The SWOT Analysis is a look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  And you can think of the first two as being related to passion and aptitudes.  But opportunities and threats are to do with your circumstances and the way you read them.  

I give a lot of personal stories in my book about events in my family, including my father having a catastrophic accident when he was 45 and he became paralyzed the rest of his life.  But that wasn’t the end of his life; it wasn’t the end of our family.  He had a tremendously positive outlook.  He was just a very strong-minded person, very funny, very sardonic, and wonderful company.  He broke his neck at the age of 45 when he had my mother, a young family and all kinds of responsibilities and challenges to face including not earning not much money at all at that point.  

But what he illustrates and what other people illustrate is that it’s not what happens to you in your life because bad things happen to all of us, it’s what you make of what happens and what you're prepared to do in the circumstances and what opportunity you can see for moving forward.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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