Reboot Podcast Episode #136 – Adversity As Opportunity – with Marcus Aurelius Anderson

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Marcus Aurelius Anderson

Marcus Aurelius Anderson

Professional Coach, Speaker & Author

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Episode Description

Joining Jerry on this episode of the Reboot Podcast is Marcus Aurelius Anderson, author of The Gift of Adversity: Overcoming Paralysis and Pain to Find Purpose.

While preparing to deploy with the US Army, Marcus suffered a severe spinal cord inquiry which left him paralyzed from the neck down. In this conversation, Marcus shares how turning to gratitude provided the antidote to the denial and anger he felt in the aftermath of his accident, describing how his paralysis forced him to literally stand still and courageously, tenderly examine his life with honesty. Jerry and Marcus chat about times of hardship and the gift of opportunity and inquiry that lies in adversity, if only we are willing to see it.

The Gift of Adversity: Overcoming Paralysis and Pain to Find Purpose 

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“This is the time to do the hard work, to take a look at all the things that are ugly and unfortunate so that we can try to turn that into something better.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson

“There’s what we hope will happen, there’s what we fear will happen, and then there’s what actually happens in our lives.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson

“What am I here for? What am I supposed to be doing? And where do I go from here if this is what my life is going to be?” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson

“I desperately wanted to walk again, but that ended up being a by-product of looking at all the other things in my life, all the other stuff that I had tried to step around and circumvent.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson 

“I felt like it was easier for me to push harder than to step back. It was easier for me to put the gas down than to pump the brakes and really look at what was going on.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson 

“If we have the ability to stay with it and sit with it when the wound’s still open, that’s when we can figure out what caused it, we can figure out what’s in it, we can figure out what continues to cut us, or how we cut ourselves.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson

“We all fall down, we all feel pain, we all want love, we all want respect, we all want freedom. And that’s what makes us human.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson

“Adversity shines a light on the things that we don’t like. It forces us to really look at the chink in the armor unapologetically and examine it.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson

“How have I been complicit in maintaining systems of suffering that I say I don’t want? And how have those systems served me? And how do they block the world that I want to see from coming into existence?” – Jerry Colonna

“If you look at empathy, it’s spelled very similarly to empty because we have to empty ourselves to be able to be there for that person, to listen to them, and to see what they’re really saying, what they really need.” – Marcus Aurelius Anderson