Yesterday I attended the Got Your 6 Storytellers event at Discovery Communications. It really was incredible. I took away so much from everyone who walked on stage, but the overall message was verbalized by Executive Director Bill Rausch. He said “If you think you’re broken, I’m here to tell you that you are not”. “We heard today that you can be paralyzed, you can be a quadriplegic and you can still be a leader in your community”. It’s a powerful statement and I choose to believe it is 100% true.
Many of you out there are injured. You might be worried about what people are thinking about you. You yourself might be thinking that you are not the person you used to be. Well all of us are shaped by our experiences. We have challenges and we evolve because of those challenges. Choose to let your past shape you into person that you want to be. Will Reynolds was nearly fatally wounded by an IED in Baghdad. He had 26 surgeries and ended up losing his leg. He harnessed his leadership experience and went on to earn his MBA and became a manager with Deloitte focusing on healthcare. But he didn’t stop there. He competed in the Warrior Games and became the U.S. team captain for the Invictus Games. He also serves on the boards of Disabled Sports USA and U.S. Military Endurance Sports. Will Reynolds is a leader because that is who he chose to be. Was the journey difficult? Absolutely. But that is what makes the best stories, isn’t it? Embrace that difficult path…your story is going to be incredible!
Ce-Ce Mazyck is another great example. She was a Senior Parachutist in the 82nd Airborne Division. During a training jump Ce-Ce was paralyzed from the waist down. She decided to adapt and overcome. She went on to win 22 Gold Medals at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, and took Bronze at the World Championship Games. Yesterday, after telling her story, Ce-Ce stood up out of her wheelchair and walked off stage to a standing ovation. Someone who was told they would never walk again created her own reality and is inspiring and leading others every day.
These are just 2 examples from yesterdays event, and yesterdays event was just a drop of water in the ocean of veterans who are leaders in their communities around the country. You may be having some big challenges in your life right now, but you are not broken. Your community and your country still need you. Choose to become the person that you want to be.
I urge you to go to https://gotyour6.org/storytellers/ and watch the video of yesterdays event. It will fire you up for sure.