“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right.” This is the message quoted from Henry Ford on a poster at a middle school, which drove a 14-year-old-girl to be the woman that she is today. Pauline Victoria was born without arms or legs, but you would not know if you didn’t see it for yourself. She is an unstoppable force on a mission to spread a message of hope and there is no one better suited to spread that message.
Victoria came all the way from Hawaii to be a guest speaker at Yuba College on March 15, 2011. As she was preparing to speak, she was assisted with a drink of water, and it really put things in perspective. Here is a woman full of motivation, here to teach others how to persevere, and she can’t even get a drink of water on her own. The message in that alone was incredibly powerful. We take so many things for granted and we have so many excuses in our lives.
Victoria has not looked at her life as challenging, but as a pathway of choices. She said, “There are two paths in life, the path of regret and the path of reward.” She chose the path of reward and her path has been quite fruitful. Raised by parents who believed in her and that held her to high academic standards, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Santa Clara University in communication, she fought with the State of California until she got her driver’s license, she married the love of her life, helped to raise his children, and birthed a son. With a colleague, she founded Living Beyond Limitations and is pursuing a web show to spread her message even farther. You can find the book that she co-authored with Les Brown, Fight for Your Dreams: The Power of Never Giving Up, due out on shelves in mid-April. She has done work advocating for the disabled and began work as a motivational speaker. She does not like speaking in front of people, but feels so strong about her message that she overcomes those fears to help others.
Some of her other achievements include learning how to swim and having such beautiful penmanship that it would put many others to shame. When she was learning to swim she thought, “Not having the freedom to do so was scarier than drowning.” She writes holding a pen between her chin and her shoulder, and she types 35 words per minute using a back scratcher.
Quoting Columbus, “You don’t know what is out there until you leave the shore,” she explained how life is out there to live. You can watch it go by, or you can live it. “Life is what you put into it, if you do less, then expect less. I didn’t want less.”
Victoria knows her purpose here on earth is to bring a message of hope and possibility to others. She also believes that it is the purpose of all of us to help one another and to love. “The beautiful thing about this disability is that I get to do this every single day.” Just by existing she shows us all how to make it through.
You can check Pauline Victoria out on her web site, http://paulinevictoria.com/.
You can also go to www.livingbeyondlimitations.com and look for her web show coming soon at www.watchpvtv.com.