During the early years immediately after the accident, the pain and paralysis began to weigh heavily on me as I lost myself to anger, depression, amphetamine use and prescription drug abuse, and a general feeling of being lost and debilitated. There was so much uncertainty involved with my recovery, so many painful nerve tests, and even experimental surgeries that I went through. I felt like I had lost so much when I lost the functionality of my arm. As more time went on, however, I realized that although my spinal cord injury changed my life it didnt need to control me. I realized that my soul and my character did not need to deteriorate along with my arm. One day, I made a choice. I chose to begin a life-long commitment to mindfullness of 5 essential elements necessary to overcome life's obstacles: patience, perspective, positivity, perseverance, and passion. Although I could not control the actions of the driver who hit me, or the circumstances of my spinal cord injury, what I could control were these 5 elements (what I call the 5 P's) and how they made me view the world around me. Making use of the 5 P's is how I adapted to my circumstances, and changed how I treated others as I worked through my personal issues moving forward.
I'm really excited to have made this website and my YouTube channel as a couple ways to be able to communicate my stories and life lessons to you through weekly videos and blog entries. My hope is that the stories in these videos and blog entries will resonate with you and inspire you to incorporate the 5 P's into your own life as I have. Patience, perspective, positivity, perseverance, and passion are all how I got emotionally and physically healthy and how I've managed to take my life a step further. I owe my success in school, my adaptation to playing soccer, being a general aviation pilot--in fact, every bit of happiness and self-worth that I have for myself now--all to how I live by the 5 P's.
I offer my motivational speaking services to anyone interested enough to listen and change their own lives for the better--whether you are a young teenager feeling alone, or whether you are the CEO of a corporation with many employees that you'd like to convene together--and anyone else in between. Even if your circumstances are different from mine, what connects us all is the necessity of patience, perspective, positivity, perseverance, and passion in all of our lives in order to make the best decisions.
The concept of the clipped wing came to me as people would often ask me: "how did you break your wing?" "What happened to your wing?" "What'd you do to clip your wing?" Since my arm was always in an arm sling, it appeared to be broken to people who didnt know that it was actually completely paralyzed. For the first few years going through life after the accident, I realized that the lack of patience, perspective, positivity, perseverance, and passion in my life was the real reason why I couldn't get my life off of the ground, so to speak--like a bird with its wing clipped. Without these 5 elements, I could've fluttered all I wanted but I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon without changing myself for the better. I was just wasting energy. A bird with its wing clipped has had it clipped by some other means outside of its own control. Sometimes the effects can be temporary, and sometimes they can be permanent. In either case, it is bound to the ground where it most likely doesn't prefer to be. So I thought that this would be a great title for my motivational approach to ways that I have overcome my own obstacles that have weighed me down--my own clipped wing. In a sense, I think that we all have a bit of our own clipped wings at different times. These are the things that weigh heavily on us and inhibit us from getting where we want to go or what we want. The circumstances that we find ourselves in might be our clipped wing at the moment, but by changing the ways that we are patient with ourselves and others, by changing our perspective on the situation at hand, by changing our mindset to more of a positive and affirming mindset, by changing our willingness to persevere no matter how long it takes, and by changing the ways that we incorporate what we are passionate about into our lives, we can all learn to fly with a clipped wing.