When a person suffers a personal injury, particularly of a serious nature, it can be very hard to find the will to pick up and carry on. There are many causes of injury on this scale and any one of them can happen in the blink of an eye. Car crashes are the most common, where the body is propelled forward at an alarming rate, this will often cause serious personal injury to either the head or spinal cord. Other activities, such as diving or horse riding are also often responsible for catastrophic injuries.
When you think of the ultimate in a healthy body, you could do worse than think of the actor, Christopher Reeve. This was one man who put his all into everything he did. Always an avid sportsman, even from an early age, Reeve was enthusiastic in soccer, baseball, tennis and hockey and later in life moving on to sailing, scuba diving, aviation, skiing, cycling, windsurfing, parasailing, gliding, and mountain climbing. It's no wonder he was the perfect physical specimen to play the role of Superman. This, and the fact that acting was this other great love of his life after sports.
Playing the part of Superman saw Reeve dressed in the trademark lycra and tights and little was left to the imagination regarding his physique. Everything this man did, he put his all into. Later in life, Reeve discovered a love of horse riding and once again, pushed himself to his limits by competing in show jumping events. It was during one of these events that his horse was spooked and propelled Reeve forwards onto his head. Avoiding brain damage due to his protective headwear, he did, however, suffer a personal injury on a calamitous level.
Reeve's first and second vertebrae were completely shattered, leaving him paralysed from the neck down and without even the ability to breathe without assistance. In an event that took moments to occur, this man's life was transformed in a way you could never possibly dream of. After one initial incidence when he considered ending his life, he quickly moved on to regain his fighting spirit and live his life with the same determination it seemed he had been born with to live life to the fullest extent possible.
Having a young son at this time would have been a mixed blessing for Reeve. We never want to leave our children so they tend to spur you on to fight for life but it would also have been heartbreaking that he couldn't partake in all the activities that most fathers join in with.
However, this man's determination astounded his doctors. Small steps were his goal to begin with, anything that would make him feel he was regaining some independence, and the first of these was to regain the ability to breathe without assistance. On his first attempt, it was impossible, but once he knew what he was working towards, he was able to be removed from the respirator within days.
At one particular session with his doctor, he was asked if he thought there had been any movement in his recovery. At this point, Reeve raised an index finger voluntarily and completely shocked his doctor. Any movement below the point of injury on the spine is usually impossible. With Reeve's particular injury you couldn't have got much worse. His head was not actually connected to his spinal column until after extensive surgery to reconnect the two. This was internal decapitation and an unusual personal injury to survive.
This is why the doctors were so shocked that breathing or finger movements were possible at all but simply go to show the impact of mind over matter. Of course, this won't happen with everyone who suffers this type of injury but it is important to accept all the counselling on offer in order to stay as positive as possible.
Mind Over Matter Meaning
Most people do not recognize the power available to them in their own mind. Winston Churchill once said: "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
He should know. After all, he led his country against all odds to fight off a bitter enemy and eventually (with a little help from friends) snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Where would the world be today if Churchill had not let his nation to challenge Hitler and believed, contrary to all evidence, they could succeed in that battle?
Nothing is no more powerful than what we believe. If we believe that we can achieve then we can. If we believe that we are doomed to failure then we will.
Sometimes enacting a change in our lives is as simple as changing our attitude.
Think about this quote from Katherine Mansfield: "Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different."
That is a very powerful message but you have to really bring it to heart.
In many ways it is the perfect pitch because the explanation for any failure on your part is simply that you did not believe enough, but I don't think, if you really do believe and embrace this attitude, that you can't possibly fail.
If you change your attitude it will change your life. I know it. I live it. I see it every day. You know in your gut it is true.
If you have changed your attitude and your life then even if you do not achieve the goal you started with then I don't think it is possible to consider yourself a failure.
Words are power. Attitude is power. Combine the two and you have power magnified many times over. If you can harness that power to serve your purpose then nothing can stop you.
Too often we waste that power on negative rather than postive actions. We complain about our situation, job, relationships, traffic and the weather. We complain that we are sick and tired and just plain stuck.
What is stuck is our attitude. What is stuck is a thought in our minds that we cannot change anything about our lives when the truth is that we have the power to change everything about our lives. We don't have to work in that job, stay in that relationship, drive in that traffic, or live in that weather zone. These are all choices we make -- and even more important we choose how we react to those conditions.
As the trite old saying goes, "when life gives you lemons make lemonade". Your attitude determines everything about you and your life. If you choose to be angry and frustrated by your life then your anger and frustration will only continue to grow, but if you choose to become proactive rather than reactive, if you choose to have a different attitude then you can become the person you want and you can lead the life that you want.
But you have to believe. It really can be as simple as mind over matter, but you have to believe in the power of your mind.
Both Catherine Harvey & Deanna Mascle are contributors for EditorialToday. The above articles have been edited for relevancy and timeliness. All write-ups, reviews, tips and guides published by EditorialToday.com and its partners or affiliates are for informational purposes only. They should not be used for any legal or any other type of advice. We do not endorse any author, contributor, writer or article posted by our team.
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