Welcome to Random Thoughts from the Chair. I have been planning to start this blog for longer than I would like to admit. Part of my procrastination was because I was afraid of not having enough to say, but since I speak for a living, I don’t think that was the reason. Well, I have finally stopped making excuses and plan to post at least once a week. (If I don’t do that, I want you to email me!) I’d also love you to comment and start a dialogue with other readers and me. I want to entertain you, make you think, invite you to my unique world, and most importantly, share with you the things that I think make life beautiful.
So, why should you care what I think and say?
Well, I am a 32-year-old man with severe cerebral palsy. I need help with almost everything ranging from getting ready in the morning to eating to even writing this blog. Despite this, I can honestly say that I love life. I love life, but my notion of loving life is not typical. It’s not going through life with a grin on your face like a Cheshire cat. My notion of loving life is recognizing the possibilities of life and doing anything and everything in my power to realize my potential. People are going to have bad days, they are going to complain and that’s just part of life, but there are some moments of life that just cannot get any better. My whole mission is to make those moments more frequent for me and you.
This blog is not about being disabled. I only use my disability as a backdrop to prove a point, not as a crutch or a wheelchair in my case. [Disclaimer: if my disability really gets on my nerves, I might use the blog to vent. After all, it’s my blog!] I am not going to brag about my accomplishments, like graduating from USC, writing a book, being named Man of the Year, and receiving a Soaring Spirit award. (Oh wait was I just bragging? Oops!)
I believe that conventional wisdom is too convenient and I don’t believe that one can convey a powerful statement in just one phrase. (There is a place and time for one-liners after all, isn’t that what Twitter is for?) I also don’t think life is all that challenging. As Larry Winget says, people want life to be harder than it is. He said this is because it gives people an excuse for not doing their best. Let me tell you, those words are surreal for me to write because I look at people around me and think my life is so hard, but when I look at it from afar it’s not so bad.
A little bit more about the guy in the chair:
Besides working hard, I believe that life is about having a good time. I love adventure, going out with my friends, having long dinners, and cracking a lot of jokes. People often react to something I said by blaming it on my speech impediment and I say, yeah, you heard me right! I also like going to the movies, watching sports, and having long conversations. (If I finished the last sentence with the words on the beach it would sound like a dating profile. By the way, I do have one of those on Match.com.) Since I need so much help, and many people have given me a piece of their life so my life is better, I’m always willing to help others when I can.
The two biggest inspirations in my life are my parents. They gave up so much for my sister and me to have a great life. We get along really well. They always know when to help me and when not to. When I was younger, if I wanted to go out with my friends they would let me.
My goals are simple yet at the same time a little bit more complicated than the average person’s goals. I want the status quo, a family with a wife, kids, and the American dream. (I got corny there. Sorry.) There are three questions that I am constantly asking myself:
1) What makes someone successful?
2) Despite my disability, how can I achieve success with so many limitations?
3) How can I take what I have learned and relay it to others?
Every week I am going to attempt to answer those three questions, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts as well!