Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California.
Listen to Steven Fujita's interview on the Book Club with John Austin, which aired November 2, 2010, about his novella, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker's vampire novel, Dracula. http://www.internetradiopros.com/bookclub/?p=episode&name=2010-11-01_zbookcub_for_110210_1st_segment_steven_fujita.mp3
His other book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, is available on Kindle. This book promotes the idea of using time and savings to build wealth. His new book, Toe Up to 10K, was released in September 2014. This book chronicles his recovery from spinal cord injury he sustained in 2012. Visit his website at: www.stevenfujitaauthor.com
Where to Find Inspiration
To say recovering from a spinal cord injury is tough is an understatement. Like any other obstacle that needs to be overcome, inspiration plays a big part. While recovering from my own spinal cord injury, I tried to find inspiration from wherever I could. And you know, what? Inspiration is all around us, if you just look.
1. Family. This is the first place to look for inspiration. Of course your immediate family comes to mind first, but there is your extended family, your friends, neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers. It is an inspiration when you feel this support.
2. Social media. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the great positive vehicles for social media is the coming together of strangers. It is not only a place to share whimsical updates of yourself, but a place to post updates of yourself or others who are facing an obstacle. When people, strangers, really, find out – they start commenting and providing so much support that it is inspirational.
3. Stories about others. When I was in the hospital, I knew about the football player, Dennis Byrd’s determination to walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury. He had written a book, and I really wanted to read it. A friend bought me a copy, and I read the book in a matter of days. Since then, I’ve combed the internet for other inspirational stories, whether or not they are related to spinal cord injury. Reading about how others have dealt with their obstacles inspire you to face yours.
4. Music. The first song that came to my mind after leaving the ICU (this is when I first starting thinking of my future once I was discharged from the hospital) was Josh Groban’s rendition of You Raise Me Up. It became my anthem for a while, until I reached the point where I could rely mostly on myself, and then, later in my recovery, I adopted Fun.’s song, Carry On. Not that they were thinking about a middle-aged man learning to walk again when they recorded that song, but I used some of the lyrics in that song and pretended it applied to me.
5. Movies. Rudy comes to mind as an inspirational film to many people. It’s on my list. But there are many others. Even some movies that don’t have an underlying theme of inspiration can be inspiring. The James Cagney movie, City For Conquest is a slice of life drama, but his character who gets blinded as a result of a boxing match, is not bitter despite being handed a raw deal inside and outside the ring, and I found that attitude inspiring.
6. Gratitude and Attitude. Being inspired is usually easier when in the right frame of mind. Instead of being bitter and negative, being grateful and having a positive attitude will help inspire you.
7. Humor. For almost 30 years, I’ve felt that laughter is really good for your health. Not only does it brighten your mood, but it also inspires. While recuperating, I loaded up on episodes of I Love Lucy and short films of the Three Stooges.
8. Affirmations. Daily affirmations to oneself is sort of “talking yourself’ into it. If you affirm and visualize, you will believe in yourself and that is inspiring.
9. Motivational Speakers. Tony Robbins happens to be my favorite, but motivational coaches are just that, coaches to help you improve yourself. The ones you relate to the best will inspire you.
10. Kaizen. This is a Japanese term with no exact English translation, but basically it means continuous improvement through small changes. Basically, if you keep moving forward, no matter how small the steps, eventually, you will cover a great distance.
Overcoming obstacles requires determination, but being inspired helps a great deal in keeping that determination. If you need to look for places to find inspiration, the above ten places should be a good place to start.
Title: Toe Up to 10K
Author: Steven Fujita
In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs. “Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.