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My son was complaining the other day about his right hand being sore after a trip to one of those laser-quest places. For some reason talking about it unearthed a distant memory about an Olympic standard marksman who had lost his right hand and retrained to shoot left handed…..

Károly Takács was Hungary’s most accurate marksman who seemed destined for success at the 1940 Tokyo Olympics. However, days before the Games, his dreams turned to dust when an accident with a grenade saw his shooting hand destroyed.

Károly went through a process of self-pity but resolved to come back stronger. He decided to practice shooting with his left hand and within a year he attended the Hungarian national shooting championships. Through sheer determination and will power he won the national title.

The Second World War meant that the next Olympic Games didn’t take place but he maintained his desire and in 1948 he won the gold medal at the London Olympics. This alone was an awe inspiring achievement but Károly went further. He continued his training and brought home the gold medal from the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

We all feel failure in life. We set goals and sometimes through no fault of our own those goals are taken away from us. We can hide away in self-pity, blaming others and wondering why our luck is so bad.

But, we can also focus on what we still have and the opportunities that lay ahead. I would imagine that no matter how bad your circumstances, they come in a pretty poor second to having your hand blown off by a grenade.

Whatever issue presents itself in front of you, metaphorically, you can always learn to shoot left handed!

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