On Friday, March 1st, the students of the Buccino Leadership Institute were extremely lucky to hear Scott Chesney speak and share his story. Chesney travels around the country giving motivational talks, and working as a professional life coach, as well as an ambassador for many foundations. He is a Seton Hall graduate and a member of the Seton Hall University Leadership Advisory Council. He is also paralyzed from the waist down.
On December 28th, 1985, Scott Chesney woke up with a numb big toe and soon that numbness spread up both his legs to his waist. He was a sophomore at Verona High School, where he played three sports. Movement was his whole life. However, after a few weeks in the hospital, the doctor told him he would never walk again due to a rare spinal stroke that paralyzed him. Chesney was devastated after hearing the heart-wrenching news, but he also learned something miraculous. Only eleven other people had ever suffered from the same disease that took away his ability to walk, and, of those eleven, seven had not survived. Though his mind told him to give up and shut down for good, his heart told him "Scott, you're still alive". Since that day, he has not only been alive, but he has thrived.
Scott Chesney created his I'MPossible model of life and shares it with millions of people across the world. One of his "musts" for creating the I'MPossible attitude is affecting what he calls a head/heart shift. He says, "live from your heart, not your head" because the mind might think, but the heart knows. Chesney emphasizes the importance of doing this head/heart shift every time one is faced with a problem or a difficult situation. The answer is often closer than you think.
Chesney emphasizes that life is full of never-ending improvement. He says the only time someone can ever stop improving is when they are dead. No one is ever at their best. Additionally, he uses riding waves as a metaphor for life, as adaptive surfing is a big part of his life. There are peaks and great moments in life, but there are also wipeouts, dips and challenges one must face. The reality is that you cannot have one without the other. Chesney emphasizes that even setbacks are not truly bad, as one can often learn an abundance of lessons from these challenges. In all the moments of life, whether it be peaks or dips, it is important to focus on the present and find what is good in the moment. Chances are it is often better than it seems.
Scott Chesney is an incredible man. He used his power of choice to truly thrive despite what one could have viewed as the end of their life. He has touched the lives of millions of people, inspiring them to put the best version of themselves forward and constantly improve. He has achieved amazing feats through possessing a positive mindset, envisioning success, and never doubting himself. Everyone can learn from him, and the Buccino Leadership Institute is grateful he was able to share his incredible knowledge with us. As we embark on our own leadership journeys, we will always remember to turn our fears into motivation, live from our hearts, be passionate about even the small things, and never forget to be grateful for everything along the way.
Categories: Campus Life