Living a Purposeful Life Versus an Accidental Life

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This is a picture of courage and tenacity. This is a picture of one person doing everything they can to overcome adversity and live a more purposeful life.

Here’s what I mean.

Although I advocate for being purposeful in as many areas of your life as possible, there are events and times when you will not and cannot be fully prepared. On December 13, 2016, my family experienced a disaster that no one wanted nor were we prepared for.

My brother-in-law, Joey Sharron, was swimming in Mexico when two waves hit him from behind and pushed him headfirst into a sand bar. His neck was broken on impact and were it not for a woman standing on the beach 25 yards away and yelling for her husband to help him, he likely would have drowned and been pronounced dead at the scene.

He received 15 minutes of CPR without being resuscitated. As the lifeguards were stopping CPR, a physician from an adjacent hotel, who had watched the accident, ran for a defibrillator and arrived on the scene and started CPR again. His arrival and intervention lasted 10 additional minutes and, after administering four shocks, he revived Joey.

Emergency surgery was performed in Mexico and three days later Joey was transported to Mass General in Boston where he was diagnosed as a quadriplegic. He is alive, has no brain damage, and has an amazing mindset. He is, in many ways, preparing himself and his family to accept his prognosis merely as a starting point, not his finishing point.

Five months into Joey’s injury I’m am fully prepared to grasp the enormity of his injury and the impact this will have on each family member. There are aspects of caring for and living with an accident of this magnitude that is still beyond comprehension and leaves us crying, frustrated and ill prepared to deal with the severity of his condition.

But in the face of this accident, Joey specifically, and my family in general, have learned something new each and every day about what’s possible—possible for recovery, possible for Joey’s work, and possible for what we can do to make the healing process healthier.

Watching Joey handle this adversity in inspiring and courageous ways tells me that Joey can teach me a lot about how to approach life, adversity and leadership.

Joey has said that he’s never going to give up and that he knows exactly what’s going to be thrown at him physically and emotionally. He knows this is a massive test for his health and quality of life, but also for his wife, family, and business too.

He’s not naive in any way, but he believes that how he thinks about his injury and by the choices he makes with regard to his mindset and his rehabilitation, he can overcome the situation and lead a productive and healthy life. Joey’s attitude is transforming what I believed was possible about spinal cord injury and is preparing me to be amazed at what he accomplishes.

Monday Morning Mindset Questions:

  1. Are there areas of your professional or personal life where you’ve become tentative or given up?
  1. In what area of your life do you want to envision new possibilities?
  1. What aspect of your interactions with employees and or customers needs rehabilitation?

My Mastering Your Mindset Special Report provides 27 strategies for overcoming adversity and living a more purposeful life. You can find it here.

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