Sunday, October 26, 2008


By: Joseph Norman

"People can live 30 days without food, but no human can live more than thirty seconds without hope." - Sean Swarner

Swarner is a man who beat cancer twice; Stage 4 Hodgkin's at age 13 and Askin's Sarcoma at age 17. This was virtually a medical miracle. He has since gone on to climb the highest mountain on every continent in the world, including the fabled 29,035 ft tall Mt. Everest. This made him the first cancer survivor in history to achieve such a feat. (

His is a story of persistence, vitality, passion, and most importantly, hope. He has now turned his adventures into opportunities to raise awareness for cancer through his organization; Cancer Climber Association. At the peak of Mt. Everest, he left a flag of countless names of people affected by cancer. Now he is planning a trip to the North Pole and the South Pole, raising money for cancer awareness with his flags, to complete what is known by climbers as the Adventure Grand Slam.

What can we learn from a story like Sean's?

We do not know how long we have on this wonderful place called Earth. Everything can be taken from us in an instant, so we must make certain that our pursuits are powered by 100% commitment from the heart. If you do what you love, then you will make your mark on this world because it will be done in a way that makes an impression.

I got a chance to spend a day with Sean recently and I sensed this spirit in him. He's doing what he loves to do for a cause that he believes in because of how it personally changed his life. That is a beautiful gift to give to the world.

Sean confessed his foundational philosophy, "I'm committed to shouting from the roof tops that there is hope for the hopeless, and miracles up and down the sides of whatever mountains people are climbing in their life."

When faced by challenges in our lives it is hope that keeps us going. Hope for better days. Hope that our efforts bare the fruit we intend them to. Hope that miracles exist and we can achieve our dreams.

Your dreams are not only a possibility. They are an opportunity created by your mind to achieve something beyond yourself. Do not forfeit them with a lack of faith but embrace them with hope!

My challenge to you this week is to examine those dreams that toil your mind day and night. Are your daily actions moving you closer to achieving them? Or, have you lost faith in your ability to accomplish them? Give yourself permission to light the fire inside of you again! Life is too short to pursue things without your whole heart!