I Am Potential

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I am Potential








I Am Potential: Eight Lessons on Living, Loving, and Reaching Your Dreams

by Patrick Henry Hughes
with Patrick John Hughes and Bryant Stamford




Patrick Henry Hughes was born with short arms and legs that couldn’t straighten out, hip deformities so he would never be able to walk, and permanent blindness because he was born without eyes.  He was also born with an amazing attitude, musical and language talent, and blessed with parents that fought for him and raised him to be the best he could be with what God had given him.

This is his inspiring and touching story.  Although Patrick Henry was born with what many would call severe disabilities, he refers to them as abilities.  He said, “You can always think of your circumstances as good or bad. I choose to see my blindness not as a disability, but as an ability.”  Have you ever thought you were ugly, fat, skinny, too short, too tall, not stylish, etc., and wondered what other people thought of you?  For Patrick Henry, not being able to see those he meets is a gift because it allows him to focus on what’s important ~ the person’s character and personality.  He is able to just love them and “see” them as God created them.

In this book, Patrick Henry and his father have teamed up to share their own insights on living, learning, and growing while embracing the rare abnormalities that Patrick Henry was born with.  They discuss eight lessons that have helped them along the way and they can help us, too, no matter what our circumstances may be.

Eight Lessons:
1. When life gives you lemons, accept them and be grateful.
2. Do all you can to change what you can.
3. Pursue your passion as if your life depends on it.
4. Be the YOU your mother would be proud of.
5. The best personal heroes can be found close to home.
6. Set your course, then burn the map.
7. Love, given freely, multiplies and returns.
8. Live each day like the last day of summer vacation.

There are two lines, written by Patrick John {father}, that bring tears to my eyes whenever I read them or think of them.  “Normal?  Thank you, God, that my son is anything but normal.” and “I’m just an average guy who’s been blessed to have a son who is anything but average.”  There are so many more wonderful passages that I have marked in this book and would love to quote here, but I’ll let you read the book and savor them yourselves.

Patrick Henry Hughes and his father remind me how wonderful it is to be alive and to make sacrifices for those I love, to focus on my own God-given talents that I can share with others, to embrace my own experiences and limitations, to reach out and see the good in others, to love others, and to not feel sorry for myself so that I, too, can say I Am Potential.

I Am Potential is a short book, only 222 pages, and easily read in an afternoon or two.  But the lessons taught by Patrick Henry and his father will last a lifetime.

You need to either buy this book or check it out from the library today.

More book reviews…
Mao’s Last Dancer
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
James Herriot’s books: All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All
Left To Tell
The Happiness Project


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7 Responses to I Am Potential

  1. Maureen April 17, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Lori, what a wonderful book recommendation. I am going to suggest we read it in our book club at Church. It sounds like a book that is worth discussion. My brother has cerebral palsy and I am so proud of what he has accomplished because he didn’t think for a minute that he couldn’t. He just did it to the best of his ability. Some things worked out beyond our expectations and some barely got off the ground. But, he continues to live a full and busy life! I have to admit that I have felt sad for him many times, but have never ever seen him feel sad about his “abilities”!

    • Lori April 17, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Hi Maureen. If you have a brother with cerebral palsy, you will love this book even more because you will be able to relate to a lot that Patrick Henry and his family share. I have a son {also named Patrick ~ we all him Pat} that has some disabilities and everyday we are thankful for the blessing he is to our family. So many of the things the father in this book shared were familiar because “we’ve been there.” This book will lift and benefit everyone that reads it. I hope your book club reads it ~ please send me a follow-up and let me know how your discussion went.

  2. Jessie April 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    This sounds like such a great book! If he can have an amazing attitude.. I think we all can..I’ll have to remember this when I go to the library next time 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing with us at Weekend Wonders! Hope you’re enjoying your week so far!

    • Lori April 23, 2013 at 1:32 am #

      Thank you, Jessie. Please let me know your thoughts after you read this book.

  3. Jess April 23, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    What a neat share! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

    • Lori April 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Thank you, Jess, for hosting. If you read this book, leave me a comment with your thoughts.


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