My name is Russell Lehmann.
I have come a long, long way in life. When I was 12, at the height of my distress, I was pretty much non-verbal. I was too afraid of the outside world to speak to anyone other than my parents. I stayed inside my house as much as possible, clinging to my parents, terrified of any external stimuli, such as the doorbell ringing, the TV on, or the microwave going off. I was a prisoner inside my own body. I would have multiple meltdowns every day, curling into a ball in the corner of a room, just crying for hours. I was extremely low-functioning, and could barely take care of myself.
Now? I am 28 and an award-winning and internationally recognized motivational speaker, author, poet and advocate. My story is archived in the Library of Congress.
I have learned to embrace anything life may throw at me, even though I still struggle. In fact, it has been through my continuous struggles that I have found my success. The lessons we learn in life, as well as the insights we gain, are found during our most difficult and trying of times. If I was not presented with my daily challenges and dark moments, I would not have acquired the wisdom I now use to motivate others to embrace the one thing all of humankind has in common: struggle.
Learn to run towards, and not away, from your fears. Do not turn your back on your challenges, but rather stare back at them. How many times, in hindsight, have we come to kiss the feet of adversity? Use this hindsight to generate the foresight needed to overcome the next obstacle that is put in your path.
I am strong because I have been weak. I’m fearless because I’ve been afraid and I succeed because I have failed.
I used to shun my trials and tribulations. Now, however, I embrace them with open arms. I have found my success through my struggle. You can, too.
Follow Russell’s journey as he spreads a message of hope, inspiration and compassion around the world!