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Being an entrepreneur myself, i can only agree with you. Full point for talking about survival skills and talent. I feel this daily :-)

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Very cool idea. I think I will have to try this one. I just love the "It's the Little Things" line. Thanks!

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I was constantly learning -out of what began as a survival mechanism.

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I very much agreeights. Hope that more could write such a good word!

self sufficient

I agree with you... excellent post.

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yes! i agree, our survival becomes our talent. nice article.


Some time before, I really needed to buy a building for my firm but I didn't have enough cash and could not order anything. Thank God my sister adviced to take the loans at banks. Thence, I did so and was satisfied with my car loan.


A beautiful story by Caroline Casey on how to overcome limitations and become the best version of yourself: http://www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits.html

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I am so glad this internet thing works and your article really helped me. Might take you up on that home advice you.


Gary Cohen


I could not agree with you more. I was one of the faces of learning that Sam Chaltain produced last year along with 50 others and my story is similar. This is a link to the Washington Post of my story, Struggling Learner! Thank you for sharing yours.


Hey Simon,

Excellent post. I think it's true ;)

Kristen Gill

This rings SO 100% true...I am reeling!!!

"I grew up with ADD and thank goodness no one diagnosed it. If they had, I wouldn’t have been forced to learn the skills to survive. Unable to focus, I too had to learn how to get through high school. My still-forming mind and personality could have taken me in two different directions – I could have become a victim of my weaknesses or I could figure out a way around it.

At an early age I learned to help others. I had to…I needed their help in return. I learned to talk, develop a charm and a curiosity for what others were doing. It wasn’t an option. If I didn’t do the reading for my English class because I couldn’t focus long enough to get it done (no matter how much my parents yelled at me to concentrate) I’d still need to know what the reading was about for class the next day. So I’d ask someone…and we’d talk about it."

I used to say, instead of doing the studying, or the reading (which were hard for me too), I studied "consensus" in the classroom. I was able to quickly tease out what the main points of the night before's reading were and then somehow invent my own perspective. Bravo to little elementary school you for finding such adaptability!


I see so many people who use their "diagnosis" as a crutch. This post is a great perspective on overcoming a problem and learning from it. I think that should always be present in peoples minds. Don't make excuses makes results. Great post.

Andy Sydow

mr sinek, you are simply adorable. thank you so much for shining such a light.


Workarounds is the new tutor! Grateful for your voice + reasoning to uplift those faced with everyday challenges.

Soul + Space,

Stephenie Zamora

I guess I would say my inability to communicate well verbally as a child is what made me the writer and artist/designer I am today. I love this post Simon...

"The goal is not to force a kid who struggles to work harder at being like everyone else. The goal is help a kid who struggles to find a workaround for the specific thing that’s holding them back." YES. xo


Yeah!! it seems we live in a world where we have to survive.


Thanks, Lisa, for pointing me to this wonderful post.

I agree that as I look at my own history (or when getting to know others) we all seem to be "stronger at the broken places." I grow best when not too comfy!

Earlier today i was working on a large "packing project." My husband commented that the process is not pretty but works very much like my "swirly" brain: quickly sorting what belongs, what doesn't and recombining them in a manner that would make a jenga puzzle blush. Just like when I write, edit or coach. Hmm....

Thanks for a great post.

Lisa Robbin Young

Perfect timing on this post, as I made this epiphany for myself about a month ago!

Born to a multi-racial family, I had the unfortunate luck to be hated by the black kids and the white kids in my first school. So I learned quickly to adapt by "acting black" with the black kids, and "acting white" with the white kids. In essence, I was learning to adapt in different situations, which was augmented as I got older and started interacting in other groups - smarty pants gifted kids, band geeks, theater types - and ultimately as an adult with rocket scientists, business leaders, mechanics, and artists. I was constantly learning -out of what began as a survival mechanism. I didn't want to be hated, so I spent hours learning about all kinds of stuff to stay relevant and un-hated - I still do, truth be told.

Great post, Simon.

Cary Umhau

I'm a big believer that nothing's wasted and that our challenges do propel our callings and our choices of where we spend our energy. I love this post.

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