Staying motivated with MS

Discover ways to help stay focused on reaching your goals
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Staying motivated with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be hard, but with the right mindset it may be possible.

“MS entered my life and eventually took me down a path of self-reinvention.”

I’ve always been a motivated person, even before MS. I was raised to always work hard, help people whenever I can, and never settle. These ideals led me to serve my country in the armed forces, start a culinary arts career, and open restaurants and company brands across the country. I couple my interests in health and wellness with my culinary skills. My passion for entrepreneurship led me to embark on several business ventures as a chef in some of Atlanta’s premier restaurants and country clubs. I’ve even been on national TV for my work in culinary arts.

Despite my best-laid plans, MS entered my life and eventually took me down a path of self-reinvention. Staying true to my ideals, I pushed forward and continued to follow my passions. I found a new outlet helping others by starting my own podcast to motivate and inspire other people living with MS.

As a husband and a father, I feel an obligation to set goals and have dreams for myself and my family. In this journey with MS, my primary objective has been, and continues to be, to show my children that you can survive and thrive even in the face of a life-changing event. I believe that everyone has the potential to face whatever challenges may come their way.

Here are a few principles that have served me well, especially on the tough days:

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Set small goals

Accomplishing small goals can push you to reach the bigger ones. I think that when you set small, realistic, obtainable goals, you are more likely to reach them. A goal can be as simple as walking to the mailbox tomorrow morning. Then you can push yourself to conquer the next challenge. Work with your healthcare team to establish goals that match your personal ability and comfort level. Remember, lasting achievements don’t happen overnight.

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Keep the end goal in mind

I’ve talked about some small goals, but what are some of the bigger goals you’d like to achieve? What’s the big goal all your small goals are leading up to? I firmly believe that when you begin to see and truly understand what it is you want to accomplish, you can effectively put yourself in the best position to go out and get it!

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Focus on positive thoughts

For me, positive thoughts equal positive actions. I remind myself every day (sometimes several times per day) that a negative mind won’t produce positive thoughts. We all have a choice, so I stand firm in the idea that choosing to stay positive will serve me best in life’s journey. Try to gain control over your thoughts. I’ve heard the saying “everything happens for a reason.” MS has made me see the truth in this statement by forcing me to slow down and make significant positive changes in my life. Doing so has allowed me to let go of past anger, develop a relationship with my father, and also mend broken fences with my mother before she passed away unexpectedly. These positive things are what keep me going on days when I may want to give up and give in.

My experience with MS has taught me that I must maintain a sense of purpose. Making a conscious effort to stick to my principles has changed my outlook on life in ways I didn’t think were possible. Our plans may change, but I believe it’s important to still have plans. For as long as I can, I will use my voice, my story, and my experience with MS to help others find some positivity along their journey.

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