Have you ever stopped to think how dramatically your life can change in a single instant?
In one moment in time, our life can take a whole new direction…one we’ve never dreamed of or imagined. Often I think of this concept when I hear of a tragic death or accident, when a lay-off occurs, or when one receives a new medical diagnosis . It truly wakes one up to the reality of how fragile life is and how our circumstances can change dramatically and quickly before our very eyes without any preparation. These thoughts lead me to recall someone I would certainly call a hero of mine. Have you heard of Bob Woodruff?
Bob Woodruff is a well-known, handsome American reporter with ABC News, also a husband, father and survivor of a severe brain injury from an IED (improvised expolosive device) in Iraq in 2006. Since reading the book he and his wife, Lee Woodruff, wrote called “In An Instant“, about their journey of shock and recovery from the event in Iraq, both he and his wife have held a soft spot in my heart.
I read the book a couple of years ago…and it was truly an inspiring tale of perseverance of amazing depths, I would recommend it to anyone.
Recently, I was made aware of Bob Woodruff’s plans for and an eventual take off for a return to Iraq. I wondered to myself how difficult it would be to make a decision of such gravity, to return to the place where your life was completely transformed and to a place quite possibly filled with great fear. I wondered how his wife felt about his return and also his children, knowing that there is still danger involved in traveling to Iraq and reporting there. I also thought of the great passion this man has for reporting and how exhilirating it must feel to be back “in the field”, doing what he loves, and facing any fear he might have. I found out he has great purpose in wanting to go back there and his intentions are quite honorable.
Since he left for his trip, his immediate plans have been thwarted by a sandstorm and his travels have now taken him to Afghanistan. My heart sank when I heard he was heading to Afghanistan, as lately it seems that danger prevails at every single turn for soldiers and civilians alike there. He expressed his own disappointment with the change of events and I felt a surge of understanding, knowing what it is like to have my eye on a certain goal, and then having all of the plans changed on me, making it an impossibility and out of my control. I imagined that is how he felt after reading his statements. I understand that disappointment, but in a completely different context, of coarse.
What is amazing and also the real lesson to learn from this man is that nothing stops him. He presses on, no matter the circumstance, no matter what is thrown at him. I suppose that may be a unique trait many of the world’s great reporters and journalists have within them… adaptability beyond the norm. It seems evident now that it would be required in that field and it is an impressive and awe-inspiring from my perspective. To have the ability to endure the unimaginable and continue moving forward, in a positive direction, no matter the set-back, is a fabulous gift.
Do you do that in your life? I believe it is something that I am starting to do. I certainly don’t have it mastered or even a grasp on it, but I have found myself doing it now and then. (smiling here) What does it take to continue on with this kind of mindset? What does it take to make it a part of your everyday life and response to the unknown? I’ll have to get back to you on that when I’m certain, but I believe it has to do with practice and determination.
I invite you to practice being adaptable with me.
What does it mean to do this? It means that if you are ill on a day when you had plans, you have to practice finding some beauty in the day in spite of the disappointment. It means you put a smile on your face even if your spouse is in a foul mood and you were hoping they would join you in some fun. You make some fun for yourself anyways. It means that when you think all of your dreams are impossibilities, you make new dreams and you go after the impossible ones despite your fears. It sounds simple when I write it out like this…and it’s not…that is why Bob Woodruff and his wife Lee are worthy of my admiration. That is also why it is worth practicing and putting it into your life.
I believe developing this way of living is necessary to live a beautiful life, and that is what I’m striving for.