No excuses. Can we all just agree that our excuses won’t give us the life we really want for ourselves? We as women spend so much time and energy supporting others – and then seem to run out of gas for our own dreams. I’m not sure if this rings true for you, but I enjoy stories that remind me of the grace of the human spirit, its sheer strength and determination to persevere beyond the rational to achieve dreams felt in earnest. It seems most of us have a tendency to let ourselves get caught up in the sheer force of life and before we know it, we’ve completely forgotten or shelved our dreams. The daily vortex of life literally just sucks us under.
Of course, not everyone falls prey to this all-too-common predicament. Nancy Shugart is one of these hardy souls. I had occasion to meet Nancy when we both participated in Leadership Women 2014 here in Texas; offered through Leadership Women. I was alerted immediately that she was someone I’d like to know more about at the first session; when I saw her beautiful Labrador service dog next to her. So, I made it a point to sit down next to her; which began our relationship and my entrée to becoming completely enamored and inspired by her. I dare say that if you invest a little time learning about her, I think you will be, too.
You see, Nancy began going blind at the age of 8; and worked tirelessly to continue her education by spending two or three times the effort of her normal-sighted comrades reading with a small eye glass to magnify the letters on the page. Her dream was to teach public school, after all. And she worked tirelessly through college around a real challenge that almost undid her. Were it not for the advice she received to gain access to a special machine to enlighten and enlarge her books; she may have given up on her dream and quit college entirely. She received this gift while in college, and it ushered in a lifetime of possibility for her.
But alas, Nancy Shugart is not a quitter; and wouldn’t let herself rely on excuses to stop her from attaining and living her dream. She did go on to complete college and then enjoy a multi-decade career as a public school teacher in Texas. Today, she is CEO of Prove Them Wrong and a celebrated businesswoman as the recipient of the Blazing Star Award presented by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas. She has written Prove Them Wrong; and frequently speaks to audiences about the importance of staying true to our goals and dreams. She truly commands her audiences and there’s rarely a dry eye in the house when she finishes.
Can I ask that we all not give into the sheer momentum of life and let our dreams fall by the wayside? Please. Your life matters too much.
To listen to Nancy Shugart’s interview; and catch a deeper glimpse of her passion for life and her dreams, click here