A New Year’s Message with Power
Whether you’re overcoming a disability or some other kind of challenge, how well you begin the year or anything else you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as how well you finish what you do. If you have short and long term goals, you know what I’m saying.
Keep things in perspective. My heart sings as I stagger around the YMCA walking track, bumping my shoulder on the wall surrounding the track. I slow until I regain my balance then again pick up speed and settle into my unique staggering gait. Fireworks of the coming New Year’s celebration explode across the screen of my mind. Enthusiastically I review my goals of the past year. It’s been a good year.
Why would I think it’s been a good year? Look at me! I’m half paralyzed! I’m a young man who’s hobbling along with a cane. What’s so good about that? If you knew the whole story, you would know that I’m singing and dancing because I’m one of the lucky ones. Most of the roommates I had at Harborview Hospital were quadriplegics who would love to be able to stagger along like I do.
Motorcycle crashes come in many shapes. Divorce, bankruptcy, death of a loved one, long term unemployment…
Like Hubert Humphrey said, It doesn’t matter what they take from you that counts, what matters is what you do with what you have left.
Reliving past victories and setbacks reminds me of how learning to Accept the life I’ve been given opened my eyes to unexpected opportunities. I grin to myself as I happily stagger around the track. Learning to Accept my disability opened my eyes to possibilities. Learning to Appreciate my disability gave me the strength and determination to optimistically push ahead and develop those possibilities into real opportunities to succeed.
- Step 1, Accept the life you’ve been given.
- Step 2, Appreciate the life you’ve been given.
Appreciate the Life You’ve Been Given
I began limping around the YMCA track, using some of their free weights, like the dumbells, and most of their nautilus equipment several years after my motorcycle crash when my insurance told me they would no longer pay for physical therapy. Huh? I can’t quit working on stuff now. I haven’t come close to running out of goals. Gripping my cane, I continue limping around the track and reflecting on my prior year with feelings of gratitude and deep appreciation for both my frustrating and my rewarding experiences.
The uncomfortable and even painful 2.5 pound metal brace I wore on my left ankle for 15 years caused me nothing but misery until I realized how thankful I should be to be wearing that brace. Many of my Harborview roommates would have loved to wear a walking brace.
Attitude is Everything
If your new year this year is all about good friends and happy times, I’m right there with you. But if this year has you in a more somber place of deep reflection, I know where you’re at. I did my time, but I’m back on my feet. I can meet you wherever you want. It’s all in your perspective. Your Attitude is everything.
To brighten your holiday season, hire Al to share his humor, his motivation and his insights at your event, or to participate in his seminar/workshop or breakout, fill out our initial questionnaire.