Inspirational Thoughts On How Marilyn Hamilton used The Challenges Of a Spinal Cord Injury As An Opportunity To Create a $60 million Company page 1

“My interest was not from a business perspective. Not at all. It was totally selfish. I wanted to look nicer and have more function, more mobility, more freedom, more movement.”
-Marilyn Hamilton

Close your eyes and imagine you’re floating through the mountains of Southern California holding on to a hang glider. You’re young, you’re beautiful, and you have a satisfying, successful career and a wonderful marriage. Looking up, you see brilliant clear blue skies and white cottonball clouds.

Below you are the hills of the California Sierra Mountains. You’re in the prime of your life. You spend your spare time surrounded by friends. You’re an avid tennis player and an experienced outdoors woman. Now open your eyes. You’re flat on your back, in an intensive care unit surrounded by nurses and doctors. You can’t move your hips, legs or even your big toe.

Your doctors inform you, in the way doctors are trained to do-almost casually-that you’ve broken your back, and that means there is very little chance you’ll ever walk again. Most likely you’ll never feel the sand on the beach between your toes or the wet dew under your feet. Everything you’ve worked for-your career, your activities, and the life you’ve struggled to achieve-now seems threatened.

In 1979 at age twenty-nine, Marilyn Hamilton failed to fasten herself correctly to her hang glider. As a result of that brief moment in time the lives of millions were irrevocably altered for the better. Yes, that’s right! I said, “for the better.”

How could an injury that has killed thousands and devastated the lives of many make a positive, even extraordinarily powerful impact on the lives of millions? Well, I’ll tell you how Hamilton did it, what you can learn from her story, and how you can take what you learn and apply it to making your life rich, full and exciting.

Now in her early sixties, she has experienced success like few others. She is currently a public speaker and consultant who devotes her life to inspiring and educating corporations, organizations and individuals. She is the recipient of many awards and is widely recognized for her achievements.

As cofounder of the multimillion-dollar company Motion Designs Inc. (MDI), her vision revolutionized the wheelchair industry. Hamilton has changed the world by changing the way wheelchairs look and perform. Most important, her hard work and devotion have changed the way we look at people who use wheelchairs as well as the way they look at themselves.

But there’s a hitch. Hamilton owes much of her success in life to the way she reacted after breaking her back at age twenty-nine. At the time of her injury, Hamilton was married, living comfortably on an 80-acre ranch in California. She and her husband had traveled extensively, including teaching for two years down under in Australia. Running, tennis and hang gliding were a few of the many activities that kept her engaged in an active, thrilling and fulfilling life.

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