Toby, happy as can be with his “red legs”
Hope you’re having a good week.
I wanted to share something with you that I believe will help you have a great week, if you’re only having a good week so far.
Our son Toby, who has Down Syndrome, has been an inspiration to all of us.
I, my family and many of my clients are absolutely convinced Toby was put on this earth to teach all of us “adults” how we should live our lives with happiness and appreciation.
In fact, I wrote a book about his life philosophy called “Lessons From Toby: 52 Life Lessons About How To Stay Centered In Your Personal and Business Life”, you can learn more about the book here.
A few years ago Toby was experiencing discomfort, and then some pain in his left hip.
We took him to his doctor for an x-ray and we were told he had Perthes disease, a disorder of the hip joint.
In a nutshell, it means his hip bone has moved out of the socket that it normally sits in.
It is common though, for the hip to move back into place over time on it’s own, and that’s exactly what happened in his left hip.
Then about a year ago, Toby was experiencing the same pain in his right hip.
Back to the doctor we went, and turns out he had the same condition in his other hip.
This time though, the pain was more intense and the hip was not moving back into place.
There were only a couple of options we had to help him. One was a surgical procedure, but that was a high-risk option.
The other was a lower-body cast that would secure both of his legs in a position that would allow his hip to stabilize, since it prevented Toby from walking, it would allow his hip joint to re-grow into the right place.
When we were told about the cast option, we were immediately taken back and almost depressed about how that would affect us and Toby.
We envisioned him stuck at home, unhappy and unable to really do anything. We had visions of extreme difficulty with even the simplest of daily activities, like going to the toilet while having his cast on.
We started thinking about how we were going to have to carry him to his room, get him into a car and so on.
For about a couple of weeks, prior to having the cast put on him, it consumed our every thought.
Turns out, we weren’t applying the attitude of happiness and appreciation that Toby had been teaching us his entire life.
The day he had the cast put on him, he didn’t go into a depression and wasn’t unhappy.
For him, it was “no big deal!”. In fact, not only was he as happy as could be, he couldn’t wait to show everyone his “red legs”.
He turned a situation that could have brought everyone down, into a situation that should be viewed differently…it’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you decide to accept it and move on.
It also turns out, with the cast, he was still able to go to school. Toileting wasn’t an issue and we moved him downstairs to a room near us that solved the problem of having to carry him upstairs. And he fit into a wheelchair which allowed him to be mobile.
Fast forward to today….Toby’s cast is now off and he is in a walking brace (will need to be in that for about 12 months) to give his hip more time to move itself into place and Toby of course, is happy as can be. As you can see from the video clip on this page, he’s even running and kicking a ball!!
What can we all learn from Toby?
That in life, stuff will come our way that we aren’t going to like or want, but if we choose our attitude of how to deal with it, life will work itself out naturally and we can create a natural resilience that will take us through the challenges that come our way.
To me, Toby is the real “guru”.
Would love to hear your feedback or comments below.
To your success,
I’m not a religious man, but I believe God knew what he was doing when he gave you guys one of his special people. He knew that with the added responsibility that goes along with raising a special person you would be up for the task. I believe that there are lessons to be learned in life and that if we open up our hearts and minds, we can learn those lessons for everyone. Just think of how much better the world would be if there were more Toby’s in the world.
Every story you tell is so compelling and inspires me every time.
God Bless you and your family
We should stand up straight.
can’t wait to see him out of the walking braces. He is absolutely a blessing to count on.
Wow, Thanks for sharing, Ari. Toby, you are an inspiration. I just love the big smile on your face. You’ve made my day. Keep going strong and may God bless you! 🙂
Thanks for sharing this to us. I could really empathize with what you and Michelle have gone through. Being a mom now when the slightest fever or a minor bump makes me so worried and anxious, l could just imagine how it has been the past months.
And like you whenever my little one gets up from a fall with a laugh, I am reminded that our kids are resilient and made of stronger stuff. Whenever I see the smile on Tobys eyes in pictures and in videos, I could see the laughter and his brilliance shining through.
Thanks to Toby for reminding us of our own brilliance, and that we too are made of stronger stuff.
Thank you for your story. My son Daniel was diagnosed with Perthes Disease in Dec 2010 and in February 2011 underwent an osteotomy to install a plate to reposition his hip, he was on crutches for 2 months with monthly visits to see how things were progressing after 8 months he was due for another operation to remove the plate and he on the home run, unfortunately, the repositioning didn’t take so he was placed in a walking brace (like Toby’s) for the next 6 months. He wasn’t pleased to be in the brace but wore it like a trooper, telling an acitive 8 year old to go slow is near impossible boys will be boys. He managed to break the brace once from running around with his mates! I’m pleased to tell you that he has been out of the brace since November and his hip socket is on the mend. Through all the stress, he surprised his Dad & I with taking everything in his stride, being so brave & being his funny little self- like Toby. Kids are a great reminder that when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. Good luck Toby you rock!
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Children are such a tremendous joy!
El Paso TX
Life transforming words Ari. Wonderful. Reminds me another Guru who had the same attitude and when it was determined she was going to go blind responded with, “Great…I’ve always wanted a dog!” (that lady was Byron Katie)
An amazing young man, who will continue to teach us all. Love you Toby and thank you for sharing.
Really everyone has to draw a lesson from Toby. Thanks for sharing Ari.
