I was introduced to today’s guest, Paul Cummings, by my mentor, Andy Heck. I read Mr. Cummings’ book It All Matters and was blown into action. I had previously been in the throws of inspiration which didn’t allow me to move forward. Following the exercises got me from enthusiastic and into fantastic.
That alone would have earned my appreciation and gratitude to Paul. Fifteen months ago Paul’s life changed from traveling the globe giving lectures about how to be your best, attracting large crowds of people, to laying in a hospital bed. Out of nowhere he was struck down by a stroke. He was unable to move to the right or the left or even enunciate a single word. The attending doctor pronounced that Paul would never again talk, read or write. Today, just a year and a quarter later, Mr. Cummin’gs is speaking, writing, walking and teaching!
“I heard everything that people said, understood it and was totally incapable of reacting or responding. My thoughts and feelings were trapped in my body. At the hospital I heard the doctors discussing the operation they wanted to perform immediately. I wanted to scream, NO!
But I was incapable of expressing my fears and desires. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, no sound that I could emit to tell them that I did not want an operation. Then, a more senior doctor entered the room, and nixed the plan. He said I wouldn’t be able to survive the operation in the state I was in.”
His mother upon hearing the doctor’s prediction called Paul to tell him that he would speak, write and read. All he needed to do was practice, practice and practice.
“The medical diagnosis was aphasia. In the beginning I was angry. How could this happen to me? How did G-d allow this to happen? Then a few weeks later I said, ‘Okay, now, what am I going to do about it?’ My game plan was set into motion. I got up at four in the morning and for four hours I would practice speaking. I still do it every morning. In the beginning I could not even enunciate words, but I kept on trying. More than anything I had wanted to tell my mother,and father, and children,the most important three words: ‘I love you.’ My Mom and my Dad both died ten weeks ago, three weeks apart..”
“My parents taught me many things which have formed my life.”
‘Let your faith be bigger than your fear.’
‘Be a little patient.’
‘Every day learn something new. Everyday learn a new strategy.’
“My father had Alzheimers and my Mom took care of him with a helper.
“She would tell us, ‘I like you kids, but I was put here to take care of your Dad.’ “
“There were three rules I ran my company by:
Do it right.
Do the best you can do.
Treat the other person the way you would want to be treated. Everyday, everytime, without fail – no exceptions.
That is the ultimate standard of excellence.”
“We were raised with an attitude of gratitude. My grandfather also taught us some very important values.
Life’s a gift – not a game.
Enthusiasm is an inside game with an outside reflection.
“Passion prevails when everything else fails.”
“Passion – the word is made up of the same letters as Pass it on – without the ‘t’. Passion is the ability to take something inside of you and pass it on without leaving anything behind.”
“No one should steal someone else’s joy.”
“On my 21st birthday I went to sit by a waterfall in North Carolina to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to do something that would make an impact. I wanted to be somebody so bad. I sat there for about seven, eight hours and nothing came. Then all of a sudden it hit me so clearly, my manifesto.”
“I hereby promise to begin today to manifest the persona of greatness that I know lies within me. To improve the quality of life, to learn more, laugh more, share more, hear more and risk more. I control my personal destiny and I recognize if it is to be, it’s up to me. This is the day in my life I summon the courage to face my fears, turn them into the stepping stones of success. I will be the prisoner of nothing. I will be someone special. I will live my life at level 10, every day of my life with no exceptions.”
“You have to feel the feeling in order to move on. I know it by heart and I must have said it by heart at least 14,000 times. I lecture without any notes, from my heart to the people who are sitting before me.”
“I live my life to the fullest. The best days are yet to come.”
My awe and gratitude to Mr. Paul Cummings is overwhelming. He is a model for us to challenge ourselves, to find our greatness, and seize the day to the fullest.
May you be blessed and I feel blessed to have come to know you.
Paul can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.