Bonnie St. John Deane grew up in hospitals, in leg braces, and on the wrong side of the tracks, but that didn't stop her from believing that an African-American girl, with only one leg, could learn to ski.

As soon as I learned to ski a little, I set my sights on qualifying to compete in the 1984 Disabled Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Such an outrageous dream made me stand taller just thinking about it.

My big break came when an elite ski academy in Vermont accepted me as a student. For three months, I searched for grants, scholarships, and sponsors to no avail. When I told the headmaster I couldn't afford the tuition and had failed to find sponsors, he said, "Come anyway." I knew this opportunity would change my life. But then on the first day of the ski school, I broke my leg-my real leg-while playing on a skateboard. As the only kid at the academy with only one leg, I had wanted so badly to show them I could run the obstacle courses, jump rope, and play soccer. Instead, walking on crutches with my artificial leg I could barely get from my room to dinner without tripping. Being so thoroughly inept among a crowd of such superb athletes hurt more than my injuries. At night, I cried in my pillow.

Although the doctor removed my cast after six weeks, my luck didn't improve. A week later, my artificial leg broke in half. Even when you think things can't get any worse, they do. For three weeks my new prosthesis roamed the country, lost in the U.S. Postal Service.

Years later, as I stood on the winner's platform in Innsbruck, Austria, with the silver medal around my neck, I could hear the National Anthem playing, and see the Stars and Stripes fluttering behind me. The desire for that moment had pulled me through all the tough times.

Do you have a powerful desire that captures your heart and picks you up when you fall down? Who or what motivates you? When I am asked that question, I must answer, "I motivate me." For any project you are working on, you can increase your motivation by finding bigger payoffs that have more meaning for you. In all cases, "things" are less important than what those things mean to you personally. List everything you have ever wanted to have in your life: new clothes, vacations, ideal relationships, peak experiences, or career accomplishments. Star the items that really excite you. Find the deeper meaning. Ask yourself, "Why do I want it?" Dig underneath to find the personally compelling reasons. Dig down to find out what you want out of life. Like a child, keep asking yourself "why?" If the final answer is "I should," or "My boss wants me to," scratch it off your list-or change it, expand it, and aim higher. Stop underestimating your odds for success, err on the side of optimism, spend less time around negative people, and learn from people who have done it before you. List your resources and act-don't feel you have to do everything at once. You can get there if you do what you love!

Bonnie's story didn't end on the winner's platform at the Olympics. She has since motivated herself to finish degrees from both Harvard and Oxford, win a Rhodes Scholarship, win awards as an IBM sales representative, and garner high praise as a White House official on the National Economic

Again, it all starts by knowing what you really want. Don't get trapped by your present reality-what you have or how effective you are at the moment. People who are immersed in their present realities often think they "know the truth," but they don't.

When you find your Core Desires, your emotion needle will go clear off the chart. Those are the things you'll want to focus on. When you truly want something, you'll amaze yourself at what you will do to get it-nothing will stop you once you uncover your Core Desires and tap into your
Conquering Force.

What you will become, or achieve, will be a direct result of the Core Desires you uncover, the mentors you choose to learn from, and the choices you make.Successful people invest in themselves through a continuing quest for knowledge , understanding, wisdom, and truth. When you invest in yourself, be sure you know your Core Desires first. Then you'll see a much greater return on your investment_not only in greater satisfaction but also in improved productivity, enhanced social relationships, and greater earning ability. There's nothing like learning all you can about something you love, your Core Desires. Learning about them will start an important chain reaction that will work in your behalf.

Author's Bio: 

Jack M. Zufelt is a bestselling author and has achieved worldwide recognition for teaching people the true cause of all achievement. His life's mission is to impart the truth about-and dispel the myths surrounding-success and achievement. Want to achieve better results? How about live a fuller life with more happiness, joy, and satisfaction? Discover Jack's DNA of Success and live the life you've always wanted... Click Here ->