The key to life, Bill Roper believes, is not giving up when things appear to be at their worst.   Worry, doubt and fear never accomplish anything, he says, except limiting our connection to everything we want or need.

Roper, a Hilton Head-based motivational speaker and budding author, spoke to Bluffton Rotarians on August 1.  He served in the U.S. Army and suffered a serious brain injury when he was thrown from a jeep during the Vietnam War’s 1968 Tet Offensive.  After being quickly evacuated, he received emergency treatment from a neurosurgeon and was placed in an induced coma to allow his brain time to heal.  When he regained consciousness in Washington’s Walter Reed Army hospital, the entire left side of his body didn't function and doctors said he would probably never walk again.

“But I knew differently,” Roper said.  “I’m a big believer in the Law of Attraction, which states that you attract into your life the things on which you focus your attention.  I focused my energy on attracting perfect health and wholeness for my body, and slowly my limbs began to respond.  In a relatively short period of time I walked out of that hospital.”

Roper, who grew up in Georgia and became successful in the computer industry, now dedicates his life to helping veterans returning from war with disabilities.  He is also pursuing a new career as a motivational speaker, and his first book, “Compassionate Warrior,” will be published soon.

“It’s not what we accomplish in life that matters the most, but the adversity we overcome that makes all the difference,” Roper said.  “Everyone faces adversity, and more times than not we overcome difficulties with a newfound appreciation for life.  There is a silver lining to the darkest clouds.  Something good is always waiting to happen, even during the worst experiences.”

He says that meditation and bodybuilding has helped him regain his focus on maintaining a positive approach to life.

 “My message is clear and simple.  Everything is available to allow you to overcome any adversity you face.  All you ever need is right here, right now.”