Stay Inspired

Two years ago I was in a wheelchair and told I would be paralyzed for life. Today I can jog on a treadmill. How did this happen?

Well, I can't tell you how it happened exactly. My recovery truly was a miracle. But what I can tell you is how important it was for me to stay focused and inspired throughout my recovery.

People tell me my story has inspired them. Let me tell you how to find this inspiration within your own lives.

(1) Believe anything is possible. To overcome obstacles, you have to see your way through to the other side. You have to visualize yourself overcoming them. Draw inspiration from that vision.

(2) Stay focused. Obstacles are not a one-time event in life. When you try to get out of a difficult situation, no doubt you'll encounter one obstacle after another along the way. Expect it, and discipline yourself to stay focused. Never lose sight of your goals.

(3) Resist the urge to sleep five minutes longer. Who hasn't hit the snooze button several times in a row, only to realize those extra few minutes of sleep don't really help? Resist the urge to sleep longer than you need. Life is short enough. Think about what you can do to improve your life if you add a few minutes to each day. Get out of bed, face your obstacles and move closer to your goals with every waking moment.

(4) Don't stop just because someone tells you to stop. I can't tell you how many times people told me not to get out of my wheelchair, not to take so many steps, not to balance on one foot, not to try running without a leg brace. But I knew I had to do those things or I'd be in that wheelchair the rest of my life. Your life might be filled with obstacles and your progress toward your goals might be slow. Don't worry about that. Just realize that by moving ahead when others urge caution, you'll reach your goals faster than you would have otherwise.

(5) If you're going to worry about something, worry about improving. People love to worry. Sometimes worrying seems like our favorite pastime. The next time you worry about something, ask yourself what all that worrying is really accomplishing. Then ask yourself how many positive things you could accomplish in the amount of time you spend worrying. When you focus on positive ways to overcome your difficulties, you move closer to a life free from worry. If you're going to worry about anything, worry about doing more of that!

(6) Believe you can control your situation. Though problems seem to arise despite our attempts to keep them away, we still control our own lives. You might not believe that. If you don't, it's because you've trapped yourself in your situation and can't see your way out. You always have the ability to move yourself forward. You just need to believe in your ability and take positive steps to control your situation. It's not a lack of control that keeps you from moving forward. It's your inability to see that power within you.

(7) Know that once you give up mentally, you're beat. If you think you can accomplish something, you will. If you think you won't accomplish something, you won't. When I was wheelchair-bound, I suffered a lot of pain and frustration, a lot of wishing that things had been different. But not once did I believe I wouldn't walk again. Not once! I truly believe God helped me get out of that wheelchair precisely because I never doubted I would walk again. Don't lose your hope, not even for a minute. You have nothing better to do in this life than to try to overcome your obstacles and reach your goals.

(8) Remember you have one life. Regardless of your beliefs about afterlife and other types of spiritual existence, you're here right now, in this life, and you only have one shot at it. Why not make the most of it? Don't waste this life dwelling on problems and hurdles and what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. Make the most of this life and the situation you're in. Spend your time making improvements wherever you can. What could be better than that?

Whenever I speak to an audience or give a radio interview, people tell me they thought their lives were tough until they heard about my situation. That's not the point. It doesn't matter if you think my situation is worse than yours, or vice versa. What matters is that I believed I would walk again, and now I can walk. Whatever difficulties you have, believe that you can get through them and you will.

Find inspiration, hold onto it and stay inspired. What could be more important than that?

About The Author

Jay Monteer worked in law enforcement until an accident in September 2001 put him on disability. Now he visits hospital patients and speaks to different groups about the miracle of his recovery. To read more about Jay's story, visit" target="_new">

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