I have been given a unique platform from which to serve. Service to others, while beneficial to them, is essential to my own well being. To serve is to be favorable and be of use to others, despite our age, gender, race or disability. Many of us walk through life struggling without any hope, opportunity, or mentors to give a hand up to lead us on the correct path. Life can be tough and made even more challenging to journey through when alone, without anyone to rely on for advice or guidance. To serve others by sharing my story is not only therapeutic for myself but if it can inspire or motivate one person than my purpose is being fulfilled.
On January 18, 2007, I was severely injured. I was detoured on a path of uncertainty and it would lead me to severe guilt, depression, and self-pity. One day, with many influential people at my side, I made the decision that I did not want to live my life this way. I wanted to live my life guiding others and fulfilling a life mapped out not by the IED but by the Lord above. The life ahead of me was a blank canvas that I needed to map out. We spend years seeking the purpose of our existence and I thought I knew mine; I was to be a United States Marine. Post injury, it was a question I had replayed to myself over and over again after finding out how severe my injuries were. I was blind and lost both of my legs! This new mission would direct me down countless avenues yet along the way I began to learn and understand who the actual Matthew Bradford was and my new purpose. Through the years I slowly began answering it and understanding why God kept me alive. People were watching. People responded to things I was doing. People encouraged me and saw my potential as they were encouraged and realized their own potential. Inspiration and Motivation gained a lot of momentum.
I have inspired many through positivity, humor and physically challenging myself. To share my story, to inspire others by encouraging them to better themselves as I better myself motivates me to continue conquering each day one at a time. To serve others, we must first serve ourselves. Before serving others and enhancing ourselves, we must understand our purpose and who we are. As we begin serving others, we begin to feel the glory around us.
So here I am today. On my new journey, my new path, my new purpose. If I can inspire one person a day, whether it is by a post on social media, during one of my speaking engagements, reading this, or an article/video they saw, my mission for the day is accomplished! The next day I am motivated to push harder and keep reaching out to whatever audience I have to help serve them. We all live a remarkable life! It is time for us to share our stories, the good and the bad, to SERVE others who need a hand up and see that there is always a way if they have the will.