A Phoenix and au gratin potatoes. The two aforementioned items really do not seem to go together, but this week on the GDP, it’s exactly what we’re talking about. Seriously. In this week’s podcast, John OLeary, inspirational speaker and author of On Fire, speaks with Larry and Shawn about his incredible journey out of a seemingly impossible situation.
You can listen to the podcast here.
John OLeary’s Story
John’s story truly is that of a Phoenix rising from the flames. After a childhood accident with an explosion of fire, John endured burns covering 100% of his body. Facing death, John retells the story of how the strength and compassion of his parents helped him to embrace life and overcome the odds. In a particularly poignant retelling of his arrival back home from the hospital, John describes the agony he felt at the dinner table when his mother made it clear that he would feed himself his beloved au gratin potatoes even though his fingers had been amputated. This moment defines John’s choice to view his situation as a victor instead of a victim. Literally, John became a Phoenix rising from the flames.
This Isn’t Your Story …
We all have a story. Maybe we don’t have a tragic accident that defined our upbringing, but John’s account delivers a message of celebrating each event in our lives as a gift instead of a burden. Our life stories make up who we are, not because of what has happened in our lives, but how we choose to respond to those events.
John states there are three things both victims and victors ask themselves when faced with a challenge:
- Why did this happen to me?
- Who cares?
- What can I do?
It is our response to these questions that determines our victory or victimization, not the circumstances themselves. Truly, if you look at those questions, there are two ways to look at each. As difficult as it may be in a particularly tough situation, when we choose to be grateful for our challenges, we tend to learn and then we tend to teach from the experience.
Be the Phoenix
Challenge yourself right now. Whatever situation you are in, look at it from a perspective of gratitude. What can you learn from this? What can you teach others from your story? It is in how we choose to perceive our lives that we pass on how our children and those around us perceive theirs.
GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE
Originally published on The Good Dad Project
Photo courtesy of author