Having spent a week in the United Arab Emirates during March 2019, I saw signs like this everywhere I went. I think it’s fantastic how a country’s leaders and the wider society can agree to recognise individuals with disabilities (physical or mental) through a strength they all have in common – determination.
In coaching, we often take a strengths-based approach when assisting individuals with improving their current situation. In basic terms, this means helping individuals to realise what they are good at, and using these skills in collaboration with the expertise of others (if required) to successfully move forward.
Having known and worked with many individuals with disabilities over the years, I never once stepped back and asked myself which strength, if any, they all had in common. Instead, like most people, I worked with each case on an individual basis. This approach still worked well, but it didn’t acknowledge and nurture a key ingredient that all individuals with disabilities have that contributes towards their success.
If you run a quick Google search for “successful individuals with disabilities”, you’ll find quite a few pages full of names, some of which you may have heard of, and some not. There may have been a long list of reasons why these individuals were told that they could not succeed in life, but they looked beyond that, and with a determined attitude, succeeded anyway.
Individuals with disabilities are one of societies strongest foundational pillars. Over time, they have solved some of the world’s most complex problems and given society things that people at the time could never have dreamed of. The world would be a very different, and somewhat primitive place in the absence of their determination.
A sign like the one above speaks volumes about the respect and recognition a nation has towards disabled members of society, which must no doubt contribute towards its success.
Written by Prashant Jadav. For more information about coaching and personal development support, please get in touch here.