Aron Ralston
Have you ever heard anyone cutting his own arm? Aron Ralston says “Looking Back, this is one of the greatest things that has happened to me. I did not lose anything when I cut my arm off. I gained my entire life back as well as the lessons and and the gifts that came along.!”

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 Today, I’m excited to share an awe-inspiring true saga of Aron Ralston. His ability to overcome impossible pain and suffering to survive shows us what we can achieve with the spirit within us.

Ready? Let’s GO!

PART 1: The Struggle

On one sunny morning in April 2003, Aron sets out on a solo hiking trip to the canyons of Utah without telling anyone. Little did he know, he was about to face the ultimate test of survival.

“I did not want my mom to know about my trip as she would freek out. So, I left telling no one. On hindsight, It was a bad selfish Idea!”

As Aron explores the majestic beauty of the canyon, disaster strikes – a colossal boulder of 362 kg comes crashing down, trapping his right arm against the canyon wall. Aron tries with all his might to move the boulder, but it won’t budge.

Desperate but hopeful, he decides to keep himself going by recording videos with his camcorder. He starts by using his pocket knife to chip away at the boulder and even as the days go by he makes little progress.

Each day he tries a different way to free himself but nothing works. During this time, he carefully rations his food and the little water he has left, and when it is gone he is even forced to drink his own urine.

From time to time, he screams and shouts for help, but all he can hear is the taunting echoes of his own voice. Each passing day chips away at his hope and energy, leaving him stranded and uncertain of his fate.

Tired and hopeless, he faces the terrifying prospect of dying alone in the wilderness. Five days pass by and nothing seems to work and Aron starts to feel that his story is about to end.

PART 2: The Perspective Shift 

On the 5th night, something incredible happens. He has an “out-of-body experience” and sees a vision of his future 3-year-old son making eye contact with him. This incident sparks a new hope that he indeed has a happy future after all. This causes a big shift in his perspective, creating a newfound determination to fight for his life.

On the 6th morning, Aron wakes up with renewed hope and energy and makes a monumental decisionHe decides to break his right arm off. At first, he uses the tools from his backpack – a tourniquet to limit the blood flow to the right arm. Then, using his knowledge of torque, he breaks the bones in his arm (Ouch!) and, finally using the small, blunt pocket knife slowly amputates his right hand, one nerve at a time (Ahhh!).

“I felt the worst pain that I had never experienced and probably will never experience ever again!”

Freedom at last.

It takes nearly 127 hours of unimaginable struggle for Aron to free himself from the jaws of slow and certain death. As he leaves the place of his epic battle, he takes a picture of the boulder and walks a fair bit before finding help from a family on a hike. He finally gets airlifted by the helicopter searching for him and reunites with his family.

“Looking Back, this is one of the greatest things that has happened to me. I did not lose anything when I cut my arm off. I gained my entire life back as well as the lessons and and the gifts that came along.!”

 The Lessons

So, Aron Ralston did something which we cannot even imagine and hence his story continues to inspire many people across the globe. His incredible journey teaches many critical lessons but here are my top picks for you.

1. Your Future can Rescue your Present: “Be In the Present” they say but we easily forget the value that the present moment brings to us. Having an inspiring future enables us to make the most of the present by taking timely action. In Aron’s case, he needed that vision of his future child to act decisively. You don’t need to wait for adversity for massive action. Just choose a crazy, inspiring future that pulls you into action today. If you dont have one, get one.

2. Today can be your Second Chance: If you feel stuck in life or career for a long time, and can’t see a way out, don’t lose hope or drop your belief. Aron needed to wait for 5 days to find that trigger for extraordinary action. All we need is a trigger which can come from any source. Your trigger for transformation may be just around the corner. Be open, be ready.

3. You have to let go of something important to gain something bigger: At times, life throws you at crossroads and you have to choose a path to move forward. Aron could not have moved forward if he had not let his arm go and when he did, a whole new world opened up for him. If you find yourself losing opportunities because you are holding onto something important out of habit – a belief, job or a relationship, it’s time to question it and maybe, let it go.

Well, that’s it for this week. Watch this video if you are hungry for more about Aron. I hope to bring you another inspiring story next week.

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