Beyond Adversity

Enjoying Life After Adversity

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Living with Purpose

Some people believe happiness and purpose are similar concepts, but as we learn in the following video, happiness and purpose are different. Happiness may be the result of what you have acquired or it may be the result of what you have done for others. Although happiness may cause some physical changes in how you feel and how you act, according to Dr. Michael Irwin it is your sense of purpose combined with happiness that impacts your genes, enhances your immunity, reduces inflammation, decreases cardiovascular disease, lessens the occurrence of diabetes, and reduces the chance of certain types of cancers.


  1. What makes you happy?
  2. What gives you a sense of purpose?
  3. What prevents you from being happy?
  4. What prevents you from having a sense of purpose?
  5. Where do you volunteer and why did you choose that opportunity?
  6. How often do you volunteer?
  7. What prevents you from volunteering more often?

Thanks to Wendy for sharing the video with me, ABC7 and Denise Dador for reporting the story, Hilda Hernandez and her family for providing input to the story, and Dr. Michael Irwin of the UCLA Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology for adding relevant facts to the story.


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Even after brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to eradicate his brain cancer, Scott continued to work; continued to study; and earned professional certifications from the Project Management Institute, American Society of Quality, and Stanford University School of Professional Development. How were all of these achievements possible at a time when Scott was struggling with the hurdles of brain injury? The answers are in this blog.

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**** About The Author ****

During the past 13 years, I have been diagnosed with cancer, brain injury, balance issues, stroke, ataxia, visual impairment, and auditory challenges. I have overcome significant adversity! I can explain how to overcome your challenges. I am a very active Toastmaster and a motivational speaker.