For this video blog, I want to do something a little different. My buddy Chris is going to talk about one of my favorite concepts: the issue of overcoming.
I hate the word “overcoming” because I haven’t overcome cerebral palsy, I deal with it. The reason why Chris loves this concept is because he owns a gym. I jokingly tell him if people overcame weight loss, you would be out of business.
Problems rarely disappear. People just deal with them in a different manner. I deal with my handicap every single hour of my life. Even if there were a cure for cerebral palsy, who I am would be influenced by being in a chair for over 35
On Sunday, I went to my cousin’s baby shower. His wife happens to be my wife’s best friend. When I got home, I was planning to watch the Dodgers take on the Giants on ESPN because I don’t have the Dodger network. Direct TV has not made a deal with Time Warner so anytime they have a Dodger game on ESPN I have to catch it.
My best friend of 30 years, Patrick was going to BBQ some hamburgers and sausage. I asked him to post on Facebook that we were having a BBQ. A good friend of ours, Matt whom I’ve known since 5th grade liked my post. I called Matt and half an hour later he showed up at my house with his wife and five kids.
The Dodgers swept the Giants and I got a chance to catch up with one of my good friends. Sometimes we lose sight of what really matters in life. We get caught up in making life extraordinary that we forget that one of the most amazing parts of life is just connecting with friends you haven’t seen in months.
I’m back with another video with my buddy, Chris Stevenson. In this episode I share what I learned from writing my new book, Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices.
I talk about how I learned that my sacrifices as a disabled man are unique and that everybody’s sacrifices are unique, as well.
I am always thinking about what I’m going to write next. I have ideas for about five different books. I also am focused on getting out there speaking again. The process of booking me is long and takes time to build a machine that will fill my schedule with paying gigs. In the past I have not fully committed the resources or the time into this task. Over the years, one thing I learned is patience. If you asked me about patience a decade ago, I would have said, “Why be patient? I can’t wait!” Part of being patient is knowing when to let life’s ebb and flow take over.
What I’ve learned about success is not running to a safe haven when things don’t happen right away. In the past, I ran to marketing when things were not happening as quickly as I wanted them to. Or, I would say to myself, “I need to write another book. That will do it.” I love writing and I love marketing but that’s only two pieces of the...
For this blog, I am going to take a quote from my brand new book, Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices. Today’s quote is “Work with reality, because when you fight reality, you always lose.”
We all wish that life was a little bit easier, traffic in Los Angeles was not as bad, or that the boss was not an idiot, etc. There’s not a day that goes by where I wished I was not disabled. I’m surrounded by non-disabled people every day, I mean, they are all over the place: on TV, at the store, they’re everywhere! They kind of freak me out! Jokes aside, writing Big Dreams helped me realize that if I want success, I have to make sacrifices as a handicapped man and often times I feel that I am forced to pay a handicapped tax on my dreams. Like any tax, I hate to pay it but I do because I know if I pay it, then I’m closer to my dream. If I fight reality and don’t pay the handicapped tax, then the only person losing out is me.
Your reality is your...
This week I’m doing something a little bit different. I’m shooting videos with various people to add more substance to my blog. This week I uploaded a video with my buddy Chris Stevenson about the fundamentals of life. One of the overarching themes of my book is focusing on the little fundamental tasks to achieve success. Often times, we assume that it’s the big things that cause success but it really is the little things that we do every single day that lead to our big dreams.
There have been many memorable 4th of July weekends like watching fireworks on a boat in Lake Tahoe or in 1994 hanging out with friends before my senior year in high school, but nothing compares to my 4th of July weekend last year. It all started at 1:30 in the morning when my pregnant wife woke me up and told me it’s time. Twelve hours later, we had a beautiful baby boy named Andrew. It was a moment that I never thought would come. The wonderful nurse put Andrew in my arms and with tears coming down my face I met my boy. It’s been an incredible year and I can’t believe he’s here.
A couple of words about the United States.
Where else but America could a kid from Iran who has a speech impediment and cannot hold a pen become a writer and a speaker? Only in America. If I was in Iran, my parents told me that I could not even go out of the house. People would stare at me and I would not have any kind of life. When I go out, one of the things I don’t have to...
Anything that can cause a person to take positive action is inspiring. It can be a book, it can be being in awe of a successful person, it can be a vacation that makes you say, “you know if I was working harder, I could take more vacations.”
Last week I received an email from my manager Linda about a TED talk entitled, “I’m Not Here to Inspire You, Thank You Very Much,” and when I clicked on it, I saw a women in a wheelchair come out. I said to myself, “here we go again, disabled person saying I’m not handicapped.”
By the way, I am not the most PC person even though I have CP. But when I started listening to her I became intrigued because she didn’t want to be inspiring just because she was in a wheelchair. I admire that a lot. One of the things I try to do in my career is not rely on my handicap for sympathy or a leg up (unless that sympathy leads to book sales!) I feel that the ideas in my book can stand alone but...
My manager Linda emails me articles every day to comment on and to post on social media. Last week, she emailed me an article on how a woman started an ad campaign with the words, “You are amazing” on public billboards.
In my mind, the word amazing is special and should not be thrown around lightly. I am constantly striving for “amazing” and don’t want anybody to tell me I am amazing until I earn it or else the word loses its cache. Amazing is the last step not the first. I always surround myself with amazing people. One characteristic they all had is they do not care about praise. My mother and father are amazing because they dedicated their life to my sister’s and my happiness. My best friend Patrick is amazing because he gives me what my disability robs me of. My mentors are amazing because they give me lots of tools so I can strive. Most of all, my mentors don’t let me believe I am amazing when I’m not.
At some time or...
Before my book launch event, my office was in full marketing mode. We were trying to get people to the event, which is always the hardest part of putting on an event. I am looking forward to the day where I get an email with an itinerary that says I am speaking at the Bellagio in front of a thousand people and the meeting planner bought books for all the attendees. That’s the dream. That’s my dream. But, remember, a payment for a dream is sacrifice.
My book launch event was a significant part of my sacrifice to make my dream come true. Although I took off to Lake Tahoe with the boys for a little R&R (Who am I kidding? There is never R&R in a city that has casinos!)
When I got back from Lake Tahoe, there was a litany of ordinary, not so exciting, activities that I was still doing. I had to ship out books to my Indiegogo supporters, I had to communicate with my marketing team and I had to drive to Hollywood to get the files for my video. Most people think writing a...