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Life at its Fullest

Reprinted from PN February 2009

Motivational speaker and corporate coach Scott Chesney has a "master's degree in life experiences." His postinjury insights reach audiences around the world.

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Scott Chesney's wheelchair recently crossed the goal line after another season—of tailgating.

A world traveler as a motivational speaker and corporate coach, Chesney has been paralyzed for two decades. Still, this past football season he chowed down and cheered at National Football League games such as the New York Giants versus his favorite Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets versus the Miami Dolphins.

Time with his wife Pratiksha (Pat) and their children, Nia and Ray, is most important to Scott Chesney.

An athlete at 15, Chesney was strong, with high hopes. He had career plans and thoughts of fathering children. Today, after dealing with spinal-cord injury (SCI), he says whether it's SCI, polio, multiple sclerosis (MS), muscular dystrophy (MD), or any other condition or disease, "What I realize is, no matter what your disability may be, there is always room for growth and happiness."

Master Teachers

According to Chinese tradition, Confucius was a thinker, political figure, and educator. His teachings form much of Chinese thought on education and how a person should live and interact with others, forms of society, and government.

Similarly, Chesney has been described as a master of living life to its fullest, while addressing more than a million people in 38 countries. After awakening to paralysis from a sudden spinal stroke, he's become a well-recognized workshop and keynote presenter, and his insights have been applauded by Fortune 500 corporations, hospitals, rehab centers, associations, and a United Nations audience.

In 1997, after Chesney spent years struggling emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—a chance to travel the world. This self-discovery, or "self-recovery," took him to 15 countries in 15 months. "I explored alternative or complementary medicine," Chesney says. "A newly-found self-awareness evolved slowly, which led me to explore the depths of pain, anger, and sadness I had suppressed for so long."

As old emotional and mental wounds were addressed and healed, "a new outlook on life began to take form," Chesney admits, and when he returned from his first global tour, he spoke at numerous corporations, universities, and hundreds of schools across the U.S.

Chesney says that after the "tremendous response from people of all ages and walks of life, it was suggested I take this message of hope, inspiration, and motivation back around the world to help others."

As a "life student," Chesney has examined transformational techniques of the world's exceptional teachers of human behavior, such as Tibetan spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama. Chesney believes he has tied these leaders' wisdom with his to create a personal blueprint for navigating life as a personal empowerment coach for adults, teens, and families.

With his wife, Pratiksha (Pat), Chesney journeyed to 26 countries from July 1999 to July 2000.

"Our message was heard by more than 40 million people. Sounds like a great excuse to write a book...a work in progress," he says.

On September 13, 1999, the Chesneys had a private audience with the 14th Dalai Lama in his home, high atop the mountains of Dharamsala, India. That aligns with Chesney's favorite writer, Dan Millman (The Peaceful Warrior) and Chesney's favorite quote: "Be the change you wish to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi).

Chesney, of Verona, N.J., holds a communications degree from Seton Hall University (South Orange, N.J.) and a "master's degree in life experiences." He's a trustee of Children's Specialized Hospital in New Jersey; sits on the advisory boards of the New Jersey Disability, Health, and Wellness Program and the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System; and co-chairs the New Jersey chapter of the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.


Find out more about Scott Chesney's inspirational life in this month's PN.

 

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Life at its Fullest

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