Each of us has different chapters in our life story. If you are like me, there are a few former chapters that played cardinal roles in shaping who you are today. Perhaps it was an event that began as an obstacle or challenge you had to work to overcome, learning lessons along the way that had a positive influence on your future.
It would be an honor if you would share one of the chapters from your personal story with me. Your words may inspire others. I’m confident they will inspire me.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my own early chapters of life. As a kid, I used to stutter a whole bunch. I was ashamed of it and I hid out from this fact the best I could. I didn’t want anyone around me to know I was a stutterer. For a kid, that created a big problem, especially in school, in making friends and in playing games.
Then, in my late teens, a wise old man came into my life. He had a hard time talking too because he had throat cancer. And he had some unique advice for me: stutter on purpose.
So I tried it. When I didn’t feel a stutter coming on, I created one anyway. This wise old man and I made for quite an odd couple when we talked to each other. I’m sure people thought we were a bit nuts, but we both had smiles on our faces. And regardless of how the words came out, we understood each other at a deep level.
The strategy I picked up from this life chapter has worked well in later parts of my story. It gave me a personal power, a sense of control, over my stutter. After that I didn’t stutter as frequently. All of the shame associated with this circumstance went away.
Many years later, I look back on my stuttering chapter with great fondness and appreciation. It made me sensitive to the emotional and physical problems of others. I learned how to accept and cope with a personal challenge, which prepared me for other life challenges that would follow. Since I couldn’t talk very smoothly, I began to journal and write daily, a practice that has given me great pleasure and some financial success for 50 years.
Now, do you have a chapter from your life story you would be willing to share?
About the author
Since founding The Change Companies® in 1988, Don has worked with approximately 150 agencies and corporations, tailoring Interactive Journals to serve those working and participating in the caring professions. His collaborative efforts in substance use, justice services, impaired driving, healthcare and education have consistently focused on helping individuals explore the process of positive personal change.
Earlier in his career, Don worked in many industries, including hotel management, publishing, higher education administration and healthcare business development. Along the way, he created numerous companies, experiencing both successes and failures. Many of these life lessons and joyous observations found their way into Don’s recent book, The Adventures of Binder-Man.
Don is most proud and appreciative of the outstanding employees who have shaped The Change Companies® for over two decades.
Word of the Week
The Latin root of this word, cardo, described that around which something turned, such as an axis or hinge. Therefore, this adjective is used today to define something upon which everything else “hinges.” We often see this word in phrases like “cardinal rule,” “cardinal number” or “cardinal sin.” The cardinal color, and bird, are both associated with this word history, which related to how Catholic cardinals were conceptualized: as “hinges” of the church.