing. But it does not make me any less able than the able than the 13 year old that recently won the spelling bee with a Yiddish word “knaidel” Arvind Mahankali just finds it easer to do and he can spell in his head. Me I have to right it down and sometimes I have to do it a few times before I get it correct. And sometimes I have the right sounding word but not quite the write one (yes I know I have spelt right wrong there (or is it their?) I think you get the point)

I have had dyslexia for as long as I can remember.

But I don’t believe it has hindered me in any shape or form.

I am one of millions of people who have this condition. And I am one of millions who don’t let it be a disability or turn us into invalids as a result of it.

Some others who have this great gift are Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin mega mogul and Sir Jackie Stewart, the F1 legion. Both these great icon’s have not let the ability of not being able to spell a few words slow them down to become great men that the world respect and idolise.

Both Sir Richard and Sir Jackie were told they would not amount to much. I don’t think I was every told I would not amount to much at school as my teachers were never that cruel. But they used this negativity in such a way to drive them to be the best they could be at something that didn’t require spelling. Sir Jackie it was shooting and F1, Sir Richard it was to become a successful business man even when the odds were stacked against him.

For me its been that if I want to achieve something I will. Not moan and groan about it but to focus on it and believe in myself that I can do what I set out to do and come out on top.

Last year I did a course in leadership and management. (ILM) As part of this course I enrolled in college and had to be assessed in maths and literacy test. As part of the enrollement

I was asked if I had a learning disability. I said “No” as I don’t feel it is a disability. However the testing proved I did have dyslexia, something I already knew so no shock there! I was asked if I wanted assistance during the course as a result of this disability. I declined it! After all I had got to where I am today without any assistance so why start now? Simple – there is no reason for it! I am pleased to say I passed with flying colours ! Yes I had a little help from family and friends to proof read my assignments but with the aid of tech it made my life a lot easier (got to love spell check !)

All it means for me is I have to try harder. And I apply that to all I do! Just like Sir Rich and Sir Jackie! We adapt and move forward! Never ever be the victim and play the disability card. If there is a way there is a will. You will find a way round it this obstacle and come out on top. Life is not an easy walk in the park. You have to work and fight hard to achieve what it is you want in life.

If you do the above you will become valid and able and then you can achieve what ever you put your mind too!

Well today (Sunday 22 April 2012) was the London Marathon or as its officially called now a days, the Virgin London Marathon. The people who ran the race are inspirational in each of their own rights. But the race made me think of one of my idols and someone I inspire to be like in life. Sir Richard Branson. I doubt I will ever match him pound for pound money wise with Richard and his millions. But I would like to think I can match him on his philosophy in life. Follow your dream no matter how extreme or out of the box it might be, if you believe in it you will make it happen.

Richard has undertaken all sorts of things in his life. From starting up a school magazine when he was 16, signing up Mike Oldfield as his first Virgin artist, to record attempts across the Atlantic Ocean and hot air ballon attempts around the globe. Richard does not quite seem to grasp the concept of the word “imposible” he goes out of his way to prove this word does not exist. Granted Richard has not always been “Mr Popular” as you have to be a bit ruthless to get to top of your game. Its a dog eat dog world out there. And playing with the big boys of industry can meen that some players don’t play by the rules. One of the things that inspires me about Richard is he does not hid behind this fact. He will admit that he may not have played by the rules. It takes a proud man who can admit things like that.

Other things that inspire me about Sir Richard Branson is how approchable he appears to be. I have never met him but you hear stories like how he knows the name of the people in his office, even down to the cleaner. Recently I started to follow Richard on Twitter  and came across the fact that Richard, like me, likes to blog ( you can see his blog here ) and one of the things he did was a series of video blogs.( Ask Richard Video Blogs ) These blogs were an open forum for people to ask him questions via Twitter or Facebook and other social networks. Normal people like you and me asking all sorts of questions. This just goes to show how approchable Sir Richard is, that he is taking the time to let us ask him questions. So many people in power or in the public view don’t take the time to acknowledge the little people. Especially if its the little people that have put them in this power.

I guess the other reasons I like Richard Branson so much besides his positive go getum attitude is that he has not let his dyslexia get the better of him. He has not played the disability card. I am dyslexia too and it has not stopped me from getting to where I am in life and at work. Richard is proof that this learning disability does not need to hold you back in life and the sky is the limit ( Richard is now reaching for the stars though with Virgin Galactic haha so maybe the sky is not the limit ! )

If you can dream it you can do it if you put your mind to it.