The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion

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9780060199906: The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion

On December 26,1983, Art Berg was on his way to see his fiancée when his car went off the road. A broken neck left him a quadriplegic. Doctors immediately began to impose limits on his life: He would not walk, hold a job, or have children. Those doctors never could have guessed that the man lying before them was determined to prevail, and would, in fact, one day wear his own Super Bowl ring. In The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer, Berg recounts his harrowing and inspirational story while imparting larger lessons about life, fear, and passion.

Doctors insisted that Berg would need an electric wheelchair, as a manually operated one would be too taxing for his withered arms. But he knew they were wrong. Ultimately, in his hand-powered wheelchair, Berg set a world record in an ultramarathon. And less than a decade after his accident, he had established a thriving career as a motivational speaker, giving more than 150 speeches around the country each year.

But success did not arrive without deep struggles with discouragement, frustration, anger, and often overwhelming uncertainty. He had to ask himself many tough questions and teach himself to find happiness. While Berg suffers from physical paralysis, he understands that hundreds of thousands of people suffer from emotional paralysis: They feel beaten down by fate, lost, and unfulfilled. Instead of knowing the exhilaration of life's possibilities, they are paralyzed by its limitations. Through his own inspiring journey back to a mobile, satisfying, passion filled life, Berg has learned many important lessons that will help anyone frozen by fear or frustration:

  • Courageous people are not unafraid.

  • The problem isn't what you can't do, it's what you won't do.

  • Don't let a bad day turn into a bad life.

  • Remember, some miracles take time.

  • Adversity does not lead us away from our best ambitions, but closer to them.

The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer is not just the story of one man's happiness; it is a reflection on what happiness means. Art Berg found his own success and built his own peace. In these pages, he doesn't define what his readers' hopes should be; instead, he leads them to ways to define those hopes for themselves.

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Review:

In the preface, Art Berg (Finding Peace in Troubled Waters, Some Miracles Take Time) says he's going to tell us a story, and that we might find that story a tragedy. And while his story of a flipped car and permanent paralysis will inspire sympathy, Berg is so plainspoken and wryly positive, chances are that it will only take readers a couple of chapters before that sympathy becomes a desire for personal growth.

Berg's folksy suggestions include treating a bad day like a cold virus: "you can make all kinds of moaning sounds. But the reality is, it usually will last for 24 to 48 hours." He also recommends that we not ask why bad things happen, because there is never a reasonable answer and the process leads all too easily to what he calls "why-ning."

These notions may seem like oversimplification, but his little snippets of wisdom are surrounded by stories of the types of obstacles most of us never encounter, like dealing with doctors who said he'd never move independently again, flight attendants treating him differently because of his wheelchair, an inability to make a simple "thumbs up" sign to his daughter, and relearning how to accomplish simple daily tasks.

With moving examples like these as the basis for his philosophy, Berg smoothly ties the events of his life together with appealingly simple ideas to help you focus on your true desires and strengths. --Jill Lightner

About the Author:

Art Berg, president of Invictus Communication, Inc., and founder of eSpeakers.com was named the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration, as well as one of Success magazine's Great Comebacks of the Year. At the age of 38, he was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame of the 4,000-member National Speakers Association and elected its president. With numerous professional awards to his credit, Berg was awarded a Super Bowl ring by the 2000 World Champion Baltimore Ravens.

Tragically, Art Berg died in February 2002, but his inspiring story — a singular vision of passion and conviction — lives on in The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer.

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