There’s a man I want you to meet. Met him when I was in Mexico City recently. I was introduced to him after a speech I delivered to business and social leaders. He inspired me deeply through his story. And he humbled me by his courage.

David Mejia was born without ears. Doctors predicted he would suffer from very poor hearing throughout his childhood and that he would be unlikely to live a full adult life. His youth was riddled with operations, many painful times and the unforgettable taunts of his classmates who made fun of his appearance. But David persevered. Because he believed in himself and all he was designed to be.

David Mejia has been blessed. With a powerful mind. With a big heart. With a strong spirit. And with wonderful parents, who told him on a near-daily basis to look for the best from life so he could find it. They encouraged him never to play victim. To find the opportunity within his challenges. And so he has.

The man I met in Mexico City is a winner. A leader. A hero. Why? Because he has taken what life sent him and turned what most of us would spend our days complaining about and transformed them into gold. He now has prosthetic ears. He’s healthy and vital. He has achieved superb success in his career. He has found great love and joy. He has more friends than most people I know. And he is staggeringly positive in a world where it’s common to complain about the mundane.

You can curse the darkness or you can light a candle…and show up as a leader (regardless of your title). Life is all about how you exercise the choices available to you. And your daily choices stack up to craft your destiny. Day by day. Week by week. Month by month. Year by year. David Mejia knows how to make the choices that will raise him to his own personal mountaintop. So do you.

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