We all have life-changing events occur during our lives. Adversity. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2002 at 41 years young. I rode the emotional rollercoaster from disbelief to shock to anger to denial to isolation to depression. My presentation inspires others to get though these emotions by giving yourself a wake-up call and creating a plan. The ultimate outcome is acceptance and even embracing the adversity. I call myself Parkinson's Proud and have truly embraced the situation. I was the top lawyer at a NASDAQ-listed company. Now I get to inspire people all over the world. Was Parkinson's "for the best," I have made it so. Most talk about overcoming adversity. I have, and you can, Embrace Adversity.
Life-changing adversity includes demotion or job loss, downsizing, divorce, illness, death or illness of a loved one, even change of company management, etc.
When you engage me to do a success or inspirational presentation or workshop, you receive a customized product specific to your organization. I prepare myself for each assignment by actually utilizing the action steps contained in my book, DECIDE SUCCESS, including creating an End-Vision, putting out my Best Effort, being Prepared, raising my level of Intensity, etc. You will experience a speaker and workshop facilitator who is full of insights, humor and experiences and who has an unbelievably positive attitude, uncompromising integrity and faith in himself, others, a higher power and that life has purpose.
Guest Commentator, CNN HEADLINE NEWS, Prime Time
Member of the National Speakers Association.
Author of DECIDE SUCCESS
Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Management Honors degree, Summa Cum Laude
Juris Doctorate, Cornell Law School
Faculty of the University of Louisville, College of Business.Contributing Author of ROADMAP TO SUCCESS (with Deepak Chopra)
Contributing Author of COURAGEOUS STORIES OF INSPIRATION
PARKINSON'S PROUD since 2002 at 41 years young
At the age of 10, John Baumann was playing outside with his best friend when a sudden brawl with his brother led to a trip to the hospital.
Hit in the head with a rock, Baumann received 10 stitches and a heap of pain, but the injury left him neither bitter nor angry at his brother. In fact, it did the opposite. “On the way home (from the hospital), (we) stop and get ice cream,” said Baumann, a New York native now living in Louisville. “When I get home, I'm told that I don't have to go to bed at 7:15. Because of the possible concussion, I had to stay up 'til midnight. And my response was … 'This is the happiest day of my life!' ”
Certainly an ironic declaration, but the statement is much more than that. It's a prime example of Baumann's incredible ability to focus on the silver lining in the negative – A characteristic that's helped him cope with difficult obstacles, including his diagnosis with Parkinson's disease more than 10 years ago at the age of 41.
Stricken with a degenerative disorder typically detected in people in there '60s, Baumann – a former top corporate attorney – chose to do something good with his diagnosis. Leaving the practice of law, he began a new chapter as motivational speaker.
“(My mother) – always been full of wisdom – said to me one day while we were talking, 'Everything happens for a reason, you know that, John.' I said, 'Time out. I'm a lawyer, I've been a lawyer. I look at words, I heard that word change. … You've always said my entire life, everything happens for the best – For the best. Now you're saying everything happens for a reason.' ”
John's mother's reasoning was simple: “Well, I can't imagine your Parkinson's is for the best.”
Not to be dismayed, Baumann used his mother's statement as motivation. Now a highly-sought-after speaker, Baumann has delivered inspirational lectures all across the U.S., from Phoenix to New York, Hawaii and Cincinnati, where his mom first heard one of his speeches. “My mother (came up to me afterward and) said to me – she didn't say it was for the best – but she said, 'Now I understand why you left the practice of law.' ”
The affirmation was gratifying, nonetheless. But, Baumann still believes his diagnosis is for the best. “What would I be doing (had I not been diagnosed)?” he posed. “I would be in an office with the door shut reviewing contracts, instead of trying to help people live well with Parkinson's or live well with any life-changing event.”
Had he not been diagnosed, he'd likely have never met his now-wife Bernadette, either. Baumann was introduced to the fitness and nutrition enthusiast on his quest to become healthier. Bernadette helped him drop 25 pounds and live a more energetic, fuller life.