Episode #20: How To Be Resilient With Author, Speaker and Walking Paraplegic Janine Shepherd

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Janine Shepherd was a cross-country skier training for the Olympics when a utility truck ran her over and crushed her body and her dreams. Nobody expected her to live, let alone walk…but she did both. Not only did she learn how to walk again, she learned how to fly, earning her pilot's license and becoming a flying instructor in a span of 18 months. Her message: You are NOT your body.

Janine’s rich life story has been featured as one of the most popular episodes of Australia’s 60 minutes, and This is Your Life. She’s authored six books, the first of which–Never Tell Me Never–became a feature length film. Janine’s TED talk has been viewed nearly 2 million times.

Janine now travels the globe presenting her inspirational message based on what she calls “the defiant human spirit.” Her themes of resilience and untapped human potential motivate her audiences to overcome adversity and to tackle life’s challenges.

If you’re dealing with seemingly insurmountable challenges, this episode may help give you the perspective and the direction you need to overcome them.

Topics covered in this episode

Some of the questions and topics we cover in this episode include:

  • An overview of Janine’s story - 4:00

  • Unpacking her philosophy: “You are not your body” - 7:00

  • Her biggest lesson from spending six months in a spinal ward - 15:00

  • Her moment of surrender that changed everything - 21:30

  • The tools she uses to manage her emotional state - 30:00

  • Her guiding philosophy of “Loving the hills” - 32:00

  • Her views on happiness - 34:50

Selected links & resources from the episode

Her newest book, Defiant

Ted Talk: A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck


Janine’s Facebook

Janine’s Instagram

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Ruben Chavez is a writer, personal development educator, and host of The Think Grow Podcast. He has created a community of over 3 million readers across his collective platforms, including his popular Instagram page ThinkGrowProsper. Along with this blog, these platforms are his way of inspiring and connecting with thoughtful, creative, and ambitious people just like you.