“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
I just spent almost 2 hours in my apartment texting people trying to find something to do and it resulted in failed attempt after failed attempt. So finally I just said screw it and left my apartment. I got into my van and went and bought an energy drink and started driving around. Blasting my music transformed my mood and energy and some lyrics inspired me to just head down by the river and write.
When we confine ourselves inside of our home we forget about the world out there waiting for us. So often we just come to say, “there is nothing to do” or, “I’m bored.” I’m guilty of saying it, everyone is, and it’s a habit that I want to break.
I often get asked after my speeches what I do in my free time. It’s like they cannot fathom that there could be anything enjoyable to do in your free time if you’re in a wheelchair. I’m a people person. I still have the power of conversation. I enjoy small talk at a convenient store with the cashier, talking to random strangers, creating new friendships, and of course strengthening the friendships that I already have. I enjoy visiting people in the hospital that are struggling and try to put a smile on their faces. I have this insanely positive, optimistic outlook on life that a lot of people just don’t understand. Positivity is infectious and when I see somebody that is down I will stop at nothing to bring them back up.
So that is what I like to do… I like to infect people with positivity. I love to tell stories and make people laugh and smile, but I also love to listen, learn, and appreciate what others have to say. The wheelchair is great because when people see it they think of misery and boredom. So I think it makes my smile much more powerful. There are so many things that I have in my toolkit to reach out to people. I can reach out through writing on my blog, having someone read my book, speaking about my story, or just talking to people one-on-one.
All people are capable of change. I’ve definitely had my fair share of misery in my life. I’ve felt lost, hopeless, and confused during many times in my life. Eventually I had enough of it though and chose to never go back. That was the best decision I made in my life and every day I try to make it better than the day before. This is my second chance and there’s no reason to waste it being miserable. It’s a process to make this change. It definitely does not happen overnight. Although the more you practice positivity the easier it gets.
Surround yourself with good, uplifting people who are there to support you, believe in you, and push you forward to be the best person that you can be. I’ve had a lot of people in my life that do not believe in the grandiose ideas that I come up with. “Why do you not have a civil engineering job, Adam?” I’m sorry that I’m following my dreams. I had the backlash from people in Rushville saying that I deserve to be in jail for the rest of my life and that being paralyzed was not enough of a penalty. I’m sorry that I was speeding and lost control of my car and made a mess in your abandoned cornfield. Go ahead, give me a one star review on my book. See what I care. Now go write a book yourself.
There are going to be haters no matter what you do to redeem yourself. I have found that the more that I have accomplished, the more backlash I have received. Although there are way more people that are in my corner now than ever before. So I say screw the haters. I don’t care what you have to say to me. I believe in myself and that’s all that matters.
I have had the courage to share all of my flaws and mistakes. Of course there’s going to be backlash, but do you have the courage to do it yourself? I wish everyone did. This world would be a better place. So I don’t care if people continue to throw stones at the imperfections in my life because I know that the people that are throwing those stones have their own imperfections. So what do I do? I just keep smiling because that is the last thing they want me to do.