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How to Build
a Positive Attitude

and keep the darn thing!

stoke the fire within book




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Available at the Notre Dame Bookstore and


A Guide to Igniting Your life

stoke the fire within book




Click here to order..





Available at the Notre Dame Bookstore and

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Right Hand Doesn't work? Learn to Use the Left...

"I've learned a bunch. It's a crazy world. Stuff happens. It doesn't make much sense, but you have to make the most of it."  -- Rick Melton, right handed Artist who lost the use of his right hand. He taught himself how to use his left.....
There is more negative news than ever before in the media. Obviously, these are challenging times, but I am hear to tell you there are tens of thousands of positive, upbeat things happening every hour out there.


When I deliver "How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the D a r n Thing" to organizations, I talk about the importance of taking personal responsibility to make sure the fire within you is constantly stoked. If you don't, the negativity out there will snuff it out.


Let me share an example of "practicing what I preach," so to speak. I recently read  in my local paper where the Rotary Club was going to honor disabled workers in my community.


They had asked a man named Rick Melton to give the keynote. Rick is the head of the Art Department at LaVille High School. He is unable to walk without assistance and has limited use of the right side of his body.


I wrote down in my calendar that I needed to be there to hear his story. I called the number and found out the event would start at noon, be over about 12:50 and would cost $12, which would go to a local charity. I put it in my Planner.


On October 15th I arrived at the Century Center Convention Center a little before noon. Rick's amazing artwork was on display near the  head table. The program started and within 30 minutes Rick was speaking. He said he had never given a speech before. He was nervous as he looked out over the large crowd that included South Bend mayor Stephen Luecke. As a professional speaker, I knew if he spoke from the heart and shared how he had stayed on fire, he would be a knockout. Forget all that smooth professional posture stuff.


Back in 1985, Rick had just finished 9th grade when a semi forced the car he was in to go off the road. He suffered awful spinal cord injuries, causing the Doctor to tell him he would never move again. He fought through the diagnosis with lengthy rehab and regained some motion. However, he had to teach himself how to use his left hand for art. He had always used his right, and it wouldn't move anymore. Below is what Rick told us about overcoming the massive challenges he faced in life:


"We all come across different obstacles in life," Rick said. "I had, and have, a strong faith in God. During rehab, I prayed at
night thanking the Lord for the small gains I had made that day in rehabbing my body."


"My mother quit her job to help me. For her, failure was not an option. She kept me going. My father took it hardest. He is a
good man, a hard worker. The medical bill was $150,000. Remember, this was back in 1985. I felt for my sister. She
didn't get a lot of attention because so much was focused on me. I have a great family that sacrificed for me."


"I talked with a college counselor and said even in my physical condition I wanted to take college prep courses at
High School. The counselor said, 'Why? Aren't you in a wheelchair? Don't you get a check from the Government
every month?!'


"You should have seen the look on my mother's face."


"After graduating high school, I went to I.U.-South Bend. After graduation from there, Goodwill helped me with job applications. For 150 days one year, I subbed in South Bend schools. I got a break and got a part time teaching at Marian High School. By my second year there I was head of the Art Department. The Principal there went to LaVille and brought me there. I've been there nine years as Head of the Art Dept. In 2002 Wal Mart named me Teacher of the Year."


"I've learned a bunch. It's a crazy world. Stuff happens. It doesn't make much sense, but you have to make the most of it."  -- Rick Melton, Head of Art Dept., LaVille High School


Everyone in the audience gave Rick a standing ovation at the end of his first-ever speech. Everyone left inspired and determined to be as positive as possible. Our fire within had been stoked! How can you not be thankful and positive after hearing such a story?


This man is an inspiration to us all - especially his students. Remember, he had grown up using his right hand for his art. He had to totally re-teach himself to use his left hand. I can't even shave with my left hand. In "How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the D a r n Thing" I emphasize how people have been hit hard with adversity and simply said, "Okay. I can't to it that way. I will do it THIS way."


Just like Rick.



- Charlie Adams, Motivational Speaker
574 807 2279 || Email Charlie