In 2008, I was diagnosed with an aggressive type of leukemia and given a 40 to 50 per cent chance of surviving. To help keep myself motivated while facing that obstacle, I whipped up a list of 118 things that made life so worth fighting for.
Now completely cancer-free, I find it interesting to look back on that list. Nowhere on it are things like a big house, fancy car or huge paycheque. Instead, it’s packed with family, friends and a slew of simple pleasures – like watching a sunset, sipping on a gin and tonic or even enjoying a good fart.
Inspired by my list, I started building a collection illustrated simple pleasures on Instagram aimed at sparking gratitude for the many awesome little things in life.
More stories from the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook
Lessons learned from leukemia
More life lessons
Cancer reminded me that life is the greatest teacher of all. The following stories share obstacle-busting lessons from some of life’s other awesome and absurd moments — from sleeping in a barn to multiple run-ins with Bill Clinton’s bodyguards to nearly driving a car off a cliff.