Thursday, January 24, 2013

"... If You Couldn't Fail."

Earlier today I once again presented to students. This time it was in Thayer, Missouri and once again it was a magical experience with almost 500 students from 5th grade to seniors in high school in attendance.

I spoke for about 20 minutes then I began the questions segment and once again I was shocked at the quality of questions. I've said this before, but I wish, if you haven't already, you could see one of these presentations and the attention the students, faculty, and parents that attend give. Also, I wish you could hear the questions asked. There was on question today that stood out and hit me on a personal level.

It was near the latter stages of the presentation and a high school student asked, "Yes, what would you do in life if you knew you couldn't fail?" The past two weeks have been very difficult for me but then this question came out of nowhere. On the outside I answered this question seamlessly but on the inside I thought about my entire life in no less than the blink of an eye.

How did I answer it? I mentioned the fact that I came so close to making it as a professional race car driver and that, had I made it doing that, I would be living a life much more about me. Sure, I'd have fame, sure I'd have money, and sure, I'd be able to rattle off a list of sponsors each week in front of millions, but... who would I be helping?

I then continued on by saying that I feel as if there is nothing more important that I could be doing in life than standing right there, at center court in this gym, raising the awareness and understanding of Asperger's Syndrome. If I were racing I'd have no book, no presentations, and all in all I'd be nothing compared to who I am now. I'd never have expected this life, being a speaker, but if I knew I couldn't fail, well, I'd be doing exactly what I am doing right now because this, to me, is all that matters.

Did I answer the question in the way that was expected? Probably not, and I could have probably answered the question with a little bit more daring, but why would I? I may get frustrated with myself on the personal side of my life, but that's just who I am. Also, I could have said many more things about myself or what I want to achieve, but how many people out there can say that they did a big part in helping shape the future? I think I said something along the lines in an answer that, "If we want to change the future we must first reach the present because tomorrow's future is today's present." Okay, so I might have gone a bit hard on the sappiness scale, but it is true, and at the end of the day there is nothing more that I'd rather be doing than what I am doing. The best part of this all? I've got two more school presentations tomorrow.


  1. well said..and not sappy.

    I'm about 20 some odd years down the road ahead of you, (yes i know,you have a birthday two Mondays from now) and wish I had been as enlightened then, as you are now.

    I didn't have my Molly then. She, on the spectrum, has opened a new world for me and taught me soooooooo many things! She's molded me into a new, more diverse person, a more accepting person, a more open person. I only wish I knew better what makes her tick.

    Thanks so much for shedding a little light on that. Loved the talk!

    If i could do anything & couldn't fail....hmmmmm I probably would adopt a whole houseful of kids, just like her. :-)

  2. This is a well put answer, to be honest.