When life’s got you swimming upstream, be it forward or backward, keep moving and never, ever give up.
You don’t have to be Oprah or Bill Gates to inspire.
You can be an average Joe with a goal and wind up inspiring millions of people.
Case in point: A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to the “Never, Ever Give Up” video on YouTube (see video below), and by the end of it, I was wiping away tears. It’s truly one of the most inspirational clips I’ve ever seen, and one I encourage everyone to view. Why? Because it chronicles one man’s transformation from disabled vet to triumphant athlete by making the conscious choice to start moving and keep moving no matter what. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, obesity, and discouragement from his doctors, former Gulf War paratrooper Arthur Boorman decides to make a last-ditch attempt to heal his body. He starts an exercise program, and in doing so manages to lose over 140 pounds, completely transforming both his body and mind in the process. While Boorman’s physical challenges may be unique, his commitment to turning his life around offers a universal message of perseverance that can inspire us all.
Boorman’s video delivers FIVE LIFE LESSONS to keep in mind when we need to reignite our own fires:
1. If At First You Don’t Succeed…
One of the best parts of the video is the number of times Boorman falls out of his yoga poses, lands hard, and bounces right back up again. There’s no shame, no embarrassment. Falling is as much a part of the learning process as holding a pose is, and Boorman understands that. So should we. And apply it to every challenge we face.
2. Think Of The Possibilities And Be Patient.
Another favorite moment of mine is when Boorman attempts a headstand, falls, and gets right up saying, “Just because I’m not able to do it today doesn’t mean I won’t be able to someday.” What a wonderful and hopeful statement—almost childlike in its simplicity but a very powerful idea that puts the journey in perspective and reminds us that transformation doesn’t happen overnight—but it will happen.
3. Change Your Mind.
More specifically—your mindset. Boorman’s doctors told him he would never walk again on his own. He was walking on crutches and using a wheelchair. After years of weight gain and rapidly deteriorating health, he had had enough. He changed his mindset, saying, “I can do this,” and took action. When we embrace the idea that we have power, and that change is possible, and we start taking steps to make it happen—transformation is inevitable. Bottom line: persist and persevere.
4. Don’t Know Your Limits and Believe In Yourself.
In other words, don’t stop yourself before you start. Stop talking yourself out of things. Talk yourself into transforming your life. Few of us really know our potential or what we can achieve. Now is the time to try, give it a shot, roll the dice, and take control; it’s the only way to find out what miracles you can make happen.
5. Get Off Your Duff.
Do something, anything, to get your body moving. Find something you can do, even if it’s something as simple as marching in place while watching the evening news. Regardless of how high or low you set the bar to start, the important thing is to start and keep plugging away, every day, to get where you need to go. Keep in mind the ability to move is a gift and privilege that you are lucky enough to possess—don’t let it slip away.
Are the limiting voices in your head holding you back from achieving your dream(s)? What is the next right step you can take to harness the power within you and shatter your limiting beliefs? In the process, you will not only inspire and amaze yourself, but others.
Dr. Frank Lipman is an acclaimed Integrative Physician and the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. For over 20 years his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest for life. Focused on sustainable wellness—instead of quick fixes—he offers patients a customized blend of Western medicine with acupuncture, nutritional counseling, vitamins and herbs, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, and bodywork. In 2010 he developed Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman, a line of leading-edge supplements and health programs. He is the author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again and Total Renewal: 7 Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health.