How I Survived A Fire And Woke Up from Accidental Living - by John O'Leary

How I Survived A Fire and Woke Up from Accidental Living

accidental living
Note: This is a guest blog by the inspiring John O’Leary.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Marshal Ferdinand Foch

We all endure moments when everything in life seems to be progressing exactly as planned: our kids are healthy, business is thriving, and dreams are unfolding.

Then boom!

An explosion!

Life completely changes.

Maybe your moment was an unwanted diagnosis.

A sick child.

A sudden death.

A business deal gone bad.

Regardless the cause, your entire life was rocked.

I call these moments inflection points.

This is a pinpointed moment in time that changes everything that follows. In an instant, the trajectories of life, business, and relationships are altered.

There are positive scenarios, too.

The moment a new relationships buds, the offer of an incredible opportunity at work, or coming to a new understanding or perspective in life.

accidental living

How you choose to react in these moments, either positively or negatively, matters profoundly. Whether that moment ends up impacting your life positively or negatively is a choice.

It’s your choice.

These choices add up to the life you are living today. And these choices determine the life you’ll lead tomorrow.

Friend, if you do one thing today do this…

Wake up to the reality that you have one life to live, one opportunity to impact, and one legacy to author.

Whether your life story is an epic to celebrate or a tragedy to mourn has little to do with the events within your life and everything to do with the manner in which you respond to those events.

From now on, no more sleepwalking; no more accidental living.

My name is John O’Leary, and I’ve lived through worse than most can imagine.

At age nine, a fire exploded and burned 100% of my body.

I was given a one-percent chance to live. I fought extraordinary odds.

I spent five months in the hospital, underwent dozens of surgeries, lost all of my fingers to amputation and had to relearn to walk, write, and feed myself.

I endured, persevered, and survived – largely because others emerged, served and inspired.

accidental living

I now live to share the life-giving lessons from my story in hope that I can spark the extraordinary possibility of your story.

I share my lessons as a tribute to those who leapt into the flames to save me – who worked tirelessly to restore me – who pushed me to write – though I no longer had fingers – who held me close when the days were dark and the nights scary.

I share my lessons as an invitation for you to choose to wake up to the fullness of your life, to embrace the amazing gift of each moment, and to celebrate the joy of your inspired life!

What I know for certain is this…

You can’t always choose the path you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk.

Today is your day. Are you ready to be inspired – to harness the power of your daily choices, the worthiness of your personal story, and strength of your inner purpose?

Are you ready to be free to respond Yes to past adversity – Yes to future possibility –  and YES to waking up to the miraculous gift of each moment?

Are you ready to be absolutely On Fire for your life?

Well then don’t wait any longer. Today is your day; to live your life ON FIRE.

When John O’Leary was 9 years old, he suffered burns over 100% of his body and was expected to die. He is now an inspirational speaker and author, teaching more than 50,000 people around the world each year how to live inspired. John’s first book, ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life was published March 15, 2016 by Simon & Schuster. John is a proud husband and father of four and resides in St. Louis, MO. Order John’s book today at any local bookseller or at

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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