Friday, October 19, 2007

Lessons Learned from the Wheelchair

First of all, let me start with a statement of gratitude. My faith in a living God who is distinctly interested in me gave me a peace and trust that this incident would be for my good. I am grateful that this abrupt change in my situation, which could have put my life and business in a tailspin, has not. Rather the opposite. I've focused, driven deeper into the niche I want to serve and will be using what I learned to plan for a record breaking 2008.

I am an entrepreneur at heart. I have clients, appointments, networking events, and speaking engagements (not to mention my volunteer activities)....just like you. Juggling all this, first from a hospital bed and then from a wheelchair, gave me opportunity for a fresh perspective and understanding.

  1. First and foremost, anything that can be done fully mobile can be done from a wheelchair (except driving when your right leg is the injured body part.) It doesn't mean that it is easy, just that it is possible. It all comes down to your choice, perspective, and drive.

  2. Not all buildings that say they are ADA accessible have an accessible restroom. Something to consider if you are out and about for any length of time. Thank God for Laura, my newest team member, who helped me navigate some of those buildings.

  3. When it comes to networking, some people will make a point to speak to you, others will make an effort not to. This is curious because some of these people knew me but didn't recognize me in the chair because they wouldn't make eye contact. I am still trying to psychoanalyze that phenomenon. I realize I was below eye level when looking around the room, but the wheelchair was pretty obvious. What is the story we have in our minds about those who may be handicapped?

  4. People are generous with encouragement and support. Offers to help came flooding in. Follow through is another matter. This left me wondering. How many times have I done the same thing? Someone is in need, I offer help. I wonder at my intention. Do I really want to help or only if it is convenient? Follow through is a challenge in most settings. Our lives are so busy. Is it possible to be different when someone we know needs us?

  5. Some people love giving. I experienced the spirit of generosity in ways I had not imagined. Some of my friends served in such a way that showed their delight in helping. Some offered to pick me up and drive just so they could spend time with me. This was humbling since I knew they run on a tight schedule and what they sacrificed to do this.

  6. We all have limitations. I already knew this, so it wasn't new learning, but when all is said and done, we all have something. Some of us physical, some in our minds, some in resources, some in skill set. What I know is this; when we fix our eye on a meaningful goal and believe it can be accomplished, regardless of our limitations, it can be achieved.

I learned alot about myself too.

  1. I have trouble asking for help when I can't see clearly how I can reciprocate. I am used to being able to return in kind more value than the information or assistance I request. In this scenario I had to ask for help solely counting on others kindness. This was hard!

  2. I am pretty independant. For those who know me, they say, DUH! Of course you are. I had trouble not attempting doing things myself before asking for help. It didn't even occur to me to ask until I had tried it first. My independent spirit can be both a strength and weakness.

  3. I can get a lot done when I can't be out and about! I already knew this in part but the leaps my business has moved forward in the last 90 days has been phenomenal. Partially due to my limited mobility and partially due to adding Laura James to the team. I could not have accomplished or even done business as easily without her contribution. As I become more mobile you will see her highlighted in the coaching and training arena.

The good that is coming out of this season of life outweighs the pain. 3 weeks more of limited mobility before I hope to pass "GO" and be fully mobile again.

My advice for the day: Stay focused and perservere! You will learn more and go farther! It's your choice.