This week, I sit down with Dr. James Perdue, host of the Professor of Perseverance Podcast, where he inspires you to face challenges head on in life, and motivates you to be a leader to others.
Each week, James shares the stories of his guests and their powerful message of hope. James draws on his life-changing event at 19, and how that led to many changes in his life until he got to where he is today.
It’s not out of pity; it’s out of being kind.
James talks about his accident at college when he was 19, that left him immediately paralyzed. He shares the irony of how he wasn’t even supposed to be playing the football game at the time, and how that “one more moment” changed his life indelibly.
How Good Parents Build Good People
It was clear when talking with James the love he has for his parents, and how their strength was so important when it came to his recovery and journey back from his accident.
Had James had different parents, it’s very likely he wouldn’t be here today, at least not in the manner he is, and with the personal achievements and victories he’s overcome.
As kids, we’d rather take a spanking than hear the words from our parents, “I’m disappointed in you.”
He cites the example of doctors telling his parents that he’d be too much of a burden for them, and they should put him in a nursing home. But his parents had other ideas.
Why The Triumph Over Adversity is Key for His Show
When it comes to sounding out guests for his show, James takes a very deliberate approach to who he wants on, and why. It’s not that he doesn’t want to share stories, but it’s important to him that the journey is the path to a victory:
- he wants to make sure they’re really over their challenge
- they have to offer hope to the listeners going through the same journey
- they have to be able to help others and not display negativity
James also shares how he went through the 5 stages of grief after his injury, and how that impacted his recovery process in the early days following his paralysis.
The first stage of grief is denial, and part of my denial is that I was in a wheelchair.
The Mindset of Perseverance
With incredibly inspiring stories from every guest, there is something for every listener of James’s show to take away from For James, there were two in particular that he always goes back to.
The first is Captain Charlie Plum, who was one of the very first guests on the Professor of Perseverance Podcast. Charlie shared how a moment of fate changed his life dramatically.
How many times have you heard people say this is the last thing I’m doing, and then something happens to them?
The second is W. Mitchell, who has gone on to become a mentor to James. When he was in a motorcycle accident when he was younger, it resulted in 60% of his body being burnt.
If that wasn’t a challenge enough, four years later Mitchell suffered another tragedy, and James talks about how Mitchell’s determination continues to inspire his own mindset.
I used to be able to do 10,000 things. Now I can only do 9,000. – W. Mitchell
On Dealing with the What If and the Why Me
For many people, we often have the “What if” conversations with ourselves.
- What if this happens
- What if I can’t do this
- What if I’m forever changed
For James, the first five years saw him so convinced he was going to walk again, the What If and the Why Me conversations never really came up.
Later in life, his thinking has evolved, and he shares why these types of internal conversations are moot points.
My thing on the What If is now, What If you don’t try? You don’t know what you can do.
Join us for an incredibly inspiring and wide-reaching chat on adversity, resolve, grit, and the love of living to overcome the challenges that can be thrown our way when we least expect them.
Connect with James:
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Electro-Voice RE320
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen Audio Interface
- Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones
- Podcast Pro Boom Arm by Accu-Lite and O.C. White