I’m fascinated at how tragedy can be positive force for change, how traumatic events can lead people to live their lives to the fullest.
Over the past few years, I’ve experienced multiple traumatic events.
First, my second son was born with a rare genetic condition which makes it hard for him to walk and talk. As a parent, this was devastating.
A few years later, I lost my dad to cancer.
And then a year ago, I learned that my kidneys were failing. But I got a second chance at life when my little sister donated one of her kidneys to me.
This generous gift made me want to live my life to the fullest. And now I want to help others live better lives too.
The good news is you don’t need to wait for a life-changing event to change your life. You can learn from what others have gone through.
I’m reading two books now which tell stories of people who decided to make it their life’s work to help others after going through traumatic events.
On Fire by John O’Leary
John O’Leary was just nine-years old when he accidentally exploded a gas canister that resulted in second degree burns on nearly every inch of his body. Doctors thought it would be impossible for him to survive, but somehow he did.
In his book On Fire, O’Leary recounts this story and talks about how this incident shaped the rest of his life. As an adult, he spends his days helping others change their lives through public speaking.
How Would Love Respond by Kurek Ashley
In How Would Love Respond, former Hollywood actor Kurek Ashley writes about working as a stuntman for the movie Delta Force 2. He got $400 in danger pay each time he went up in a helicopter while filming in the Philippines.
He made dozens of trips in the chopper over a few weeks of filming. Then one time he was told to stay on the ground because he wasn’t needed in the shot. The helicopter went up without him, and then crashed into a valley, killing five colleagues including one of his best friends.
The trauma made him a suicidal cocaine addict, but he came out the other side stronger. Now he works in Australia leading sessions to help other people to change their lives for the better.
I chatted with Kurek last night for an interview for the soon-to-be-launched My Instruction Manual podcast. He’s a great storyteller and you won’t want to miss our chat.
The first episodes of the podcast are going live in the next few days.
Please sign up for my mailing list to be the first to know when the show goes live and to get some behind-the-scenes info about the podcast and other things I’m working on. As a thank you, for signing up, I’ll also send you my Ten-Step Happiness Checklist.