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Welcome to Day 12 of the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge! Today we spark inspiration, meaning and joy by GAINING PERSPECTIVE.

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.Og Mandino

CHALLENGE: How can changing your perspective change your life? The path of possibility recognizes that no matter how hard life gets, there is power in how you respond.

INSPIRATION: When I was ten, I heard some words that no child should ever have to hear: If he was a horse, I’d shoot him.

Those words came from one of two world-class surgeons capable of cutting into my palm, creating fingers from the webbing and providing some dexterity for me. We couldn’t get out of that hospital room fast enough.

Two weeks later, we visited the other world-class surgeon, Dr. Pappalardo. He took my scarred hands, looked into my eyes and said, They are as beautiful as an Italian sunset!” Through four surgeries, this man’s enthusiasm, hope and joy seeped into my soul.

One doctor saw a child without hope. The other doctor saw a child ripe with potential. How we choose to view others impacts our interactions directly and dramatically.

ACTION: There is power in choosing what you see. If you only want to see the dark side, the disappointment, you’ll most assuredly find it everywhere you look.  But if you seek the Italian sunsets, you’ll discover them wherever you look too.

Where have you found beauty in a challenging time? Inspire us all by posting in the comments below or on social media tagging me and using #inawe. 

My friends, today is your day! Live IN AWE.
John O’Leary

Did you know? 
John shares more about Dr. Pappalardo’s life-giving perspective in his book IN AWE. Order your copy + see all the fun behind the scenes at ReadInAwe.com.



25 replies on “In Awe 21-Day Challenge – Day 12”

I have been using the extra time to do more with my wife and kids in order to unite the family more. For my self I have been reading a lot more books from Jon Gordon and I am expecting your In Awe to arrive next week in Aruba. Looking forward in reading it

Thank you for sharing your incredible story, John. In 2012, my wife went into liver failure after a long battle with a nasty virus. My life mission & career is in renewable energy, but I never knew that the liver is a renewable organ – you can give someone half of yours, and both parts grow back. My wife survived 36 emergency hospitalizations, and eventually we “had a liver together” via an incredible live liver transplant. There is no limit to what human willpower, technology innovation, and nature’s healing can accomplish.

I heard you on Entrepreneurs on Fire and was struck by the synergy with my upcoming launch of the “AWESome EarthKind Energy” Podcast (http://awesomeearthkind.com/). My goal is to empower average people with the knowledge of how the four elemental AWESome powers of nature (Air, Water, Earth & Sun) are being harnessed by humanity’s passion and innovation to create a sustainable planet. All of us are the 5th Elemental Force of Nature: “EarthKind”.

Your message of AWE is the way we all need to look at our lives, and I am hoping that AWESome EarthKind might help people realize that there are ways for everyone to take a step toward creating a sustainable future for our children & all future generations (and we can even save money doing it!). Thanks again for the incredible inspiration!

Thank you John for such an inspiring message today. I started taking more pictures of nature on my morning walks which I never did before and…realized that THIS was my focus – I started focusing on all the beautiful things around me more. it’s what we focus on. it’s in our power to change that focus – and take the picture we want. We navigate our mind to see what we want to see. This period is a blessing to 1. Add Family dinners DAILY along with Prayer and it is huge for our family when we could only do this once a week before 2. I am outside daily when before it would be mostly weekends only (any weather0 3. I am learning about each of my child and can spend more time one on one with each of them (three kiddos!) 4. My third child is my first child who spends so much time NOT with a babysitter, not at daycare, but with her Mother ….My list is long. I choose to see my glass half full.

I choose to see, what should be a sad breakup, not as a heartbreak, but as a heartmend. An opportunity to give my heart the love it deserves. Finally.

Actually it isn’t challenging for me to consider quarantine as a GIFT. I enjoy this time really. I had no chances to spend so much time with my family precious. Also I started do yoga every day, lost some weight and read over 4 books. And this is not a whole list!

