How an unexpected message can have the biggest impact

As entrepreneurs and business leaders we can become very focused on our area of expertise. Sometimes the information that’s most helpful to others comes from the lessons we take from our own life experience.

In 2010, I suddenly found myself in the role of carer. My partner, Michael, had a serious motorbike accident which left him with spinal injuries, two broken legs and head trauma. He spent a month in hospital and came home in a wheelchair.

Many doctors and other health professionals told us he would never walk properly again and would have to get used to his new life. Mike had other ideas.

Over a long period of time - and through pure determination – he worked his way onto crutches, then two walking sticks, then one stick, and eventually was able to shuffle around with his body swaying dramatically from side to side. We joked that his new “walk” made him look like a drunken praying mantis.

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Because he wasn’t about to get on a bike again, he took up a new sport - surf ski paddling - which opened up a whole new world. Over the next few years he got better and better at it, until ultimately he set a goal to get on the Australian team in his age group and compete at the world championships in the sport.

Not only did Mike make the team, he brought home a world championship medal for Australia.

So many people have been inspired by our story that we decided to turn it into a keynote presentation and book. That’s been the next part of a very interesting journey. Even though I’m a professional speaker in my own expertise of communication and credibility, developing a dual presentation with my husband has been a different ball game.

We worked with amazing speaker/comedy coaches, Troy and Zara Love, to bring more light into our story. We rehearsed nearly every day for a year until we nailed our message. We’ve now been taking it to audiences around Australia and getting incredible responses, like:

  • “You need to hear this story. It has so much inspiration. It makes you believe in taking hold of your life. Go for it.”

  • “You need to hear this to understand whatever dark hole or dead end you have found yourself in, there is always another path.”

The book is now in its final stages - another interesting venture. This is my fifth book, but it’s so different from the others because we re-lived many of the experiences in the telling of the story.

Our global business world means I worked with an American editor and an Indian designer to bring it to life – and I’m excited to say Disrupt Your Life: Create your own kind of extraordinary through the choices you make every day, will be out in print in just a few short weeks.

Our message is simple: It’s the tiny, seemingly insignificant decisions you make on a daily basis that govern the direction of your life. Those choices can relate to big goals like getting onto an Australian team, or decisions closer to home like getting fitter, changing a habit or trying something new.

Whatever your circumstances, you never have to passively accept what someone else tells you, and you don’t have to wait for a major life disruption to determine your future. You can choose, at any moment, to disrupt your own life.

You can find out more about Disrupt Your Life - the conference presentation and book - here.

Neryl EastComment