I started “life coaching” as a peer-counselor for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, RIC, two years after I broke my neck at the age of 17. My unique life experience had equipped me with some valuable tools to help people overcome challenges and improve courage, self-confidence and Grit. Several years after that I was peer counseling for Independent Living Center in Oak Park.
I also coached high school football and basketball, which enabled me to mentor young men about life, not just athletics. I was passionate, even then, about helping people through struggles by supporting their personal growth, challenging them and giving them a different perspective.
I took my desire to inspire even further by becoming John Maxwell certified as a speaker and coach. I was blessed to be asked to speak at corporations, universities, and schools, to work with individuals of various backgrounds, and eventually have my fifth book published.
I’ve watched so many people, including myself, spend their days putting out fires, worrying about their kids, their jobs and relationships while waiting for things to change so that they could finally feel fulfilled, happy and successful. Yet, all the while, the anxiety, stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed is building and taking a dangerous toll on them physically and mentally, to the point that the anger is more frequent, or they begin to lose their energy and optimism and eventually shut down.
What I found is that everyone is facing the same inner challenges, with or without a disability. People move through this life carrying a whole lot of fear, shame and blame and the longer they carry this burden, the more toxic they become. Sometimes, another person’s nonjudgmental perspective is just what we need to recognize these things and begin to let go.
From others, we can often discover beneficial perspectives and learn to be kinder to ourselves. This is where a life coach, mentor and creating fellowship come in. I knew that sharing my experiences was all a part of my purpose to empower others. This was what all the training and challenges had prepared me for.
I thought money would bring me meaning, until I discovered that the greatest meaning comes from helping others create intentional and purposeful lives. As I tell my kids and others, ‘’You get what you want out of life by helping others get what they want out of life’’. That’s why I became a coach, speaker, mentor, author and the president of SOAR non-profit; to share a story and message that truly matters.
My purpose finally became so strong, so liberating that it empowered me to take more control over my life. Everything I would do would have an intentional purpose. Intentional living is about awareness and understanding. It’s the awareness that we have tremendous control over our own lives and the understanding that we are intimately connected to the world around us. Embracing these truths inspires me to make more intentional decisions when it comes to my personal faith, health, and happiness.
If you don’t start to look at life with a more purposeful view I guarantee a year from now you will be wishing you started today.
Have you ever thought:
I am trapped in my “Worst Case Scenario” … A failed business, dead broke and back at my parent’s place, in desperation.
The stress, anxiety, and depression that has built up over the past few years all came out, all at once… I am lost…My dream is dead.
I am throwing away 40 hours a week into a job that is not fulfilling, or I hate it.
I have become my own worst nightmare.
I am a slave to the system…Punching a clock, scheduled breaks, stale coffee, progress meetings, requesting time off.
I am grinding away for a paycheck that is already spent before I got it…
I am miserable, broke, hopeless, and beaten down.
Enough is enough!
We sacrifice our health, faith and family to create wealth then we sacrifice wealth to get it all back. We live our lives worrying about the future. We spend so much energy on things we can’t control, so much so that we don’t live and enjoy the present.
The time and energy we spend thinking about and chasing money or physical possessions like cars, boats, and toys, which ultimately cause us to pine over the house payment, loans and our next purchase, robs us of real valuable time. The worries occupy and cloud our minds so much that we don’t have time to enjoy or appreciate life. We sacrifice our true purpose and passion to work a job that will replace us in a heart beat.
We get into a mindless routine that clouds our vision, our ability to become truly significant. Our souls have become paralyzed. We truly live in a prison and it’s the worst prison someone could be in because you don’t even realize it.
We spend all our time thinking of work: Could Mondays be less monotonous? Could Wednesdays be more welcoming? Could Fridays be more fulfilling? We countdown days until the weekend and weeks until the month is over, only hoping for a break or escape, knowing that we will only have a short breath of freedom only to go back to the same unfulfilling routine. Even our vacations, getaways and weekends are full of work thoughts, check lists, meetings, and agenda’s.
We don’t have time to eat together or we eat, sleep and work on the go.
There are no 9 to 5 jobs, at best it’s a 9 to 9 job where we sacrifice the time with the ones we love for the ones we love. I am guilty of this too and it is difficult to recognize and even more difficult to stop the cycle.
We do all of this to feel like we are barely surviving.
What if we all lived our passion our purpose. We would all be better people, partners, husbands, wife’s and friends. We get so involved in our work that we forget about the ones we are working for.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A STRONG PERSON WITH AN EASY PAST.
We have all been in that position lacking vision and an intentional mission. You will go through times where you feel alone and times when you’re alone that you feel crowded. You will get hit with a shit storm of problems, you will fall; THEN WHAT?
It only takes one spark to ignite a fire, one yes, and one hand to lift you up. I am here to help you SOAR.