Plan of Action

2016-0427 Plan of Action

You and I have at least three traits in common.  1. We have been gifted with the most incredible computing device in the world:  a brain.  2. We want our brain to operate at peak performance.  3. We want our brain to learn new things, grow, and set new levels of peak performance.

I accept that I am limited in some capacities, due to cancer and its treatment, but I also know I have a continuing ability to learn. Some things I will learn and remember, while other things I will learn and forget. There is also the possibility that I cannot find the time to learn some of the things I want to, or need to learn. I know I can count on my brain to form new circuits that compensate for some of the losses I experienced after brain surgery, chemo, and radiation treatments. 

My experience with recovery from brain injury leads me to urge you to take daily practical steps to improve your own brain functioning. My recovery consisted of the following 10 steps. If you implement the steps properly, perhaps the steps will facilitate your recovery and help you enjoy life after brain injury:

1. Ask for help
Plan your recovery
Eat well
Exercise your mind and body
Take the right medicine, multivitamins, and supplements
Try new activities
Learn from every experience and encounter
Measure your progress
Repeat the process

You may not see me competing in the Olympics, balancing on a high wire, or developing a cure for hunger, disease, or poverty, but I am making a difference by volunteering, speaking, and writing. I enjoy life after brain injury and I believe that you can too.


What action has helped you make the most significant recovery? Would my list of 10 actions be different for survivors, their family members, or their caregivers? 


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Frank Pray for guiding me during the creation of this post.



  1. “Amen” to “Valerie”, – whoever she is!

    My PoA did not work, despite the time & effort, I have to agree with your – and Valerie’s – wisdom!

    STEP #1 being SO important! HELP was given me; I never had to ASK for it. Therein lies the fault in my own REHAB.
    I DID the exercise; took the supplement, and TRIED to eat well despite fatigue. It was not keping an overall PLAN in front of me that allowed me to be sidetracked. Because I did not have a PLAN, I could not measure my progress and it would not be until the “deja-vu” of failure hit me that I would be discouraged at my progress!

    Thank you, once again!

    1. Some people are able to follow a plan that resides only in their head. However, I don’t know many people who can reliably follow a plan they have not committed to paper. Furthermore, I have not heard of any successful company that allows its project or program managers to run projects or programs that are not documented. Buildings have blueprints for the same reason people need to document and routinely check their plans — so everybody knows what they need to do and they are accountable for completing their work.

      Take some time to create a detailed plan then regularly review the plan to make sure you are on track to meet your goals.

  2. Your “Questions” (above) are not as provocative as the usual “Call to Action”, Scott! … but it is funny you hould choose this topic, TODAY! “Coincidentally” (?!) I, as a member of this ABI-Community for some time now, just:

    (1) initiated my Plan PLUS Online (a time management system).

    (2) made the investment of 5$/ month with LUMINOSITY to develop a brain exercisse regime.

    (3) ordered a SMART phone.

    Blessed as I am to have $$ …

    If took more time I would probably argue a rearrangement and ranking of “socializaion” in your list above; but am glad to see it as part of the 10, and will leave it at THAT!

    1. Barbara,

      The posts with questions are my older posts, some of which I did not publish previously. My posts, like my journey of recovery, have improved over time. Several readers mentioned that my questions, although pertinent and insightful, were a little too difficult to answer. As such, I replaced the questions with a “Call to Action.” One person who helped me with the transition is Valerie.

      The list that you contemplated rearranging was not intended to be an ordered list of priorities. I simply wanted to mention things that are important and not the order in which the activities must be completed. However, since you mentioned priorities, I am curious how you would order the list in terms of priorities.

  3. As a writer, I am intrigued by your question about which artists have turned their recoveries into expressions of art. This question goes to the heart of the creative process. Broken pieces of our life may look like so much trash, but in the hands of an artist can become works of beauty, symmetry, and meaning. In a sense, each of us is an artist of his own experience. That certainly seems to be true of you.

    Thank you Scott for sharing some very powerful, personal insights.

    1. Frank, on 2/25/2013, I published a post that asks several questions about a well known piece of art. You might be interested in that post as well. My plan is to write, in the next couple weeks, a few posts about books written by suvivors of brain injury or their caregivers.

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