How to Deal with Adversity | Leadership Keynote Speaker | Phil Van Hooser Interviews Chad Hymas | 2

Uploaded by philvanhooser on 30.12.2008

Welcome back to Influence and Impact. We're talking with Chad Hymas. Chad, when we broke
a moment ago you mentioned that during this very difficult time of transitioning from
when you were "normal" to now, your new normal, that there was a day before that fear and
anxiety and uncertainty, but there was a day when all that changed. Can you expand upon
that day? Tell us about it. Sure. I found myself doing what the doctors
told me I would be doing. I found myself pushing my wife away. See, I didn't marry Shandel
to watch her mow the lawn, put gas in my car, get me dressed, help me use the restroom.
I didn't like that. I didn't like watching her do that stuff for me and I saw myself
begin to push her away and I did that for some time. On the day that you're referring
to, Shandel was transferring me from the shower chair to this very wheelchair and in so doing
she accidentally dropped me on the floor. I looked up at her face from the ground and
I saw a bead of sweat come down her cheek and that was it. I lost it. I had enough.
I didn't marry her to watch her labor over me and I let myself believe that and I kicked
her out of the room. She went on the other side of the door…the phone rang and it was
my mother-in-law of all people, her mother. I have a great relationship with Char. She
asked to talk to me. She knew I was struggling. She let me explain to her for the next 90
minutes the very things I just told you in 30 seconds. Over and over again, “Charlene,
I didn't marry your daughter to watch her do this. I don't like this. I want to change
it.” After I did that for 90 minutes, Phil, she
said three things that changed my life that day. The first thing she said was she said,
“Are you through yet?” I said yes and I said it sarcastically. The second thing
she said was, “This is the most selfish person I've ever seen you be, Chad, and when
you say it wasn't part of the promise you made to my daughter that day, apparently you
forgot about the promises the day you married her.” The last thing she said to me was
this and this hit me like a brick to the face. She said, “Chad, you want to know the greatest
thing you've given my daughter?” I said, “What,” and I said it sarcastically. She
said, “You can give her your most gracious acceptance.” I think about that for a second.
That's recognizing her ability to give to me, recognizing what she really wants to do,
recognizing her attributes, her skills, her counsel, everything that a marriage should
entail, but only now I need to recognize it and thank her for it and so I have tried to
do that every day of my life. Is it hard? Yes.
Sure. But it works.
So that's the turning point. A particular day in your respective journey where you went
from experiencing change and adversity to accepting change...
And adapting. And adapting.
Adapting to it. That's a key component. You have to accept it, adapt to it and then act
on it. Well, now, your adaptation and from that day
forward, it's been nothing short of amazing. As we sit here in this studio on this particular
day, it's only been about 3 1/2 years since the accident and yet, you have accomplished
so much. You own your own business. You travel around the country. You are still actively
involved in competitive sports. You're the world record holder for quadriplegics in cross-country
wheelchair. Forgive me. You might not want to talk about this.
Not the smartest thing I've ever done in my life.
Oh, no? No. I wheeled a marathon in 513 miles between
Salt Lake City and Vegas. I think that was more just to prove to myself that I could
still achieve a dream, a goal. Everybody dreams. Everybody dreams. It's all about what we believe.
So if I were to believe the statistics that the doctors were quoting me...they were great
men, just men, but if I were to believe that, I would probably be in an electric wheelchair
today tied up in a room somewhere. Well, let's talk about that for a second.
You traveled across the country alone, unaided or at least without accompaniment to be at
this interview. You wheeled yourself in today to this interview in your own wheelchair.
Is it an issue of independence, Chad, is it all about independence or is it something
else that I'm missing? I think it's all about what we choose to believe
about ourselves. What do I believe about my future? What do I believe about me being a
father to my two boys and to our little girl, whom you're aware we just adopted last week?
Yeah and congratulations. You're still beaming. I can tell.
My wife is on cloud nine and I'm a father of a daughter. What do I believe about me
learning how to drive again? What do I believe about getting dressed? Because what I believe
drives my action and my action drives the results that I get in my life.
So is it safe to say that some would argue that it's mind over matter, but in your case,
it's mind over physical difficulty? I think you hit it right on the mark. I think
it is mind over matter. I think it is mind's mind over whatever our challenges
are in life whether it be health, the death of a loved one, an argument with a child or
a spouse. I think it entails all that. Alright. Let me ask you a question. Three
and a half years to get to this point that you are today. What have you discovered about
yourself? Maybe it's deep down in your heart or in your gut or in your head or someplace,
but what have you discovered about yourself that you really don't believe you would have
ever discovered had it not been for the accident? My answer is simple, but my answer is this
– attitude. Attitude is a catalyst that can create extraordinary results in your life.
Attitude is a catalyst, is a spark that will create extraordinary results in your life.
I have the power to create my own attitude. I didn't realize I had that power before.
I went day to day trying to make a dollar for my family. Today, when I wake up in the
morning, I have the power to decide what I'm going to do with that 24 hours and how is
my attitude going to be. I don't want to take anything away from you
because you're obviously a special person, but with the answer you just now offered,
what I hear you saying is that everybody are special persons, that there is no one that
couldn't do what you're suggesting. I guess I was just average before. I think
I'm probably average today, but we all have that power. We've all been given that ability
to choose what we do with our 24-hour day and what kind of an attitude we carry throughout
the day and do we believe in a future and creating our own destiny. An attitude is a
catalyst for that. You said before and when we first started
this conversation that people around you, even your mother, saw this as a tragedy. A
tragedy... She wouldn't call it that today, Phil.
That's my question. She would tell you that this has been one
of the most significant blessings of my life, been one of the most significant blessings
of hers. She would tell you that today. The way that I am with my kids, I discipline my
kids differently. My kids are my friends. Do they need discipline? Yes, but Christian
is taller than his dad today. Try disciplining your kids from your knees. It's an incredible
experience. You can teach them better that way. Everything is different.
Chad, you get us thinking about so many things, but unfortunately, we also need to take a
break for a moment. Come back with us in just a moment and you stay with us as we come back
and talk more with Chad Hymas in just a moment.