February 9, 2013

Imagine if we took all the energy wasted dwelling on things in our past & applied it to right now? ~ Daniel Maher

Photo: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez

As a person who has suffered a severe spinal chord injury, I know how important a positive attitude can be.

Staying positive and focusing positive energy on my recovery made the outcome positive. I will never physically be the same as I was before the accident, but I know that I recovered much better than my doctors thought possible.

Now that the New Year is over, I’ve been hearing this a lot:

“Man, this year is not off to a good start!”

“Looks like it’s going to be another bad year!”

“I really thought this was going to be the year things turned around for me.”

Why would the year change create better circumstances for us? In all honestly, it’s just another day. Pinning our hopes on good things coming our way because the year has a different number is an unhealthy way to be.

Looking at a certain day as the moment good fortune will come our way is living with false hope. Then, if things don’t work out the way we’d hoped, we blame the year or the day. Ultimately, we are filling ourselves with negativity.

How can it be the day, month or years’ fault that things didn’t turn out for us?

Isn’t it up to us to have a positive impact on our own lives?

Instead of asking myself why I suffered such a bad injury, I focused my energy on moving ahead. I couldn’t go back and prevent the accident from occurring, so dwelling on it would do me more harm than good.

If we truly want things to be different, then we have to make an all out effort for that to happen. We have to do more than just hope—we have to believe.

It’s like praying for good luck, though I believe we make our own luck. To say, “I can’t believe how unlucky I am,” or “Can you believe this is happening to me?” is holding onto a negative attitude. And a negative attitude will get us nowhere.

Focusing on the negatives will only ensure that the bad things we are hoping won’t happen most likely will happen. Saying things will improve for us next week or next year is a way of saying that things aren’t good for us now.

So why wait? By looking for that change we are admitting that there are negatives that we want to get rid of. So instead of talking about them, do something about them; use them to make something positive!

We can’t predict the future. We have no idea what tomorrow will have in store for us. We might not make it to next year, next week or tomorrow—so why not take some positive energy and apply it to right now?

And we shouldn’t waste our energy on what’s already happened. There’s nothing we do can change it. It’s over!

Because of a positive attitude there was never any doubt in mind that my recovery would go well. Every day I woke up, I truly believed that I would be better than I was the previous day. And four years later, you wouldn’t be able to tell how severe my injuries were if you didn’t know me.

Imagine if we took all the energy wasted dwelling on things in our past or what’s going to happen in the future and applied it to right now? Just imagine how great we could be. Our potential would be endless and our accomplishments would be vast.

Now imagine if we spread that feeling everyone and everything. Imagine how different the world might be!

Being mediocre or average isn’t acceptable. We can all do great things. But hoping or praying for these things isn’t the way to make them happen. Being positive and focusing that positive energy to everything we do is how we can all make it happen!


Father of two, sport fanatic and spirituality-inspired novice writer, Daniel Maher spent 19 years of his life working as an iron worker. He built hundreds of buildings and loved what he did for a living until four years ago, when he had a life-altering accident. He fell on the job and suffered a severe spinal injury.

His life has never been the same and he has had to examine what defines him as a man, husband, son and father. He has had a long road to recovery with many challenges, both physical and emotional. He has found inspiration in the world around him, from the incredible friends who stood by him during the most challenging moments, and from everyday life and events. The yogic philosophy texts his wife has all around the house may contribute, as well. Life is challenging and there are no guarantees, but Dan feels our own perception defines the quality of our life. What is your perception?


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Assistant Ed: Karla Rodas
Ed: Brianna Bemel

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