Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

August 8, 2012

One Thing You Can Do To Change The Rest Of Your Life.

We all like to think that we would do anything, no matter how hard, if it could change the rest of our life. By doing something breathtakingly bold, we could tip luck in our favor.  Irrevocably shift the cosmos toward our beleaguered position.

You can do that.  Despite what you might think of as “wishful thinking”, you are in control of your future.

Of how things turn out.

You can change the rest of your life with one choice.

It just might not be the decision that you thought it was.

Michael Chase was at the end of his rope. A retired paramedic, he was now homeless. Living out his van. Moving from city to city. Making money from the odd job that he could hustle.

That’s when he met her. Michael was on the street when he saw a woman having a seizure. She fell to the ground. Convulsing. Busy morning commuters barely stopped to move around her. Most not even looking at her as she lie there barely moaning.

Michael sprang into action. He had no money. No home. Not even enough gas in his beat-up van to drive the women to the hospital. But he gave what he had. Himself.

Pushing through the crowd, Michael cleared a space around the women and began to stabilize her. Looking up, he told a man walking by on his phone to call 911. And he got back to work performing CPR on her. Holding her hand until the ambulance arrived.

When the woman was able to get out of the hospital, she asked Michael to come spend the afternoon with her and her family. They walked outside the house, along a river in Georgia, talking. That’s when she found out that Michael was homeless. His gift of kindness seemed all the more special given his own problems at the time.

She rented Michael a hotel room for the week. A better place for him to sleep at night. And when the week was over, Michael packed up his van and started to head out to find another day job. That’s when she asked him for his disposable cell phone number. A long chance that they could stay in touch.

Michael wasn’t even sure he would have enough money to keep the number live. But he shared it anyway. No expecting to hear from her again.

The days turned into months. And the months turned into a friendship. A friendship between a man who gave what he had and a woman who needed that gift.

A few months later she got sick again and Michael didn’t stop to think twice. He begged and borrowed the 250 miles worth of gas money he needed to drive to her. That was the last time they were apart. Michael married that woman. And together they opened a successful painting company outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael’s gift transformed his life. He met his soulmate. He found the courage to get back on his feet. To find love and success and inspiration.

That’s a gift that he hopes keeps transforming other lives.

Each Christmas, Michael and his wife find three or four homeless, out-of-luck people and pay for them to stay in a hotel through the holiday season. Each night, they bring these families home-cooked meals, warm clothing, and help them reconnect with lost family and other friends they once knew.

Four of these people Michael has helped are now off the streets, working jobs, and back in touch with their family. One of the people now follows Michael’s example and helps several more homeless people every year around Christmas.

One gift. From a man who had nothing to give. And it transformed the rest of his life. He found love. He lost his fear. He inspires us to do the same.

You might call it luck.  Or chance.  Or good timing.

But those are just excuses.

Petty explanations for the difference you can make when you give what you have to others.

When you stop believing the worst about you and start sharing the best you have to offer.

Would you do anything to change your life for the better?

Then start giving.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.