“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.” –Lovelle Drachman
I actually have a lot in common with today’s guest, John O'Leary: we have a shared faith, beautiful wives who are more awesome than we'll ever be, four children, a love for Matt Maher’s music, and an insatiable curiosity... one that manifested as a childhood love for playing with fire.
My pyrotechnic tendencies ended after accidentally setting my brother’s clothes on fire. No one was seriously injured, but we learned to stop playing with fire. John, unfortunately, had to learn this lesson in a life-altering away.
At age nine, a fire exploded John was launched 20 feet against the far side of his garage, trapped and on fire. When he was brought to the burn center, 100% of his body was burned and he was given a one-percent chance to live.
But John fought these extraordinary odds, although he didn’t face this battle alone.
He spent five months in the hospital, underwent dozens of surgeries, lost all of his fingers to amputation. He had to relearn to walk, write, and feed himself. “I endured, persevered, and survived – largely because others emerged, served and inspired.” Now, John lives to share the life-giving lessons from this story in hope that he can be a spark for positive change in others.
“I share these lessons as a tribute to those who leapt into the flames to save me. Who worked tirelessly to restore me. Who pushed me to write though I no longer had fingers. Who held me close when the days were dark and the nights scary. I share these lessons as an invitation for you to choose to wake up to the fullness of your life, to embrace the amazing gift of each moment, and to celebrate the joy of your inspired life!”
We often feel like we have to have things mapped out and scheduled. We’ve been told that we need checkpoints and milestones in order to move forward in life and achieve anything worthwhile – but that’s a big fat lie.
So I asked John, someone who could never have planned the experiences he had to overcome, what’s the one thing that we need to move all in and move forward in our lives?
“We are in battle every day... but most of us don’t even recognize it as being a battle. We just view it as being the ordinary or the mundane or just my life or just work, and we don’t recognize how sacred the moment is; we don’t recognize how freaking blessed we are to be in the game in the first place.”
There is roughly a 1 in 400 trillion chance of you being born in the first place – “Maybe it’s time that we act like it.”
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The Impact Entrepreneur Show is produced by Podcast Masters