I’ve always wanted to be a difference-maker. I always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself and inspire millions. Four months ago, I found my way and my mission in life. I decided to turn my adversity into something bigger than myself and be of service. My story began 22 years ago when my life changed forever…
War broke out in 1992. Serbian troops began occupying my hometown of Livno, a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with neighboring Croatia, were at war with Serbia in what was to be called the Patriotic War. I and my mom escaped to Germany to be with her aunt while my father stayed and fought in the war.
One morning, my cousin Marc took me for a walk through his German town. On our walk, Marc was teasing me about seeing the animals, saying he would throw me to the dogs at the zoo. Just after he joked about it, someone passed by us walking their dogs and he jostled me towards them. They were barking at me so loud, I was terrified. I was so intimidated that I couldn’t talk for a moment. Marc just laughed while I stood paralyzed.
I was crying my eyes out, but it was all just amusing to him. He finally put me down and explained to me that he was joking, but I was beyond terrified by his bullying. I experienced severe stuttering and couldn’t speak fluently afterwards.
This would have been the end of my story if I was a different person. There are people who don’t fight when it gets tough, who accept reality and the limitations imposed by others. But I’m fighter, I always have been, and I wasn’t going to stop there.
Although I suffered so much because of that one man, he helped me to find my way to make a difference and help millions of people. To me, that was God directing my steps.
Two years ago I started expressing my feelings and findings with stuttering on paper. I wrote about my childhood and my struggles. I wrote about my mom. I brought back all these memories and I cried like a baby, but I never stopped writing. Sometimes I wrote for hours locked in my room. I wrote about some useful techniques that I use in dealing with stuttering and how I trained my mind by focusing on my environment in order to speak fluently. It was liberating to write and share my findings on paper.
Then, in May 2016, I decided that I should turn all my notes in into a book that would change people’s lives and help them speak fluently. I decided to hire an editor and embark on this journey. Journey of service and contribution. Journey of hope and light in the world.
Then someday while I was reflecting on my life, it dawned on me. I found my purpose for living. All these years I was running away from stuttering and avoiding talking about it. But not anymore. My purpose is to inspire and encourage millions of people who stutter each day with my life story.
I’ve finished the book and it’s on its way to being published. The title is “Overcoming Stuttering, My Story: Five Ways to Speaking Fluently Forever.” The release date is April 3rd 2017 and I cannot be more happy and excited. In order to make a big difference in the world, I decided to send all the profits from my book to building schools for kids in Guatemala with the organization Pencils of Promise. I also want to dedicate it to my late mother. Why?
One day, friend asked me, “What is your motivation for doing this if it’s not for money or fame?” I said to him, “My motivation is seeing the faces of those kids when I build that school and seeing people speaking fluently after they read my book. Knowing that I made a difference in somebody’s life. There is no greater motivation than that.”
This is how I plan to make a difference and make this world a better place. Now it’s your turn. How are you going to make a difference in the world?