To say I was excited and honored to be the keynote inspirational/motivational speaker for the 2020 commercial construction and renovation summit is an understatement. It was a joy!. The challenge was to motivate some of the industries leading construction and renovation professionals.
“I can do it,” I told myself. And yet, I was reminded of a truth shared with me by my best friend and songwriter Jeffrey L Rudloff, “I can’t motivate anyone. I can provide inspiration and information, but he motivates himself.”
I kicked off my presentation with This Land, Bringing all the energy and hopefulness and a handicapped man holding a mic with an aluminum hook attached to a bionic prosthesis can offer. Then there was humor. I shared the story of the five-year-old boy who asked me why I have no hands. I told him I used to bite my fingers and that I went to far one day. I was in trauma therapy, but I still have good looking hands.
My message is the same I share with everyone. It is about providing a clear vision of ourselves, seizing the opportunity is ahead, and finding the ways to rise above.
1. All that I can be…I CAN BE
We all have a story to tell. Mine was to quit focusing on the handicap and start appreciating the gift. If you do not like who you are, no one will want what you were selling. So sell yourself first.
I was born August 18, 1951, with no arms and severely deformed legs. Nobody expected I would survive. I spent my early years in hospitals, including Shriners’ Hospital for Crippled Children in Philadelphia, where I learn to walk with my first leg brace it was fitted for my first prosthetic arm.
At age 9, I was placed into the Good Shepherd home for the Physically Handicapped in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where I lived and attended public school until I was 19. Most people do not like their stories, many of which are littered with excuses: I am too tall or too short, I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, I have too many handicaps, etc.
As a young boy, I learn the truth that would become the foundation of my life: “I am made to be awesome and wonderful(Psalm 139:14).“ I learn to see my disabilities as assets, not liabilities. My father to tell me, “the difficult we do right away, the impossible takes a little longer.”
Being handicapped is a choice. I cannot do anything to change my circumstances, I can choose not to allow myself to be handicapped by them. I believe, “a real handy Is anything that keeps you from being or becoming all that I was created to be.”
2. All that I can be…I MUST BE
Never settle for anything less. Remember: Les should never be good enough.
3. All that I can be…I CHOOSE TO BE
You have to want it bad enough not to care about what others think. My parents said I could never drive a car. To date, I have driven more than 4.5 million miles across the country and Canada.
4. All that I can be…I SHALL BE
That moment when we get up to make it happen and forge a head toward the goal is life-changing. As the old saying goes, “if it is to be, it is up to me. My action determines Destiny, success or failure and more important my impact on the world in which I serve.”
Make your journey a blessing.