When I was 15 years old, I experienced a life threatening accident. I was on a family vacation at Lake Powell in Arizona. I had helped my family make a zipline and we all thought it was going to be a lot of fun. While riding it, my hands slipped and I fell almost 30 feet- shattering my lower body and breaking 17 bones in 30 different places. I had three compound fractures where multiple bones had exploded out of my ankles and legs when I hit the ground and made impact.
I was told at the hospital that my right ankle may need to be amputated and that I would probably never walk again. I spent many long and devastating months in bed, followed by multiple surgeries and three years of intense physical therapy.
Through all of the pain, I knew that I had to take control of my dominating thoughts and strengthen what I knew that I believed. I believed that I could walk again. I believed that I could use my experience to dig deep and set daily goals. Quitting was never an option.
Sure enough, I painfully learned to walk again and eventually, I was able to re-learn everything that I did before my accident. I even took up several new hobbies like wakeboarding and downhill skiing.
Today, I am business owner, a husband and a father of 3 awesome kids. I own Lifetime Leather Company and operate it full-time alongside my beautiful wife Shaina and 7 hard-working USA employees. When “things” start to feel hard, I look back on that experience that I had. Overcoming that hard trial and learning to walk again makes almost everything else manageable, including going after my dreams.
I believe in the American Dream and that it’s alive and well! As an American, I feel like it’s my duty to support and contribute to that great dream. I believe that it’s a state of mind and a belief that calls to all souls who yearn to be free. It’s an idea that any race or creed who desires greatness can partake in the abounding wealth and opportunities that reside freely within this great nation. Through hard work, integrity and determination, you can create and build your dreams no matter how big or impossible they may seem to others.
As for my words of advice, for any young Americans who have big dreams and are just starting out ….
1. Write your top ten goals down everyday.
2. Write them before you go to sleep and read them first thing when you wake up.
3. Carry your goals around with you and review them often throughout the day.
4. Grasp into your mind that no one is smarter or better than you. I believe that every person born into this life is born with the same level of intelligence and that it’s actually our own limiting beliefs and self that holds us back from accomplishing our dreams.
5. Be fearless and don’t be afraid to look stupid, try new things and roll with the punches.
6. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Imagine that every failure comes to you with a greater lesson- one that could make all the difference.
7. Don’t be afraid of being you! There has never been nor ever will be another you with your talents and abilities. Follow your dream. It’s yours. You came into this life with it and the desire to accomplish it.
8. Trust your intuition.
There was once a man who dreamed of diamonds. He diligently dug for them everyday on his claim. Finally, years later, with no results, he became frustrated and overwhelmed with doubt. So, he quit and sold his claim for pennies. the man he sold his claim to discovered one of the biggest diamond cashes ever found under a mere 3 feet of soft soil in the very pit he dug for years. He came so close to the finish line, only to quit. The lesson here…don’t quit! You never know when you’re 3 feet away from diamonds. The true champions in life are those who learn the ability to endure. -Ty Bowman
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