Josh Hinds: Hi Mary, first let me take a second to thank-you for being here with us. Mary, you've got an great story, would you share that with us and tell us what has lead you
to where you are now?
Mary Bryant: Thank you Josh. My story is actually quite complex, very similar to most of our lives. We all are faced with challenges during our lifetime, and some of us face serious tragedies in order to strengthen our character.
We all have purpose, and once we gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of our purpose, we have the ability to go on and have a significant impact on others in our lifetime and beyond.
Without telling the entire story in detail, let me simply say that I was blessed with a severely handicapped brother. Don tripped and fell at the age of 16 and became paralyzed from the neck down. He survived 86 surgeries and always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell.
Having him join me for the NYC Marathon in 1997 made history, as he completed the 26.2 mile marathon course on his own available strength; pushing his head back into the headrest of his power chair. No one ever pushed him, even through the rain and thunderstorm. He often said, " Let's just keep going!"
Opening a door for other with severe disabilities, I began coaching a wheelchair team of athletes, and although I was diagnosed with cancer that following year, I was able to cover my 4th marathon, while going through chemotherapy treatments, because of the positive energy and team spirit of "Don's Team".
Today, I often deliver keynote speeches to groups of women or families that are trying to cope with disability. We ALL have purpose if we use what we CAN use in getting to the next step.
Josh Hinds: What would you identify as your three most successful habits?
1. Position my words and actions towards others positively.
2. Bring bright eyes and a smile into every room, and every conversation.
3. Sleep when I'm tired and drink water often, whether I'm thirsty or not.
Josh Hinds: What is the Best Advice you have ever received?
Mary Bryant: Like many, I've received a lot of good advice from many many friends and colleagues. Here's what comes to mind today:
While studying communications in college, one of my professors explained that "communication is never over." By understanding that even when there are harsh words spoken in a disagreement ... when voices are raised, tension is felt, leading us to retreat into our 'cave' ... communication is NOT over ... we can always go back and say, "I'm sorry" ... or " I've been thinking more about what we were speaking about and I'd like to add something" ... or "Could you please help me understand your side of the story?"
Taking time to listen, and sometimes to apologize will not only keep communication open, it can improve it!!!
Josh Hinds: What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
Mary Bryant: With the many struggles and set backs we often feel on a daily basis... I try to remind myself that I AM important ... and I DO deserve to take care of myself so that I MAY take care of others.
Josh Hinds: Mary, did you have an mentor (do you still)? If so, can you tell us how important the mentor relationship has been in your life.
Mary Bryant: Mentors are very important for all of us, regardless of where we are in society. There will always be others to respect in some area of our lives. I have a mentor for business (allowing a successful speaker to model for me good business practices and to keep available for my questions,) a mentor for Philanthropy, who shows me the true beauty in giving, and a mentor in female friendship, who demonstrated the elegance in being a special female friend.
Josh Hinds: What are some of the necessary ingredients you believe people must acquire in order to become successful?
Mary Bryant: Specifically, it depends on what you're attempting to be successful at!!!
Generally, I feel that in order to become successful, one must be WILLING TO DO THE WORK, be APPRECIATIVE to those who help you along the way, understand that there will always be more learning to do, even when we feel we're pretty much at the top,"just keep going" and invest in themselves while caring for others.
Josh Hinds: What is your best piece of advice you can offer to the person who is trying to significantly improve their lives?
Mary Bryant: Think about what you'd like to improve. Some things you can change, some things you can't. If you can't change it, let it go. If you CAN change it, make a decision on whether you WANT to or not. If you don't want to, let it go. If you do, then go for it!!! YOU are in charge of your life!
Josh Hinds: What does success mean to you?
Mary Bryant: Success means feeling good about who you are and what you've done in this lifetime. It means being happy with your status, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Be true to your "soul" purpose, and you'll be a success.
Josh Hinds: Mary, if you had to suggest the top 3 books, tapes, etc. that have had the biggest positive impact on you, and which would you recommend to others what would they be?
The Road Less Travelled By Scott Peck
Victory to Humanity By Dick Traum, Phd.
Josh Hinds: Mary, thanks for taking the time to be with us. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience that would be of value to them? Also, please let everyone know how they can follow up with you if they wish.
Mary Bryant: Sometimes our view in life changes. That's okay, as long as you want to be where you are. If you'd like things to be different, change your focus and re-prioritize!
For feedback, questions or to share your story, visit me at www.marybryant.com.
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