My mother had said to me hundreds of times, “Everything happens for the best.” Almost a year after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s sitting in her living room having casual conversation, her favorite commentary changed. “Well, remember John, everything happens for a reason.” What had always been the “best” was now a mediocre “reason”, solemn and unexplainable “reason”? When I confronted her about it, she reluctantly explained, “I can’t imagine that your Parkinson’s Disease is for the best.” I felt a sudden rush. I didn’t know it then, but I had been looking for something to inspire me. Right then and there I made the decision to give her optimistic “best” back. Somehow, some way, I would make my having Parkinson’s “for the best.” The fog and denial that I had been living in started to lift. I felt a purpose. That’s why I wrote this book. I was a successful student and professional. The same principles and steps I used to develop my life then applies equally to living life to the fullest after a life-changing event. Your own medical condition or one of a loved one, personal loss, change in your job or even relationship situation can suddenly stop you in your tracks and change the your life as you had known it to be. It does not have to break you. You can make it “for the best”.
If you think that being diagnosed with Parkinson’s is the best thing that happened to me. The answer is no. Having unlimited amount of money, traveling the world first class, having and occasional dinner with my favorite Red Sox player, Carl Yastrzemski, that could be the best thing that could happen to me. But you could ask how can anyone be so upbeat? Be so optimistic? Knowing they have an incurable, progressive, neurologic, debilitating disease? At 41 years young?” Is it possible for someone to have had a “so called” great life with a successful career in the field that he loves, in a life style that he loves, suddenly taken away from him. Yet remain uninterrupted. Strong. Happy. Almost superhuman. That answer is a definite “yes,” but most of the time. Sometimes I get sad. I am pissed off at times. I sometimes feel scared. I know what the long-term looks like. I have seen people diagnosed with Parkinson’s “not doing so well.” It would be a lie if I said I didn’t put myself in those shoes for a millisecond. At times, I need to lean on my Bernadette. Reminding myself to “Let go and let God.” I have to force myself to bring my focus back to what is now and follow my “life purpose.” Then I can be the person you see in my inspirational talks. The voice you hear when you read my book, DECIDE SUCCESS: You Ain’t Dead Yet. The person you talk to one-on-one and look to for hope. The enthusiastic, passionate and inspirational person who is John Baumann. It’s through pain and fear that builds a warrior. That’s why you fight. There is not a person throughout history that made a difference who did not have to fight. I see the fear in the eyes of the people in my audiences. They want to fight, but need guidance to find their mission. They find peace in my words of hope. I am determined to make my Parkinson’s “for the best” and I will succeed. Make the decision. DECIDE SUCCESS. I live the title of my book. And, by the way, I ain’t dead yet.
DECIDE SUCCESS is not just another inspirational storybook or a self-help book loaded with clichés. It uses short stories to bring the success principles to life, engaging imagery. I have dedicated my life to inspiring, explaining my twelve action steps to achieve the success you truly desire to, and bringing hope to as many people as possible.