Possibility Thinking – The Slight Edge
You have all heard me talk about or write about traits and thoughts of the triumphant, people who have turned setbacks into successes. Many times these become defining moments and lessons learned. We will all experience setbacks and disappoints as we travel life’s journey. The key is to rise up and to not allow them to define our view of what is possible.
Many of you have heard me talk about “QLI” Quality Living Inc, a nationally recognized traumatic brain and spinal injury rehab hospital in Omaha. An incredible place that gives hope and purpose to individuals who have suffered serious injuries. I wish all of you could meet the people and see the place. A place that is built on the mission of making a difference each and everyday in the lives of those they serve. What could be more worthy than serving others? Isn’t that what we do everyday? Isn’t that our rally cry? If not, it should be.
I’m going to give you a glimpse into the life of Rachael Johnson, a remarkable young woman who suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury that has left her paralyzed from the shoulders down. But she’s just getting started, so are you ready for Rachael’s encore, because she certainly is. Rachael might live as a quadriplegic, a survivor who faces the challenges of a spinal cord injury every day. But that isn’t who she is. Leadership, creativity, compassion, personality—Rachael is more aptly described by the characteristics that helped her take full advantage of QLI’s Life Path Services, the same characteristics she uses to create new opportunities for fellow injury survivors and for the greater Omaha community.
I have gotten to know Rachael over the past two years. She has a warm heart, a beautiful smile, and an incredibly optimistic view of the world – yet she is paralyzed from the chest down. The days that I have spent with Rachael are great days for me because I walk away with a greater appreciation for all the blessings in my life. Rachael counts her blessings every day.
“Early on, everyone was worried about me. Everyone thought my life was over without it having actually ended. I realized the only way I could be okay was if I could prove to my friends and family that I was okay.” – Rachel
“What gives me purpose? That was the question I had to ask myself. As a nurse, I wanted to be there for the most crucial moment of someone’s life. Make a positive change, a positive difference. I realized there are other ways to fulfill that purpose.” – Rachel
Rachael Johnson doesn’t spend her time worrying, doesn’t waste energy reliving the night when she fell asleep at the wheel, doesn’t accept pity or sympathy or sorrow. Instead, her life continues onward, a perpetually forward looking journey. Rachael lives independently, drives her own vehicle, and now enjoys life as a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She seeks to earn her masters’ degree and eventually become a child life specialist.Rachael Johnson doesn’t do off-days. And as a result, she not only forged her own life path, she set the foundation for countless others to feel pride, accomplishment and hope. It’s a journey she’s taken with relentless zeal, guided by the optimistic warmth of a key credo, “as bad as anything seems, it can only get better as long as you don’t give up on yourself.”
Rachel is a wonderful young woman who says everyday, Why not me? Why not now? That’s the power of possibility thinking.