ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Embrace Ultra-Ability!

Wisdom, Insight & Motivation from the Blind Who Sees Far and Wide

Clarion Review (5 Stars)

If there is ever to be a poster person for people with ultra-abilities it would have to be twenty-four-year-old Shirley Cheng. The author has turned her disabilities into an ultra-ability and written the awe-inspiring Embrace Ultra-Ability! Cheng’s slim but power-packed motivational guide delivers what it promises with its wisdom insights and motivation. It is a volume to be read re-read and treasured for its originality readability and courageous approach to dealing with life’s adversities and from an individual who has had far more than her fair share of them.

Cheng is a first-class role model for taking the cards one is dealt in life and turning them into a winning hand. With clinical objectivity and without a sniffle of self-pity she describes the setbacks she suffered at eleven months of age when she contracted severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and later when she became fully blind at age seventeen. The story of how she overcame these disabilities as well as several misdiagnoses by medical practitioners other attempts by legal authorities to rip her from her single mother’s custody and a delayed start in her formal education is an inspiration for all readers—sighted blind abled or ultra-abled. Among Cheng’s achievements are several books she has authored edited and designed including a work co-authored with self-help icons such as Wayne Dyer Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy. She also does motivational tours and runs her own Web site.

Cheng’s basic philosophy is “If I have succeeded so can you.” She lays out in detail the guidelines to follow and the criteria to observe to obtain spiritual fulfillment happiness love and respect among other benefits. She stresses however that it is the reader who must take ultimate responsibility for his or her own physical mental emotional and spiritual well-being. With typical humility she refers to her volume as only a basic guidebook. But it is a guidebook full of sage advice helpful exercises common sense analyses and tough love prescriptions in chapters such as “Go For Your Gold Medals in Life” memorable anecdotes from her life experiences and two more detailed stories one about her own birth the other about her mother’s custody battle to keep her that are gems of classic storytelling. The latter is also frightening because of what could have happened if Mrs. Cheng had not been able to stave off the misdiagnosed medical procedures with which her daughter was threatened. It seems that bravery and persistence are common threads with the Cheng women.

The author’s attitude toward life’s obstacles is perhaps best summed up in the following quotation from her chapter “Always a Tomorrow” about everyone’s need for hope. It is a mantra well suited for others to follow too:

No mountain is high enough to hold me back; no wind is strong enough to blow me down. There are stars I must reach; there are roads I must take and with my blooming hope inside I spread my wings wide to embrace all that tomorrow will bring.

M. Wayne Cunningham