Sometimes you meet someone who just inspires you … it might be what they have done with their lives; it might be their achievements or it might be their attitude that shines so brightly that they can light up their lives and yours.
Such a person is Mark Hunter.
When I first met Mark, I was immediately engaged with his humour; but only later did I understand the great determination that underlies who and what he is.
The second thing I noticed was the wheelchair – and this was personal as I had faced a real possibility of doing wheelies down the hospital corridors myself and it was more by luck than judgement that I avoided such a fate. So my first instinct was to sympathise… Mark knocked that patronising attitude on the head almost immediately. No-one could feel sorry for Mark Hunter, because Mark does not feel sorry for himself.
No; what Mark does is to inspire and excite you about the possibilities that surround us all; for that is how he has lived his life.
Mark fractured two vertebrae in his neck in an accident at the age of 22. He had just qualified as a teacher and at an age when life was seductively beckoning him to grasp the possible dream, a freak accident put him in a position where everything was – in a moment – snatched away.
“It was difficult getting back into teaching” he said “There was no-one teaching from a wheel chair and there was a belief in the system it couldn’t be done so I really had to fight for the right.” And fight he did.
He fought, not just for the right to continue in his chosen career, but against the many injustices that face the disabled. Knowing Mark, it is no surprise that he was successful. He is now the head teacher of Undurba State School, in Murrumba Downs; and it is possible that some of his success comes from the unique perspective he brings to problems – he claims to be a “consumate navel gazer!”
He also dreamed one more dream – that was to take the coveted trophy for The World Championship of Public Speaking. As a strong member of the Toastmasters International Organisation, Mark well knew that this was a trophy only occasionally won by members outside of America. But Mark had decided that eventually it should be he that would once more bring the trophy back to Australia.
His passion for public speaking began in 1995 and he brought to this dream the same determination that he had showed in pursuing his other passion, teaching. It appeared that he might have reached it when he was awarded third place in 2007 – but where some may have accepted that as the achievement, Mark did not. His aim was the title, and his focus was absolute, but it still seemed an impossible dream
And yet, this year, at the World Convention of Toastmasters International held in Connecticut, Mark finally realised that dream. His speech about the personal struggles he had overcome, and the life changing moment when faced with a sink full of green tomatoes and one red apple he was asked which would he rather do; blend in as a tomato or stand out as an apple – he chose the water.
His speech – about the unique definition of love – was received with acclamation by the audience as well as the judges – and Mark had reached the pinnacle and turned what appeared to be an impossible dream into a reality.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear from Mark himself just how we can put that determination into our lives and how success is often an outcome of perseverance? Well- you can!
Trish and I have counted Mark as a personal friend for many years, and we are delighted that Mark has agreed to be our guest speaker at the next Self-Development Breakfast on the 16th December.
What an opportunity to be inspired by this great speaker – don’t miss out, go to our website at http://www.trischel.com.au/ and scroll down to the links which will allow you to book your place at the breakfast table with the world champion of public speaking.
We all have dreams in our lives which we perhaps don’t believe we can achieve. And it is all too true that sometimes we give up just before we could have won. What we miss is that real determination to follow that dream and pursue it with perseverance.
Join us and Mark Hunter to find out how we can Dream Possible Dreams and make them come true for us just as they did for Mark.
Michele @ Trischel