31 Days of SMA: How I Use Superior Motivational Attitude to Achieve Happiness

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forging relationships | SMA News Today | banner image for 31 Days of SMA 2022

attitude and motivation | SMA News Today | Steve poses in his power wheelchair in front of a river. He is wearing a Chicago Bears T-shirt and hat

Photo courtesy of Steve Bingman

Day 13 of 31

This is Steve Bingman’s story:

Society often tells us that those with disabilities have a predicted path of life. What society doesn’t tell you is that your disability can be used as an advantage in life. I call this concept my superior motivational attitude.

Early on, I always challenged the way life “should have been” despite having spinal muscular atrophy type 2. As a kid, I had many friends, played baseball, and got into mischief often.

By the time I was in high school, I was using all forms of public transportation to get wherever I wanted to go, such as school events, friends’ houses, and day trips to Chicago — and I was still getting into mischief. I had the motivational attitude to be like my peers.

Unfortunately, between the ages of 13 and 17, I experienced the loss of not one, but two, of my best friends. Ultimately, for me, that was the beginning of living life to the fullest. As a young adult with a disability, I moved out on my own, worked various jobs, and went at life without real direction. More mischief!

One day, around age 24, I decided out of the blue to go to college, because I needed to do life differently. Some doubted my decision. Sure, I had been achieving much beyond the predicted path in life with a disability, but that is where I already felt I had an edge. That’s when my superior motivation really manifested. I used the doubt as motivation.

Prior to completing a bachelor’s degree, I continued to find ways to use motivation from doubt in all aspects of life, such as in recruiting caregivers, relationships, obtaining a master’s degree, and even relocating on my own to a new state.

Today, I continue to use societal doubt as motivation to achieve while fostering kids, being a dad to Christian and Azlyn, a spouse to my beautiful bride, Brittany, traveling abroad, and helping others. Professionally, I have a successful career with the federal government and have received numerous awards and promotions.

I owe all of these life achievements to my superior motivational attitude. What will you achieve with yours?

SMA News Today’s 31 Days of SMA campaign will publish one story per day for SMA Awareness Month in August. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofSMA, or read the full series.

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