Over the last week it has been my privelege to be part of the same agenda as one of the most inspirational individuals I have ever met. Two weeks ago, I hadn’t even heard of him. But having listened to him tell his story and having spoken to him privately, it is impossible to reach any conclusion other than that he is a remarkable individual.
In October 2009 Corporal Andy Reid stepped on an IED whilst on patrol in Afghanistan. He lost both legs and his right arm. The extent of his injuries were such, that months of hospitalisation were on the cards. Andy amazed his medical team and left hospital after just 2 weeks! From the moment he came round once he was back in the UK he started to set himself small goals? Why? because he had a couple of big goals he was determined to carry through and he saw the little goals as steps on the journey.
His small goals started with being able to get from his wheelchair to his bed and back again, because he had been told that he couldn’t leave hospital until he could do that.
His big goals were to propose to his girlfriend Claire (which he’d decided to do whilst in Afghanistan before he was injured) and to attend the presentation ceremony and receive his campaign medal with the rest of his command. But for Andy, attending wasn’t enough. He was determined to be standing to attention and to walk off the parade ground and into the bar for a pint!) unaided. You guessed it. All goals achieved. Andy and Claire got married in September 2011.
What’s more his plans for the future (having already ridden a motorcycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Help the Heroes and undertaken a tandem free fall parachute jump to raise money for the ABF, the Army’s Charity) include doing the St Helen’s 10k and the Great North Run next year, and the London Marathon in 2013.
The key thing about Andy’s story is his mindset. He has had to deal with and adapt to unimaginable changes and challenges. He has learned to tie a tie with one hand, but it takes him two hours to get himself ready each morning. He said two things that really resonated with me and in many ways were an inspirational analogy for the mindset that advisers need to adopt in the run up to the change and challenges the RDR will bring. Firstly he said that despite his injuries he had a choice. He could “adapt with the times or stay stuck in the past”. More poignantly however he said that he could consider himself a “victim” or a “survivor”. Needless to say, he chose the latter.
When it comes to your own RDR changes and challenges, which of these two mindsets will you choose? Because you do have a choice.