I am going to tell you what Nicole’s recovery has in common with you.  But, before I do, I must tell you who Nicole is.  Yet, even before that, I need to tell you how I know Nicole.  My very dear friend and role model, Jan, who I have been lovingly writing about in my forthcoming book, is a world-class physical therapist.  One of her clients is a middle-aged Swiss woman, Nicole, who has a career in corporate communications.  Nicole suffered a massive stroke and has been working with Jan to learn how to use her hands again.  After her stroke, Nicole lost the use of her voice, in addition to various bodily functions.

Okay. So you do not need to have a stroke in order to have anything in common with Nicole.  What Nicole’s recovery has in common with you has a lot to do with why you read my weekly blog posts.  Let me explain.

Nicole sat down to a very delicious Thai dinner with Jan and me a couple of weeks ago, in Zürich.  She used her better of two functioning hands to cut away a whole fish from its bones, to serve herself, and to feed herself. She made it look easy.  It also was easy for her to engage in conversation.  Definitely, this show of physical recovery is breathtaking to observe.  It reflects Nicole’s resilience and her desire to recover and to make a difference in the world.

I found Nicole’s story as striking as her stylish presence, decked out in Alexander McQueen.  Low key and elegant, Nicole carefully explained something to me that we all should know about.  These days, Nicole does everything with full intention.  She has to think before she acts.  She has to organize, in her head, the thoughts that she wants to verbally communicate.  Although her slowed pace is certainly the product of the stroke, she appreciates the new pace.  She said to me, “I feel like I’ve recovered 120% even though I’m still not functioning in the way that people think of as being 100%.”  This was absolutely brilliant insight.

The heartbeat behind my writings is to encourage that you be the very best version of yourself.  To support this, we can all learn something from Nicole.

First, is to act with intention.  Nicole has had to slow down, but slowing doesn’t mean stopping.  As a result of her remarkable recovery, Nicole does and says everything with careful thought and appreciation.  Can you envision putting such loving and attentive energy into what you do and say?

Next, we all have to deal with adversity in our lives. But, just look at Nicole.  She’ll never tell you that the stroke defeated her.  No way, now how.  Nicole rose above.  We all can rise above.  Nicole told me that the stroke may be the best thing that ever happened to her.  She met her best friend, who also had a stroke, because of it.  She’s met amazing healers, like Jan, because of it. It even has impacted the way she advises clients about how to have more effective communication. Essentially, Nicole’s life will not only never be the same as it once was, but it will be better!  Can you envision putting such positivity into overcoming your adversities?

Making the best of yourself to the tune of “120%” is what Nicole’s recovery has in common with you.  Hopefully, you never have a stroke in order to learn the lesson the way she has had to.  But, Nicole’s stroke of genius is the presence of mind that she has activated to know how special her life is.  And, so is yours.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles.  Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley.” Get details about Joseph’s proven program that transforms your life through personal brand and style development.