On November 5, 2015 I was hosting a leadership retreat for a group of emerging leaders in Omaha, NE. Included as part of the retreat was a visit to Quality Living, Inc. (QLI), a brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation center in Omaha. It was during this visit that I met a former resident, Jon Schuetz.
Jon suffered a near-fatal motorcycle accident in March 2007 that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He was 30 years old. By virtue of his relentless drive and determination, Jon took an event that 99% of the world would consider life ending and turned it into a new beginning.
Jon’s story is a big part in my book, Breaking the Tape. Jon shares his story in his own words about his accident, injuries, recovery process and how life changed for him. I talk frequently of the ‘Four Pillars’ and one of those pillars is Purpose. Jon redefined his purpose and what he has done since the accident is nothing short of remarkable . He met his wife Erin and they have welcomed four boys into their family. Jon mentors at QLI to help others adapt and redefine their own purpose.
Jon and I have done several speaking engagements together. Our message of “Purpose-Redefined” has been incredibly well received. We address the ‘Seven Thoughts and Traits of the Triumphant” – people who have moved from setbacks to successes:
- They are more MINDFUL in the present, less pre-occupation with the past and an unknown future.
- They live life in step with healthy and rewarding VALUES.
- They are able to “move the needle” from a pessimistic view to an OPTIMISTIC one.
- They THRIVE within constraints.
- They view CHANGE as a pre-cursor to GROWTH, even when it’s outside of their control.
- They surround themselves with a network of others who LIFT them up rather than drag them down.
- They don’t let their emotions drive their DECISIONS.
I am honored to call Jon a friend and thankful that he shared his incredible story in Breaking the Tape. He truly is an inspiration and a supreme example of how to redefine your purpose.