Doctors once gave John O’Leary a 1% chance to live after 100% of his nine-year-old body was burned by a gasoline explosion. His dad has lived with Parkinson’s Disease for the past 33 years.
While hosting the third Moneta University Speaker Series event of 2021, the best-selling author shared story after story of how they each overcame those incredibly challenging circumstances to live inspired with gratitude, vision and mission.
Gratitude for all you have – the stuff money wouldn’t buy
Gratitude makes a difference emotionally, socially, in our health and in our careers. At the center of it all is joy.
John once asked his dad why he doesn’t complain about Parkinson’s. Everyone seems to complain about everything these days, yet he never heard his father gripe about living in constant pain.
“How could I complain when my life is so good and I’m so blessed,” John’s dad responded.
His gratitude even extended to the Parkinson’s diagnosis itself. He was grateful for the way it forced him to be reflective, helped him grow closer to John’s mom and taught him to be empathetic towards others.
That powerful perspective is what helped John survive his near-death experience.
Vision for all that’s possible
When John woke up in the hospital after the explosion that not only burned his body but also his family’s house, one of his first thoughts was, “My dad is going to kill me.” He caused the fire by playing with matches and – up until this moment – his dad typically dealt with him quite sternly.
This time, however, John’s dad told him he loved him and how proud he was of him. Seeing this change in his father gave John vision for that same perspective.
Two different doctors gave two very different responses when John’s dad asked them what they thought about his son.
The first one said, “If he was a horse, I would shoot him.”
The other said, “When I see your son’s hands, I see something as beautiful as an Italian sunset.”
That second opinion inspired John with a positive outlook, and it saved his life.
Mission for all that you do – every single aspect
John has seen light push back the darkness in both his life and his dad’s. That’s why faith is so central to his story.
John even went as far as to say, “I am nothing without faith.”
John’s faith gives meaning and purpose to his life, which translates directly into joy. Living on mission in all that he does is what empowers him to live inspired.
Click here to watch the full recording of this MonetaU Speaker Series Event.
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