It seems like there is a common thought that I have heard a lot of lately. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I am talking to someone individually or if there is a group of people. The common thread is success. Everyone defines success based on the success that other people have accomplished or failed at. How often do we sit back and define success on the things that we have done in our own life. The small things to the biggest success in our life. Take a moment and think about that and see what you come up with for success and what you may think have been failures.
I will give you my take and you will either see me as crazy or think “hmm never thought about it like that.” If there is a supposed failure I will insert it behind each failure. When I was 12 years old I played Little League and I made the all-star team. I chose not to play at age 13 because I was afraid I would not be as good when I played with the older kids. I started playing me’s softball at the age of 15 and was a pitcher and catcher. I had a rocket for an arm to the point where not many players would attempt to steal on me. I was a senior in high school when I decide to join the military. I became a paratrooper with 58 jumps and went to War by the time I left 6 years later. I became a firefighter and got the first full time opening available. I then was promoted to Lt. at the next open position. I am a state fire instructor, a state water rescue instructor. I am good at my job. My wife and I have been married for 24 years. We have raised two wonderful daughters. I am very easy to get along with. I have been to Canada, Mexico, England, Ireland, Italy. Germany, the Netherlands, Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. I was sent to New Orleans Louisiana with another firefighter from our dept. Our dept was requested from the state fire commissioner to send two personnel. I was the first to put my hand up even though I knew we were going straight in to hell when we got there. I coached girls softball for 11 years from the little league level up to the high school level. That is a pretty big list of success I only listed one failure. I see what most people see as failure as a lesson and an opportunity to improve.
I have been faced with a tremendous hurdle when it comes to a TBI. I felt like a failure. I thought that I was letting my family down, my friends down, my employer down, and my community down because they rely on us when they are having a bad day. I often sat in my house and felt sorry for myself and telling myself that I did not deserve this after the life that I have lived and being a part of helping people. I came. Once I allowed myself to snap out of my own pity party I saw that I had a bigger purpose in my life and success was right in front of my nose I just didn’t want to see it. I survived my injury because my work here is not done yet. I have had to change my course a little bit but I see that as a success. I have started this blog to share my experience and I know for a fact that I have helped people. They have emailed me and told me how I have. That is a huge success. I belong to a TBI support group where I share my experiences with the survivors and the caregivers. It is only my experience and I do not pretend to have the answers for others, just my experience. I get on that page every single morning and say “Today is going to be AWESOME because…….” then I fill in the blank. Others have responded to it by sharing how their day is going to be AWESOME. That is a great thing to hear!!! I talk daily online to numerous people that just want to be heard. I gave a presentation at the PA Brain Injury state conference and I loved every minute of it. To me that is the definition of success. I dont care what kind of cars people drive or the house that they live in. That is only the shell of successful people.
I want to wrap this up by saying that you may think I am puffing out my chest and talking about myself. That is exactly what I am doing. I have been a success and I am proud to share it in my mind and with the blogging world. Take a look at yourself and I bet you will find the same AWESOME success that I have in your own life!!!