Perspective – What comes to my mind is attitude in life. Taking life as it is gifted to you and how I choose to handle it is all up to me. I feel having a positive attitude is so much more beneficial then begin negative and in the pity pot as I travel my path. To have an attitude of gratitude and to be thankful for all my blessings is what I practice daily.

I can see this time for connecting with myself, breathing, seeing with compassion myself & others, because I am in the andes, we can go hiking, feeling its energy and that we are part of nature too. We are looking & finding ways to reconeect with our family, doing the social solidarity circules, proposals of the presencing institute as a GAIA journay. It feels like a great moment to let go, what we do not need any more not just material also judgements, and feel what wants to born or emerge from us, now.

I’ve been doing parts of new things already being at home. Now most of my days are taken up with school work with having 4 classes (high school teacher) online. But I also have taken steps knowing that I have some more time at home as I’m not going anywhere other than a trip once every 7-10 days to grocery stores. I took a 3 day workshop on monetizing my podcast and online content. They were very inspiring and I need to make the time to replay the 3 sessions and keep working on rolling out some of my ideas. I have been reading more of course, which I need to do a little bit more here in a few minutes. I have also been having more time with my wife in the evenings, even during the week – where before that was always taken up with school stuff and other calendar events. I don’t want this time to go by without some good things to show from it along with making me better than I was before all of this happened.

First, I can’t believe how awful it must have been to hear that doctor say those words. I’m sorry that happened to you. I taught high school students for 38 years before retiring in 2018. I know how powerful/influential words can be.

I am sheltering at my son’s home to help out with my grandkids schooling. My son is a high school teacher so has to be available for his students during the day. This has allowed me to spend more time with my grandkids (a luxury I usually don’t get because we live 3 hours away).

I have several projects at home that I have been wanting to do (e.g. purge my closets, finish painting) that I can try to focus on. I also really appreciate the bonding time with my family. My husband works really long hours and he still is but he is doing it from home so we see him more. I am cooking more at home than I ever have and I’m trying to learn new things that I have always wanted to try, like learning how to play guitar. I am also focusing more on my physical health and have been more active lately than I have been in awhile. I certainly am grateful for this time and see it as a chance for renewal of body, mind and spirit.

All of the events have allowed us to focus more on family, learn kindness and respect for others, and really appreciate what we often take for granted. I am hopeful that the lessons we are learning from all of this carry forward and allow us all to slow down and smell the roses even when our lives take back off in the fast lane.

Perspective is a wonderful thing! And this challenge could not have come at a better time, and specifically perspective today. Seven years ago tomorrow, my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I sat at Barnes hospital, waiting to receive a port and his first round of chemo in a battle against Stage 4 colon cancer. He was given less than 10% odds to survive five years. He had several other underlying health conditions that were going to make the battle that much harder. I remember sitting in the Interventional Radiology department thinking, “this has to be the worst April fools ever!” I would have traded places with him a million times. I remember being terrified and trying not to show it. Treatment lasted 8 months and with every treatment came new challenges and side effects. But, also came a closeness with our team of doctors and nurses that forged into lasting friendships. With ever hurdle came achievement and perspective that we had met each challenge. Then, on December 12, 2018, we emerged from our doctor’s appointment where she told us that she didn’t need to see us again…what????? You’re breaking up with us? It’s a very strange feeling to have a doctor tell you that they’re releasing you after climbing the insurmountable mountain with them. But, then we did it. We walked over to the bell, surrounded by about 20 friends and family and he rang it like a ship captain rings a bell! The waiting room at Siteman was crowded; literally 200 patients waiting for appointments. After a short speech about our journey, a woman walked over to me and said, “thank you. I really needed to hear this today. You see, my son is sitting over there. He’s 31 and today is his first treatment. We needed to see that people survive. Thank you for giving us the perspective we need as we begin our journey.” Wow! For a moment, I thought this day was just about Jim and I and our journey, but I quickly realized that two weeks before Christmas is a really awful time to start chemo (no time is a good time) and we were able to gift this woman and her son some hope, some perspective about what lay ahead for them.

