‘Stay focussed to realise one’s dreams’

He happily belts out “I am blessed, everyday of my life..” to an enthralled student audience. That he is using a prosthetic hand and a guitar prosthetic to strum the guitar as accompaniment does in no way dim the happiness with which he sings. And, this in spite of the fact that he has every reason to be angry with God.

When 26-year old Sam Cawthorn, happily married with two daughters, working with the Australian Federal Government and a musician in his spare time, met with a near-fatal accident, he was left with shattered insides and outsides, predicted to lead a life of a vegetable. The Australian woke up after a five-day coma to find a missing right arm, and a right leg that would be of no use to him.

“Though I knew I will not be able to do a lot many things, what hit me the most was the fact that I would not be able to walk my daughters down the aisle on their wedding day,” he told at a session of Face-to-Face at GRD Institute of Management here.

But on Monday, seven years down the line, stood a 34-year old father, who would not only walk his daughters down the aisle, but would also play their Wedding March on his guitar.

Born to an Indian mother and Scottish father in a family of 11 children, it did not take much for Cawthorn to decide to “bounce forward” and make a life for himself. After half-a-year of gruelling rehabilitation sessions, he proved the doctors wrong by managing to walk on his feet — though he cannot bend his right leg — and by activating his right hand using prosthesis.

But in his hour-long session with the students, what Cawthorn as a motivational speaker tried to impress upon the young minds was his success mantra — need to stay focussed to realise one’s dreams and decisions, all the while remaining positive and happy.

Referring to studies, he pointed out that depression rates were increasing alarmingly and urged them to be harbinger of happiness so that it would turn into a contagion.

As part of his “bouncing forward” concept, he spends his time as an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker sharing his incredible journey of recovery with students and corporates. He travels around the world for this. It has been six years and there has been no looking back.

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