Sam Bailey grew up on a farm. During his teen years he decided to take a few years away to see the world. He expected that when he returned home he would take over the reins of the family farm, get married and raise a family. However, Sam’s dreams were shattered when, at just 19 years old, he was in a car accident which left him a quadriplegic.
Sam said there were times in his life when he would look to the heavens and say, “Thanks very much” with anger, resentment and despair. Nineteen years later he says, “Thanks so much” and means it. Sam believes that while a car accident changed his life forever it gave him so much more. It helped him to become aware of what he valued most.
Sam chose to never let his injuries prevent him from being happy or from creating a life that he loves. He chose to be resourceful and persistent. He began by learning to get himself on and off a four wheel dirt bike so that he could navigate his family’s property. This took a lot of trial and error and many falls. He now uses a hoist to get himself into farm machinery. He learnt to drive a car again and went on to learn how to fly an ultralight plane. Sam aims to be the first quadriplegic to fly a helicopter. And while all of those achievements are significant, Sam said the most important event in his life was meeting and falling in love with Jenny.
There Is a Gift In Every Problem
Jenny was a radio journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). She met Sam when she planned to do a story about him. They became friends first and as their relationship grew into something more Sam did a lot of soul searching as to whether it was fair to ask Jenny to share her life with him. When he decided he had something to offer her, he proposed to Jenny live on air during her radio program. They married soon after.
Sam hasn’t let anything stop him living his life to the fullest. But what is so amazing is how grateful Sam is for his life and his handicap. Sam said that he wouldn’t change anything even if that meant he could walk again.
When you develop the habit of being grateful you begin to recognise the gifts in your problems. Being grateful is a habit which will continually support you. A good habit to establish is to fall asleep each night giving thanks. If you do this regularly you will find that your first thought on waking is gratitude. It’s a lovely way to start and end your day.
Sam Bailey’s book Head over Heels tells is an inspirational biography. I highly recommend it.