My mother used to always tell us “you need to change your attitude” if something wasn’t going our way. Looking back, those are wise words. If you can find a positive spin to your situation, you will have perspective to move forward with a lighter load on your back and a song in your heart. Thanks for reminding me about perspective.

I have been a physical therapist for 32 years, thank you for inspiring me at our FYZICAL conference several years back. For the first time in my career I have had to figure out a way to help people without actually touching them. I am a manual therapist so that hand to person contact is so very important to me but with the shelter in place order we have had to reinvent our practice. I have taken to social media daily sharing videos for our seniors to improve their balance at home, Yoga classes to inspire our community and even cooking demos (Food Network is not in my future). I actually have loved the time at home with my 3 kids, ages 21, 19 and 16 and my husband. We have bonded more as a family, cooked meals together, battled in board games and ping pong matches and of course many, many puzzles. Thank you for this 21 Day Challenge, it has been a welcome distraction from my social media posts. Stay health at home my friend.

A shoe company sent two salesman to an undeveloped part of the world. Two weeks later they both called in…
The first said to get him out of there…no one wears shoes
The second asked for a cargo ship of shoes…everyone there needed shoes and didn’t have them.

I will miss my students in my classroom and our end-of-the-year activites, but this will give me time to find/make some much needed new activities for the beginning of next year!!

Can I use this time to reconnect with my family? Really SEE them and learn more about them? Based off the book “The Listening Life” that I’ve been reading, what does it mean to truly listen?
I’ve been journaling again too, and it brings me so much joy to write things down, knowing I’ll eventually read this, and it’ll all be over! It gives some valuable perspective.

I took this opportunity that I have to work from home to get 1 extra hour of sleep (thank God!),
and also to practice my Miracle Mornings, as I used to do.

Finding time for me in the morning helps me to get through my day, as my husband and kids are home too, but NOT working… this is hard to find peace other time than before they get up!

I am grateful for this peaceful time that I gain back.

Gaining Perspective
Seven months ago, life as it seemed was forever changed. Seven months from today, life as it seemed is forever changed. Hope changes everything.
When a mother witnesses her child suffer, she would give anything to take away the burdens of her child and carry it for her own. Through my child’s suffering, I gained a new perspective on how to approach new challenges, sufferings and burdens. Seven months ago, when learning the news of my child’s illness, my husband was worried by my response, because I was anxious, worried and wanted an immediate solution. Becoming the witness to my child’s pain, I was able to find the blessings that surrounded me. There I found, “hope.”
Seven months later, I am witnessing the same fears in others. My hope during this time is allowing myself to comfort and bring a stillness to others, so they may also find their own hope during this time of uncertainty.

YEAASS! I love this one! This is no joke how I live and I LOVE to share with others. I see so much opportunity at this time. I am deemed an essential so I’ll still be working even though we’re closed to the public. I get to wear jeans and t-shirt to work which is my fave thing to wear. I get to leave work on time. I get daylight to get my chores done. I get extra time to talk and FaceTime with my pilot husband also a necessary human to keep the world moving. I get to order food out to support local and make my mouth happy. I get to see my neighbors in their driveways and we can talk from a safe distance about the fun things that happened in each of our days. I get Fridays off now, I plan to plant my indoor garden. My house cleaning is better than it has been I get to paint my walls, a project I’ve been putting off forever. I’m also hoping to start my Spanish lessons on Rosetta Stone. CD ROM I’ve had for at least 5 years. THIS IS THE BEST DAY for me. I so much love sharing all my joy with others too. I’m extremely blessed and I do believe I live the absolute best life. Cheers friends to the most opportunity we’ve had in a while. #inawe

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