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The Promise of Hope: Commitment

Edward Grinnan inspiring story talks about his commitment to get better, which he writes about in his new book, The Promise of Hope.

Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories

>> Hi. I’m Edward Grinnan, editor-in-chief of Guideposts and author of the new Guideposts book, The Promise Of Hope, How True Stories Of Hope And Inspiration Changed My Life And How They Can Transform Yours. 

Lori Schneider’s story is one of the most, I think, incredible in the book and one of the most fulfilling that I’ve worked on in my time at Guideposts. And there’s sort of a back story to it. Let me tell you a little bit about Lori Schneider. She is a woman who in 2009 committed herself to climbing the Seven Summits, and those are the highest peaks on each continent. And it’s quite a mountaineering feat to do that. 

And it was, however, particularly inspiring because Lori made that commitment to climb the Seven Summits when she was diagnosed with a terrible disease and her doctors said, Lori– and this was in the prime of her life, and she was an athlete and she was a teacher, and she was someone who was living life to the fullest. And her doctor said, Lori, you need to prepare to live the rest of your life in a wheelchair because you have MS. And Lori thought about it and she said, no, doctor, I need to prepare to climb Mount Everest. 

So the story in the chapter on commitment– that key– one of the fundamental keys to change to personal growth centers around Lori Schneider’s quest to climb all Seven Summits, including the highest peak on Earth, Mount Everest. 

And I’ve always been a little bit of a Mount Everest freak. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Mount Everest in the year I was born. And I remember in 1961 being very impressed by a photo article in National Geographic magazine cataloging the first ascent of Mount Everest by Americans. 

So I’ve always kind of been preoccupied with people who climb Mount Everest. And when I got a Google alert about Lori Schneider climbing Mount Everest to commemorate or celebrate world MS day and to plant a flag for all MS victims at the summit of Mount Everest, I got really interested. And I couldn’t get a hold of her directly. I got a hold her dad in Minnesota, and he helped us follow her up that mountain, we kept track of her on the internet, and I wrote some blogs about it. 

And as I did, Lori’s accomplishment, her commitment, her faith, her refusal to let a crippling disease slow her down in any way, it more than inspired me. It changed me. It made me feel that I could do anything, or at least I could do a lot more than I might believe that I could do because of what Lori Schneider was doing. 

For me, the role that commitment played in my life and in my journey was a commitment to get better. And it followed on the heels of an honesty about what my problems were, what my addictions were, and what my self-destructive habits were, you know? And the true state of my life, and then a willingness to do something about it. But, ultimately, it was that sense of commitment that finally, you know, got me on the road to change. 

And it was commitment that– that really– that compelled me to go into rehab for drugs and alcohol. And it was not a time when– you know, I always say I went into rehab before it was fashionable, and I don’t mean that as flippantly as it might sound, it really was kind of a– it was something that was still shrouded in a bit of shame at the time and I really didn’t want anyone to know about it and I resisted doing it. 

But through a series of extraordinary events that I recount in the book, I ended up going into rehab and really embracing it. And for the first time, beginning to find myself in a sense of spirituality. And for the first time, I think a glimmer of hope that things in my life could change and, indeed, I could become a happy and fulfilled person, and– which happened beyond my wildest dreams, but at that time, you know, a couple of happy days strung together would have been all that I reasonably would have hoped for for me. It ended up being so much more. 

But commitment was the tool that I used to keep going when it got difficult and when I faced setbacks. So chapter four is about commitment, and I hope you enjoy reading it. 


You can order my book by going to Guideposts.org/PromiseofHope. Check back next week, when I’ll share another inspiring Guideposts story from the next chapter of The Promise Of Hope, and I’ll tell you a little bit more about my own story, as well. See you then.

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