Let me tell you a story of about an ordinary guy who has accomplished what might seem impossible. You’ve probably heard these kind of stories before. But you probably haven’t heard them; you probably haven’t heard that you are the person in the story. You probably haven’t realized that there is no difference between that person and you except that the person in the story has done what you’re going to do. I want you to hear this story and imagine yourself in it. I want you to try to think what it took to take W. Mitchell where he has gone.
W. Mitchell lived in San Francisco, and he learned to fly a plane so he could appreciate those beautiful hills from a special vantage point. Then one day he was riding to work on a brand new motorcycle and he was being extra careful. But, not everyone else was. A truck rana red light and crashed right into him. The motorcycle burst into flames, and Mitchell was burned over 65 percent of his body. His fingers were burned off; his nose and ears were gone. It took sixteen operations before the doctors could re-create his face. But Mitchell would not let that stop him.
He moved to Colorado and began flying a plane again. He started a wood-burning stove company with a couple of friends. Then his light plane crashed and crushed twenty-two vertebrae in his back, paralyzing him from the waist down. But W. Mitchell believes with all his heart and soul that “it’s not important what life does to you. What’s important is what you do about it.” He became the mayor of Crested Butte, Colorado. He ran for Congress with the slogan, “Not just another pretty face.” He got married and earned a master’s degree in public administration. He eventually became an acclaimed public speaker and a millionaire. He never stopped to bemoan his fate. He never cursed his problems, or nursed them, or rehearsed them for his friends. He reversed his problems. He says that before he was paralyzed, he could do ten thousand things. Now he can do nine thousand. He prefers to dwell on the nine thousand things he ca do, not the on thousand that he can’t. How did he do it? With the same gifts you’ve been given.
So let’s stop and think about W. Mitchell. I’d be willing to bet that if we just look at our exterior, you’re probably in better shape than he is. Yep, I’m pretty confident about that. So what did he have on the inside? Well, you say, it’s obvious…he survived these terrible accidents. True enough. Do you think that gives him an advantage? Do you think you need to go through a terrible accident in order to achieve your heart’s desire?
Adversity can do that sometimes…it can make you aware that you must be here for a purpose. I didn’t tell you that W. Mitchell has a deep and strong faith, but I’m not asking you put his accomplishments down to his faith. What I am asking is that you feel the same feeling…that you are here to accomplish something. You may feel that something in your exterior or even in your interior is scarred, not put together right, our of shape. So? That doesn’t mean that you can’t do everything you want to do. Whatever your failings or defects, you can overcome them. Get used to the idea. You remember what Captain Picard always said to his fellow crew members on the Enterprise: “Make it so.” If you want something, you make it so.
Motivation and persistence are the gifts God gave everyone so that they could fulfill their promise. But as in so many things, He didn’t make it a slam-dunk to master them. Everybody has motivation and persistence, and everybody can use them, but not everybody does then they should. That’s what I’m writing this for.
Motivation is the kick that starts you going where you want to go. It gives you the strength to overcome the problems; it keeps you thinking optimistically; it keeps you up in a down world. Motivation is what says, “I really am going to attain these goals. This is my year to get out of debt, get healthy, achieve my dreams.” It keeps you from being intimidated, frustrated, or worn down.