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    March 2010

    The Power of Attitude (video)

    March 31, 2010 3151 Views

    "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

    -Jimmy Dean

    No matter what time of year, it's important to keep a good attitude. I need to know that just as much as the next as I stepped into the office I felt overwhelmed by all the newsletters that had to be sent out, calls that had to be made, and work that had to get done. I was so busy having my bad attitude that I didn't even notice that today was the first warm, sunny day in months!

    To help you look at the bright side (both literally and figuratively), here's a short movie guaranteed to boost your attitude:

    How will you shape your attitude today?

    Mondays with Mac: To Believe in the Impossible...

    March 29, 2010 2894 Views

    A few weeks ago, I found an unexpected letter and book from a Facebook fan of Simple Truths. Nicholas Dennen wrote to tell my team and me, "Thank you for believing and helping myself and others overcome seemingly 'impossible' situations. Blessings to you, your families, and Simple Truths." That was a touching letter...but what really touched me was Nick's amazing story! It was so amazing, in fact, that I invited him to share his amazing story of perseverance with you. Nick experienced trauma that he would not have overcome without the right attitude. Be encouraged by his life today:

    _DSC8258-Version2.jpg23Question: when you look back on your life, 10, 20, 30, even 50 years down the road, what do you think you'll remember most, the times you effortlessly moved forward without any bit of struggle or the times you found yourself wrestling against your deepest fears? I think Jim Rohn said it best, "we must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment." I would have surely regretted not giving 110% of my heart and soul to my rehabilitation.

    I had taken a 35-foot fall into a creek with a near drowning, suffering massive closed head trauma, with a collapsed lung. Miraculously, I survived that, yet alone surpassing an uncertain future plagued by insurmountable odds. It was those same impossible odds that set the scene for an amazing journey. The odds were definitely against me, and sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which according the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota, affects 100,000 individuals just in Minnesota alone. The numbers are close to 1.4 million across the United States.

    And today, we have to also consider our brave troops overseas. It is estimated that nearly 20% of our returning troops will have some form of mild to severe traumatic brain injury, many from improvised explosive devises. This number is staggering, but I think is underestimated. I've learned, in my short time with my brain injury, prevention is the only known cure.

    Sept98nick.10.19I had a choice, to remain in the shadows or move forward, defining the moment, or letting the moment define me. I was hospitalized for months, September 27th of 1998 until early December of that year. After being discharged, after escaping death, I continued outpatient rehab at Sister Kenny, and continued moving forward. Moving home provided me with the comfort of family, but also the drive to continue walking my path with myself. My parent's and I were at the mall one Sunday afternoon and we walked by Successories and then I saw it. A poster of a runner with an inspiring quote. "Persevere: On the road to success, you can be sure of one thing…there is never a crowd on the extra mile." At times, it felt like I was running alone; the action had to be pushed forward by me.

    Seeing pictures of me in the hospital offer inspiration. I was totally unconscious on life-support laying there with my eyes open, but I was not there. I was semi-comatose. The difficulty in seeing myself in such a state has nothing to do with whether or not I thought I would make it back. The difficulty was knowing that my family, friends, and others were faced with the uncertainty and pain that I may never, ever return. I think it ultimately came down to faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these three being love, the love of my family, friends, and everybody else.

    I love motivation, particularly self-motivation, and not letting fear make my decisions. It took a near-death experience to open my eyes, to see a future serving others. My mom gave me a plaque from Successories during that first year as I was enduring an extensive rehabilitation, relearning how to walk, how to write, how to feed myself, how to live again. It was titled, New Beginnings, and it said, "In life what sometimes appears to be the end is really a new beginning."

    Yes, I had thought my life was over. I saw my friends and everyone else moving forward, and I was stuck in the past. I saw my glass as half-empty, not half-full. I had a bad attitude. I needed to visualize my new beginning. I needed to change my perspective. I needed to re-define my TBI. Rather than Traumatic Brain Injury, I think TBI really stands for, "To Believe in the Impossible," "To Baffle the Imagination," "To see Beyond the Individual," and "To Become Invincible." I needed to see my struggle as an opportunity to take me to the next level.

    Nearly 12 years post-TBI now, looking back, I can hardly imagine my life going any other way, without everything I have learned and every person I have met from this one experience. I was able to return to college, meeting people on the journey whom have shaped my life and transformed my future. I have been fortunate enough to get a job working at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, where I have worked since August of 2004. Working here has helped me go from being somewhat shy and introverted (qualities amplified after having a head injury) to becoming the opposite, outgoing and extroverted. It became my future.

    I never would have imagined such a meaningful purpose, serving others enduring the same trials and difficulties. I have found a place serving the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota on their Speaker's Bureau, as well as on their Board of Directors. I can use this experience to lift others up. Adversity can, in the end, strengthen character.

    And the best part, which I saved for last, was meeting my beautiful wife, Tina, whom I never would have met had I not been injured. She is my best friend and someone I can't see my life without.

    So, I'd like to ask you another question: would you ever take a journey if, before you even started, you knew you would face death, be overcome by fear, and feel as though the world would be better without you in it? Or think about it this way. If, walking that same path, you'd discover your potential, meet the person of your dreams, and find your true calling in life?

    Check out Nick's website:, or leave comments for him!

    Movie: The Best Way Out is Always Through

    March 24, 2010 3016 Views

    "Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain." -Author Unknown

    To continue with our theme of perseverance, here's a movie based on BJ Gallagher's book, The Best Way Out is Always Through.

    What encourages you in times where you need to persevere?

    No Surrender...

    March 23, 2010 2382 Views

    "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

    -Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Today, I was reading through The Best Way Out is Always Through by BJ Gallagher, because I was thinking of the best time of year to share some posts about perseverance. I realized that pretty much any time of year is a good time, since every season brings both joys and hardships. With that in mind, here's a poem from BJ's book called, "No Surrender":

    No surrender

    When you believe in yourself,

    in your personal potential,

    in your own future,

    you have no choice-

    surrender is not an option.

    There's nothing to do

    but continue.

    Sometimes you want to give up,

    but you can't-

    something deep inside

    won't let you.

    No white flags,

    no bailing out,

    no throwing in the towel

    for you.

    You have to keep going;

    you must carry on;

    you just take the next step...

    and the next...

    and the next...

    Here's a story that Mac shared in a blog post last month out of his book, The Power of Attitude. Mac told you about Derrick Redmond, an athlete who ran the 400 meter race in the 1992 Olympics, and ripped his hamstring, collapsing on the track. Read here for the rest of the story. Anyway, I was thinking about that story when I came across this video on Youtube:

    While I think this describes love perfectly, I also see how it describes perseverance, too. Derrick could have easily lay down on the track, waiting for a stretcher. Instead, he got up and (in excruciating pain) finished the race. That story powerfully illustrates the power of perseverance.

    What times have you persevered? Are there times when you wish you had stuck with it, but you didn't? What was the consequence? Who is the most resilient person you know? What inspires you to keep going through trials and difficulties?

    Who is the Richest Person You Know?

    March 19, 2010 2084 Views

    Here's a short movie about a man who may not have had great amounts of money or valuables...but was still the "richest man in town:"

    Who's the richest person you know?

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