UNSTOPPABLE: WHY SOME PEOPLE DEFY ALL THE ODDS By Darren Jensen, CEO LifeVantage
UNSTOPPABLE: WHY SOME PEOPLE DEFY ALL THE ODDS
I love what I do. And it’s not just because LifeVantage gave me a nice chair or that I’m surrounded by a bunch of smart, motivated people. Don’t get me wrong – both of those points are true. But the best part about this industry is that I’m surrounded by heroes. I get to work with them every day.
To me, heroes aren’t defined by their ability to do the impossible, but, rather, overcome the impossible.
They somehow find both the will and the way to persevere. And in the process, they don’t just impact their own lives – they touch all of ours. At LifeVantage, we take the opportunity to honor a handful of these heroes every year. They come from all ranks and different walks of life – ordinary people who have defied extraordinary odds. Teachers, firefighters, mothers, and fathers. And working with them is one of the best parts of my job.
Take Jane Miller, for example. If suffering from depression and being bullied from a young age, wasn’t already enough, Jane also found herself responsible for taking care of her younger brothers full time when her mother was paralyzed after a stroke. Faced with either accepting her life as it was or taking control of it, Jane chose the latter. And in the process, she turned her weaknesses into strengths. She got in shape. She started feeling more confident. Before long, she was invited to coach fitness classes in her home town. And the feeling of helping others was intoxicating. Even after battling ongoing health issues, including a bout with cancer, Jane remained positive and passionate about helping others. Now, the woman who was once ostracized and bullied as a little girl has a vast network of close friends all over the world and a thriving business.
More importantly, her life serves as an example that we don’t have to accept the hand we’re dealt.
I cherish my friendship with Yoshiyuki Katsura, a 55-year old distributor who’s reached Pro 9 with us (this if very difficult) despite suffering a crippling disease 14 years ago. Barely able to walk, Yoshiyuki had a great experience with our products and decided to jump in full time. Now, despite being limited by a walker, he has built a business the old-school way from the ground up. He travels all over Japan visiting town after town. And although he’s limited in body, Yoshiyuki is widely considered one of the most active distributors in our company.
I also get to work daily with people like Blue and Raelene Elam, who are our highest ranked distributors at LifeVantage. But for the record, that achievement doesn’t begin to do justice to how they live their lives. They are, in every sense of the word, heroes. Blue actually began his career as a firefighter when a near-death experience forced him to confront his own mortality and role as a father. Blue knew that he wanted to come home to his wife and children every night. But he also knew that if he ever didn’t, he wanted them to be taken care of long-term. So together, Blue and Raelene put their heads down and got to work. They decided nothing was going to stop them. Years later, after being discharged from the hospital following a second near-death experience – a high-speed automobile accident that left their two daughters paralyzed from the waist down – Blue promptly showed up at a distributor meeting in a wheelchair, for the simple fact that he had committed to be there. While their business helped them overcome staggering hospital bills, it was their collective never-give-up attitude that helped them overcome a series of trials that I can’t begin to imagine. Through it all, Blue and Raelene never flinched. They never asked, “Why us?” In fact, they doubled down on life.
What makes people like Jane Miller, Yoshiyuki Katsura, and the Elams overcome tremendous trials in their lives? Is it something in their genes? A chance encounter that gives them the motivation they needed? Here’s my answer.
Working with everyday heroes over my career has shown me that they all have one thing in common: people can overcome anything when their WHY is stronger than anything that can possibly get in their way.
For Jane Miller, it was proving to herself and the world that she could rise above circumstances. For Yoshiyuki, it’s a life-changing message, and for the Elams, it’s the love of family.
The lesson for all of us, I believe, is that if we help distributors find their WHYs – those unbreakable seeds of truth deep within all of us – nothing will ever be able to stop them.
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