Remember, life can never take from you, your response-ability – your ability to respond. This is why it’s personal to me; I hope it is to you as well.
When the doctor told Bruce D Schneider, founder of iPEC, that at 18 years of age – after being nearly crushed in a car accident, thanks to a drunk driver – he would likely never walk again, he could have succumbed to the mental anguish and believed the doctor. Instead, after failing repeated tests to prove the doctor wrong, he succeeded when no one else (but he) believed that he could. Just several days later, he walked out of the hospital, on crutches, but on his terms. He went on to become a highly competitive athlete, and to launch an institute that became a movement.
Bruce’s response-ability was not only to live a healthy life, but to make a difference doing so.
When the oncologist told my grandfather, Bill Roether, a marine-engineer, that he had a very rare and advanced form of lung cancer, he was also told he had four months to live — if he was lucky. He could have completely given up and waited for his life to end; instead, he moved himself and his wife across the country, so they could be with their family. He built her a house, got her moved in, and even provided me with my own personal Tuesdays with Morrie (er, Bill) sessions. He lived more than 18 months, and passed away just a week after my grandmother received the keys to her new house. I’m not sure whether he or us laughed more in our lives than during those 18 months. He’d go, but it’d be on his terms.
My grandfather’s response-ability was to live the remainder of his life as productively and as joyfully as possible. With that choice, he not only extended his life by more than a year, he forever changed my life as well.
These stories have touched me directly and personally, but, at the same time, it’s the everyday stories that inspire me most.
It’s the single mom who, in the face of mounting pressure and seemingly endless bills, takes the time to finish her degree, online, while also making sure to never miss reading bedtime stories to her son or helping him with his homework.
That’s yet another example of life showing me that I always have the chance to be clear and resolved on how I will live MY life.
It’s the rising number of women who have faced, and overcome, infertility in their own way – through persevering, through finding purpose in their struggles, or, perhaps, through adoption. Their response-ability is to choose to live life through loving, learning, and moving forward.
Think of these people in your life — those who recognize their response-ability and decide to do something with it. Take notice of them. Let their lives and their stories, inspire you.
Feel free to post those stories here, in the Comments, or share them on our Facebook page. If these stories inspire you, please let them inspire us too.
Until next time, Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)