My Journey of Excellence

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I wasn’t aware that I was going anywhere until, I decided to look back and see from where I’d come.  For over 45 years, I have been recovering from a severe brain stem injury that I sustained while I was a student.  From being a patient who was on life-support in a neurosurgery intensive care unit in Ann Arbor, to the Rehabilitation Institute in Detroit, I have continued to crawl out from some horrendous circumstances, one step at a time.

Immediately after my trauma, I needed to learn how to walk, talk, think, and take care of my most basic needs.  If I considered the magnitude of what I had to accomplish, I would have given up.  But I didn’t think that way.  I did not focus on long-term goals.  Rather, I chose to concentrate on things that I could accomplish immediately.  I built one success upon another.  I have continued to very gently push myself toward excellence.

After returning to undergraduate school at the University of Michigan, I gradually began to re- learn how to reintegrate into the mainstream by simply doing that.  Because I didn’t know what Rehab Professionals might have said I couldn’t do, I went ahead and did.  After my brain injury, I completed college and attended graduate school in social work, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My employment history is very short.  I worked briefly in two alcohol treatment programs before getting fired and giving-up.  I then applied for Social Security Disability.  Just because I was now considered 100% disabled by the federal government, I did not quit trying to attain goals.  I did what I could do.  I could establish relationships and talk with anyone.

I found a job that I could perform at a local head injury support group meeting.  I could be a brain injured peer counselor & help others to reintegrate into the mainstream, because I had done that.  My experiences and education would only enhance my credibility.

After having read a book that introduced me to coaching, Therapist as Life Coach, Transforming Your Practice, I realized that was in fact what I had been doing.  I chose to further my knowledge of coaching by registering as a student of the International Coaching Academy.

Since that time, I have participated in another student’s Mind to Succeed program.  After that experience, I have been able to identify & achieve goals that I previously did not consider.  The lessons taught in the Silva Life System were obviously at the root of this program.  I’m very pleased with myself and I see no reason to stop trying to excel.

Am I pursing excellence?  I honestly don’t think in those terms.  I simply so what I have always done since I was hurt.  I try to do a little better today, than I did yesterday in all areas of my life.  I’m better at some skills than others.  I’ve learned that I must be interdependent with those in my environment and be grateful for all my privileges.  When I do that, I feel good about myself.  When I feel good about myself, I can contribute to the global community.