“I recommend that you terminate the pregnancy.”

These were the first words my Mom and Dad heard as the doctor re-entered the room.

At that moment, time seemed to stand still. The doctor continued to explain the situation.

“It looks like your son has hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. If you go through with the pregnancy, your son may be born with this physical disability.”

As you can imagine, my parents had some thinking to do. “Should we terminate the pregnancy or go through with it?” The call was theirs and it was my life at stake. They consulted other doctors to get more opinions, but results didn’t look much better. They were shocked, upset, sad, and confused—all at the same time.

On a thread of faith and intuition my parents gambled on the slight chance the doctors may be wrong. They gave the green light and went through with the pregnancy.

In December 1983 I entered this world and overcame all odds. My parents were relieved beyond description when I was born a healthy baby. Today, it’s odd to think that I may have never set foot on this planet. This has helped me appreciate how unique it is to be “alive.”

When we finally stop ourselves in the middle of this crazy day-to-day process we call “life,” we begin to notice things we may have overlooked. When we really take the time to think and look around, we realize that life in itself is an incredible process. How does it happen? How is life created? It’s like thinking about what lies at the end of the universe—it’s has to stop somewhere, right!?

Some things almost seem beyond our mental capacity. However, I don’t think it’s nearly as important to analyze how we got here, as it is to learn how to maximize our life while we’re here.

This is vital because our life on this planet can also end in the blink of an eye. Life is so special that it’s one of the few things humans cannot recreate. To be blunt, we get one shot in this body and one chance to live this lifetime. If you’re not pursuing your passion and chasing your dreams, then now is a good time to start.

The bottom line is, life is a miracle—it’s an amazing phenomenon. Whether we face challenges near birth or not, the fact that we’re all here is a miracle in itself.

I’ve found, on my short journey through life, that everything happens for a reason. It’s the meaning we give to each event that determines whether or not our experiences will be helpful or hindering. I’ve also come to believe that we all have a purpose. The challenge we’ve been given is to discover what that reason is and then make it happen.

It saddens me to see how many people live life as if it were a job. They fall into the trap of believing that life is a monotonous cycle of waking up each day to fight for a wage that will put food on the table. This is usually something we grow to accept when we lose sight of what life is really about.

There are thousands and thousands of stories about people who have done incredible things; people who have created a life of adventure and meaning. The thing to remember is that they’re no different than you and I. They just offer proof that we can all do amazing things … if we have amazing things planned.

What many people don’t realize until later in life is that life is not only a miracle, it’s a precious gift. If you fully understand this and appreciate it, your life will never be the same.

Life is not a right. It’s privilege. It’s a gift.
And what we give back to the world is who we become.

The world is either a giant playground of opportunity or a prison of sadness, struggle, and sorrow. The power we have as individuals is to choose our own reality, behavior, and personal actions. But the minute you lose sight of the fact that life is a gift, part of you dies. This is why some people die at age 25, but they are buried at age 70.

A life without curiosity, vision, and appreciation is like a candle without a flame: Dormant and ineffective. Life is what we chose to make of it. It’s easy to “go with the flow” and have your life shaped and created by others, but it takes courage to live your dreams. Life belongs to those who want it, so don’t let it happen … make it happen. Choose to live with heart. Choose to live with courage. Take on the challenge.

Dare to live!

Author's Bio: 

At a young age reality gave Kent D. Healy a wake up call. He realized that he was not getting taught the important life-skills in school that he needed to become successful in the real world. Kent then partnered with his brother at age 17 to write his first book, “Cool Stuff” They Should Teach In School.

Since the book has been released, the overwhelming positive feedback has driven him to start his own publishing company called “Cool Stuff” Media, Inc. (www.coolstuffmedia.com) The success of this company and the personal development material created by Kent has made him one of the most popular and sought-after young experts on the topic of success. (www.kenthealy.com)

Kent is a columnist, personal life coach, entrepreneur, and speaker. He has teamed up with some of the world’s most respected leaders in the field of psychology and personal transformation—including the recent release of his book, The Success Principles for Teens which he co-authored with Jack Canfield.

He regularly appears in the media travels to speak to audiences of all ages and backgrounds and he is dedicated to helping others by offering them the tools they need to build a life they are proud of.