Recently, I read a truly inspirational story about a young man who became a paraplegic at the age of 18. Stephen Cluskey had every reason in the world to give up on life. Instead, he found a way to help himself and others by choosing his mindset and changing how he looked at his situation. The mantra he lives by is:
Dwell in the possible and the positive…
As a result, he has taken the problems he encountered with accessibility and created solutions. Instead of stopping him, obstacles inspire him. Instead of focusing on things he can no longer do, he focuses on what he can do. When we invest our time and energy looking at what’s possible and being positive, we are more able to be solution focused instead of problem focused.
Stephen’s life changed in an instant in significant ways. His story is a testament to the power of choosing a positive mindset. How would your day be different if you were to “dwell in the possible and the positive”? If every challenge you came up against caused you to ask what’s possible given these circumstances, how would you respond to obstacles differently than you do now?
Of course, some experiences, circumstances, and situations may cause us to feel hurt, sad, or angry. These emotions are natural when we’re scared, disappointed, or facing an unexpected event. Change can be daunting, especially sudden change such as loss of a job, divorce, loss of a loved one. But when we can find our way through the emotions and recognize we have the power to make something out of the situation, we often find ourselves doing and being things we never expected.
Adopting a positive mindset and being a creator of possibility isn’t always easy. Start with something simple like changing one thought you have about a challenge you’re facing. “I’ll never figure out this new system” is more empowering as “I’ve figured out difficult things in the past so I can do it again and I can ask for help if I need it.”
What could you accomplish if you were inspired to live like Stephen? A lot, I imagine. So be inspired by this man who turned a tragedy into a mission to make the world a better place for those who need improved access to services, places, and opportunities.