As we go through life we make decisions and take actions the results determining who we become and what we achieve. We can always blame circumstances for things that happen or find reasons why we did not achieve our goals. Ultimately it is really all up to us to take responsibility for our own destiny. I have blogged about this before.
Today we had a visit from The United Way… a fabulous charitable institution that provides funding to hundreds of agencies, who in turn do great work. Eagle is a big supporter of the United Way and almost every employee at Eagle donates money each month to this great cause … maybe we can work on those few remaining “hold outs” this Fall!
Today we were treated to a presentation by a man who has benefited from the United Way … but he is also a person who has taken some life lessons from his situation. Randy was a young athlete, playing football at a high level with aspirations of playing professionally. To achieve that level of capability required tremendous determination and it was that same determination that has brought him to where he is today. As that young athlete he played hard, partied hard and tragically he chose to drink and drive, killing his best friend and sustaining brain injuries himself. After 4 months in a coma and years of rehabilitation he now speaks to young people about the dangers of drinking and driving and about the great work of the United Way agencies.
If you were in your early twenties, lived your life to play a sport and suddenly lost the use of your body, the ability to speak and other severe impacts because of brain trauma how would you respond?
We complain today about minor setbacks. We throw our hands in the air and give up way too easily … whether it is about learning a new skill, meeting a goal or just doing our job.
Randy used the lessons of that one decision to motivate himself to make a difference. He punished his body through years of physiotherapy to be able to get around unassisted, to be able to speak again and to become a useful member of society. He used the death of his best friend to remind himself every day that he needed to find a way to live a useful life.
His lessons were harsh but he didn’t try to sugar coat his decisions or the impact of those decisions. He lives with the consequences every day. He took the negatives in his life and turned them around and he is proud of what he has done with his life … and justly so!
Back in May I wrote a blog entry about motivation that reference Warren MacDonald, an Australian motivational speaker who lost his legs in an accident. Some people overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve their goals. If we apply just a portion of that kind of willpower and we can achieve great things every day!