Thanks Ari for sharing this story and a bigger thanks and salute to Toby for showing such maturity and fortitude at such a tender age. It surely has inspired me a lot.
Please post more such inspiring stories…..will you?
I want to than God today for Toby’s life. It is a source of encouragement for me I may not like what comes my way but it is all in my attitude. I will remember that when circumstances hit me hard and I feel overwhelmed. Thank God for a true life lesson.
Trinidad & Tobago
Its amazing the strenght your son has may god continue to bless him he’s indeed an inspiration thanks Ari
Very inspirational- Toby is amazing! We all can learn from him.
Brisbane Qld AU
So Awesome Ari. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for updating us and sharing the inspiring story about Toby.
We can learn much from him and his
wonderful attitude and warm smile.
Look forward to ongoing communication with you.
Blessings to you and your family,
You know who is really lucky? Toby!!! Ari your depth and compassion and insightful understanding is astounding! You inspire all of us to be better people, thank you!
Los Angeles, CA United States
Brilliant article Ari, I have passed it on to friends and family. Still working through your program and having fun with it 🙂
Brilliant! I have middle aged-cousin with Down’s and also the brother of a good friend. Without doubt, they are both amazing examples of great Karma. Always cup-half-full people who have a calming effect on those around them and always make me smile.
London United Kingdom
Bendiciones a su hermosa familia y mas aun a su niño tan ejemplar para todos.
Dios es tan maravilloso que nos ayuda en cada momento. Estoy segura que Tobby fue enviado a su vida para traerle exitos y bendiciones para ustedes.
Hi Ari and Toby.
I have just had one of those weeks when everything that could go wrong went wrong!!
Sitting here licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself when your email arrived.
Toby what an inspiration you are. I will do my very best to learn the lessons you teach.
Thank you so much
What an adorable little boy. I have followed his saga and now that I hear how he handled his current challenge and saw him in that video I get your point about why there is so much to learn from this little being. You are lucky to have him, I can see that. I can also see from your point of view why you are able to appreciate him.
A big fan of both Toby and you,
Thanks Ari – very uplifting. Although now I just feel like I have a bad attitude, which makes me feel worse! 😉
Seriously though, sales figures, objectives and personal goals are all what you make of them. You’ve made salesmanship something interesting and honourable and it’s clearly down to having a good heart in the middle of it all.
Without going all “woo-woo”, isn’t your son Toby brilliant, practical proof of the theory of choosing joy?
Just look at his little smiling face and hear his giggles and laughter: Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that whenever they could?
So, yes, it’s humbling and enlightening to be privy to just what a youngster can teach us by example…
Thanks for sharing this one 🙂
I’m a “Stiff Upper Lip” Englishman, the first time I had tears in my eyes was Toby’s lessons, now again! Toby – You’re The Man! Your Pater and Mater are O.K. as well!
POOLE Dorset UK
Ari, you’re great. I wish I have your courage and wisdom
to deal with the daily challenges you have with Toby.
Toby is a great kid, like you’ve said he is send to this world to teach us how to live happily and harmoniously.
Ari, incredibly inspirational. God tells us not to worry and have pity parties, that everything will work if we follow His counsel to have complete faith and trust in him, not being double minded in our actions. A great lesson from Toby for all. Keep up the great work and witnessing to how God is using Toby in your life. Jesus is awesome. By the way, thanks for your tips on how to be human in our sales walk.
Tragic to see that with time, we adults should have become stronger and stronger, should have been more maturer in handling crises like this one, but we adults turn out to be more panicky and are in a habit of magnifying situations than what they are! Here is this small gift of god, teaching us what ought to be done. Do we still feel shy in learning lesson!! if we do, then we are not going anywhere.
Everyday we read books on positivity but how many times have we implemented it in our real life? I guess even if we are parenting our children, somewhere we also need our parents to nurture us and empower us to take care of our own children. And let us remind that we all are the creation of God, the ultimate father of all of us.
Lets understand that we all have power like Toby to transform situations. My thanks to Toby to be the starting point of this revolution.
India, New Delhi
Thank you for sharing what life can look like. Most inspirational speakers and writers have not been through anything. They have a talent for using words, but totally lack honesty and experience. It takes courage to meet the REAL world. It takes strength to DECIDE to accept and move on. But it is possible. We need people like you and your family who can share. It gives perspective to the minor problems we have ourselves, but that we think are big. I decided 23 years ago to leave alcohol behind me, which had been almost a daily companion for just as many years before, and had become my worst enemy. It was possible, even though I didn´t think so before. My respect to you and your family!
Cebu, Philipines and Vastervik, Sweden
Ari – Great inspiration Toby, your story helps keep us grounded! Thanks for reminding us to be greatful daily!
Dear Mr Ari, I am thankful indeed for your valueable contribution which keep my sales motivation & esteem high. The example of Master Toby is lesson of hope & positive attitude towards the life. May God give you the strength to keep on doing such a great deal of sales motivation and training for all of us. Regards. Zaeem from Pakistan
What an inspiring story. Positive lessons come in all shapes and sizes. Your son is truly a blessing. All the very best to all of your family. Gordon
What a beautiful and inspirational story! Thank you for sharing and all the best to Toby and your family.
Glendale, CA USA
This is why you Ari, are the only REAL Sales and Marketing Master that I follow. Everyone else sells hype and false promises, you walk your talk, that’s why I buy everything you bring to market and I’ll be a loyal client for life. Thanks for leading the way.