"I had no choice…"

by Didier Marlier on Sunday May 1st, 2011

Linda Perrat is one of the most amazing coaches I know. I meet her when unusual challenges take place, at personal or professional level in my life and always leave her Parisian office/apartment looking positively at options about the future. Ever since I met her, she strongly refused and corrected me when using: “I don’t have a choice” sentence: One always has a choice she corrected me, “Stop being a victim of circumstances!”

“Be yourself, no matter what they say” sings Sting in his famous song “Englishman in New-York”… (clip just being here to indulge yourself in a moment of musical pleasure, nothing else)

The clip here below shows a stunning illustration and plea for “Be yourself no matter what they say”: Caroline Casey, was a young woman full of energy, drive and dreams. A real “life fighter”. She wanted to become a racing car pilot. On her birthday, aged 17, she hears from the doctors that in fact she is… legally blind! Her family and entourage, in a remarkable attempt not to make her feel handicapped, not to attract pity on her had refused the possibility for any special needs school. Her parents wanted her to succeed in life with or without them, with or without handicap…

Caroline then explains how she first reacted to the devastating news. She went into a courageous and determined frenzy of activities and learning, even becoming a senior consultant for Accenture… And one day, she broke down. She learned to admit temporary incompetence and call for help. The doctor she went to see asked her: “When will you stop being so hard and demanding on yourself? When will you be the person you wanted to be as a child?”…

I let you discover the rest of her story and have to admit to have been deeply moved when watching her.


I chose to share it with you as I hope her example will be of inspiration: Are we who we really want to be or how much of our style of leading and being at work is defined by others? “Hundred percenters”, as they are called, push themselves and their entourage to amazing limits but at what price?

I hope you will appreciate this wonderful story, another great life example of Campbell’s universal myth and story telling.


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One Response to “"I had no choice…"”

  1. Hi Didier,

    Thanks for sharing this extraordinary story of Caroline Casey. Truly moving and extremely powerful. Incredible just to imagine what she achieved in life with her disability.

    Talking about the power of speech, have you seen the speech by Obama where he takes sweet revenge at Donald Trump? Very powerful and so strong and at the same time devastating for Trump – which is well-deserved I would say.

    Here is the link:


    All the best and take care,



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