A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of joining a Growing Leaders event where Brad Cohen was the guest speaker. He has an amazing story about overcoming an extreme case of Tourette syndrome at a time when no one understood what that meant. As a child, his life changed when one teacher took the time to let him explain to the student body what his condition was and why he made uncontrollable noises and movements.
Up to that point in his life, school had been nothing more than poor grades, bullies and detention. However, the actions of that teacher marked a shift in Brad's life. With a new confidence, he went on to graduate high school, finish college, and eventually become a teacher. While searching for his first teaching job, he was turned down by the first twenty-four schools and was told that there was no way someone with his level of Tourette's could ever be a successful teacher. Despite the rejection, he was able to persist with his search. Finally, the twenty-fifth school gave him a chance. During his first year of teaching, he was named Georgia's First Class Teacher of the Year.
A few lessons can be learned from Brad Cohen's amazing story:
1) If you truly believe in something, failure doesn't stand a chance.
2) When you are in need of a break, keep your eyes peeled for the one connection that could set your world on fire.
3) Always be willing to lend a helping hand. You never know when that person you helped could go on to impact the lives of millions of people.