abstract of "Think About It"
Mike Patrick is a motivational speaker and health educator who has spoken to thousands of student, parent, teacher, business, community and religious groups throughout the country. His presentation entitled "Think About It" helps individuals overcome obstacles, creatively solve problems and perform successfully - at school, at work and at home. His message includes candor, wit and humor.
Patrick begins his presentations with his personal story of overcoming obstacles. As a high school junior, he looked forward to a bright future. He was a National Honor student and a free safety on his high school football team. His world came crashing down in his first varsity game when he went in to make a tackle. His face mask caught on the ball carrier’s knee pad, breaking his neck and leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
The basic premise which underscores the entirety of Patrick’s presentation is "[t]he problem is not the issue, the issue is how you deal with the problem." Using the dramatic example of his accident and his adjustment to daily challenges, Patrick describes how he struggled to develop a mental and emotional process for dealing with the twists and turns his life has taken over the years. Mike points out each and every member of his audiences has problems, obstacles loom before them. Issues that — with the right attitude — can be dealt with successfully.
"Think About It" covers a wide range of topics which vary with audience demographics. Very young children marvel at his electric wheelchair and ask hundreds of questions, occupying the majority of the allotted time for his presentation. Junior and senior high school presentations include examination of suicide, depression, peer pressure, sexuality, chemical use, leadership and family relationships. Similar themes are covered with community group and adult audiences. In addition, employment, parenthood and economic challenges are addressed. With all audiences, attitude, perception, decision-making and personal responsibility for the consequences of actions are discussed. Each of these issues is handled with openness, courage and honesty.
Mike Patrick is a realist. When asked why he feels his presentation is important, particularly to school kids, he says, "I want them to start thinking and to learn if they think things through, they can find a solution to just about any problem. The problem isn’t the issue, the issue is how you deal with the problem."