Over the last month, I have been really honored to have the opportunity to speak at quite a few of the local Santa Barbara High Schools and Jr. High Schools. It has been a really fulfilling experience for me to share my story with students and inspire them to make choices that will help them to live their dreams.
Each of the talks I give are about 45 minutes to one hour long. I am not telling them any sort of hidden secret or anything like that. I am simply sharing my story and I weave it into a theme about choice and the power of it.
One of the points I hit home again and again and again to students is that we all always have a choice. We may not be able to choose some of the events that happen to us, but we can always choose how we handle, how we deal with, and what we ultimately choose to make of those events that happen.
Stories, I believe, are one of the most powerful tools we have. And it is a tool we all have at our disposal, as WE ALL have a story to tell! How we choose to tell our story is where the real power lies. Do we choose to tell the story from the point of view of victim? Or Victor?!
What do I mean by that? Well it is the perspective you choose to tell your story from that matters the most. You can choose to focus on all the wrongs and the injustices that the world has shoved upon you, or you can choose to focus on all the amazing life lessons you learned from those experiences. The story is the same, what changes is the perspective you tell it from.
The video below really illustrates this concept. The video is about a kid named Zach, who recently died from a form of bone cancer. He was 18 years old. Rather than feeling sorry for himself and be angry at the world, he chose to really make the most of his time and live and love to the absolute best of his ability. His story has now gone viral (not viral enough in my opinion) and has appeared on news casts, facebook pages, etc...
The video is about 20 minutes long and worth every second of it. I cried while watching it. I did not cry because it was so sad he died, I cried because it was so moving to watch someone exist who really got what life is all about.
While you are watching this video, think about what your story is. What have you learned from it. How can you use your story to inspire others? Please share your thoughts, your stories, your insights below.