Tim Hague

It may rhyme with the 80’s rock band AC/DC but the only thing air conditioning and Parkinson’s has in common with the band is that they both can make me shake all over.

I was about to take the stage in front of 200 or so healthcare leaders and I was quite uncertain that I could stand still or string two sentences together. How in the world was this suppose to work?

After three months on the road for a whirlwind of speaking engagements, meetings and dinners, I am finally settling in for a little while — a week or two, anyway!

My speaking engagements took me to the States several times, as well as to a few prime locations in Canada this past spring. I was the keynote speaker for top hospital executives coming together for their annual meetings – usually around 150-300 people in each venue. The audiences were full of CEOs, CFOs, CMOs and CNOs; an alphabet soup of healthcare leadership. One group included patients and care partners, as well.   All of them were leaders in their field. All of them were looking for inspiration and tangible ways to Live Your Best.

As I spoke to these various groups it was brought home to me again that to live our best, we all need a little inspiration. Even leaders need a pep talk sometimes. We all need to recharge and recognize that living our best sometimes includes reinventing the way we approach each day, and maybe the way we approach our “best.”

My inspiration often comes from my audience. This time was no exception. I took something different away from each group of people in the last three months – and I am always so grateful to hear what various individuals take away from my message. I had several presentations to nurses. I love talking with nurses! Not only do they give me a sense of familiarity and great comfort, but they are just so much fun! Leaving behind the warm spring weather of Winnipeg for the snow covered streets of Banff in May was a bit startling but we took it all in stride and had a blast.   In Nova Scotia, our mutual nursing stories gave way to laughter, tears and discoveries into how we can live our best.

In Baltimore, MD, I talked to 200 or so PwPs (People with Parkinson’s) and their care partners, who had traveled through a driving rain storm to hear me kick off a symposium about all things Parkinson’s. Understanding full well how difficult some mornings can be I trust they came away as encouraged as I did.

In Springfield, IL, near the end of my travels, the combination of exhaustion and cold (from the crazy air conditioning of all things) threw my PD into a tailspin. I was stiff and it felt like my whole body would never stop shaking. It is a fascinating combination of feelings. Having waited a little to late to take an extra dose of medication (which is medically approved!) I had to will my mind and body into action. While my brain knew that relief was just a mere little yellow tablet and 30 minutes away, I had to convince my body. I had to get myself on stage and get started. What inspired me besides the expectant faces in the audience? I dug deep for something, and came up with this: I had to reinvent my approach to my “best” today. These people know I have PD, but they don’t necessarily experience it with me fully. They might see me shaking, but isn’t that part of my “character?” It is something that I learned some time ago and try to remember, that others don’t see half as much of what I feel. I may feel a raging storm inside when all they really see, in actual fact, is a tremor. This time I wasn’t just talking about having PD, I was showing how to work through it by standing up to it.

While my best that day was far different from my best on a day when the synapses align, I’m not tired, not cold and not shaky, it was still my best. At the end of the day, we can’t ask for more than our best. So my question for all of us today is; ‘Can we rest in our best today?’ We can never do more than our best and striving to do so is simply depressing.

Live Your Best!


Find more inspiration from Tim Hague by reading his book titled Perseverance, the seven skills you need to survive, thrive, and accomplish more than you ever imagined. Click the book for purchase information.

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