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Your life is your message. Make sure it’s inspiring!

In between every absolute wrong and every inarguable right, there is some philosophical territory that is not quite so clearly defined. That is where the extenuating circumstances dwell. And that is where you will find the exceptions that prove the rule.

Why do they call these places the “grey areas“? They are full of so much colour. The reds of passionate self-justification. The blues of icy, soulless logic. The yellows of bright (if ill-thought-through) ideas. You simply can’t entirely ignore all those vivid hues. They may just make a difference.

When life hits you hard, it’s the most passionate people who feel the hit the hardest.

There’s no doubt about it. Life hit me hard. Over the last 5 years the hits just kept coming. (I’m still standing, but barely.)

The personal injury process is brutal (by intentional design). Insurers are especially hard on entrepreneurs. They’ll spend hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in their attempts to prove your injuries are not real and your business and income loss even less so.

At the same time, they’ll deny you the few thousand you need to carry on with your life’s work in a way that accommodates your injuries and your new (unwelcome) normal. They will leave you without the means to provide the necessities of life.

It costs you a small fortune to defend the legitimacy of your business and income loss. It costs an additional (even larger) fortune to pay for your own medical care and treatment. When you have no income at all coming in and a business to maintain and keep viable, the one thing that can help save you is your reputation for honesty.

While some of you may have family and friends who will come to your aid to help keep things afloat financially, most won’t. Instead, they will use this opportunity to attack your position and may try hard to keep you off balance rather than encourage you to not give up on your business.

And definitely your insurers (in most cases) will not. Which is surprising since it is in their best interest (as well as your own) to do everything possible to mitigate financial loss.

Friends who have least are likely to be the ones who help most. Strangers step in to assist in the most incredible ways… not because they know you (or of you) but because they believe in your integrity and the value of what you were/are doing with your life and work.

You will experience both extremes of professional competency, caring, and compassion from medical and services providers and others. This will be frustrating but can’t be allowed to impede your progress.

In injury recovery you will fail, fail, fail and fail again.

For example, I failed to be able to put my own pants on with any dignity 1,185 times before succeeding on the 1,186th attempt. I failed 1,364 times to stand and take a step in my own shoes unaided before succeeding with two consecutive steps on the 1,365th try. And, while I still can’t feed myself without spilling, I can use a fork and spoon and, sometimes, even a knife! I have also relearned how to use all the various tools of my work from scratch.

I have recovered a decent vocabulary in 1 of the 5 languages I formerly spoke. I successfully relearned cursive writing and how to read and comprehend written and spoken words (although I’m still working on retention and recall).

I can get up a set of stairs upright again (rather than on my hands and knees) and soon I expect to master getting down them with an alternating, more normal, gait.

I could not have achieved any of these things without the contribution of my difference makers. The debt I owe to them is astronomical although I doubt it can ever or really truly be measured!

There is still much recovery work ahead for me. Thank you to all the SMARTSTART community members who’ve stayed with me throughout. You have inspired me to stay brave and just keep going one day at a time. I count you all among my greatest blessings!

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

PS I hope you’ll find the new RAISING THE BAR series inspiring. If so, please share this post with friends and followers. You never know what burdens others are carrying or how much their load might be made lighter by doing so. ♥♥♥


Raising The Bar is a new series for the SMARTSTART community that has been taking shape in my head for most of the time I’ve spent working to recover from catastrophic brain, spinal cord and psychological injuries resulting from a near fatal accident in 2009. Success, whether it’s in rehab, business, relationships, or life, hinges on our ability to master this simple formula: Belief (B) + Attitude (A) = Response (R).

I’m excited to be sharing it with you now as a next step in my injury recovery. Consider this your invitation to join me on a grand adventure. Oh, the places we will go! Including all the places that scare us most. For that is where the greatest opportunities for joy and happiness — the true measures of success — reside!