In the early 1960s, over 13,000 babies around the world were born with deformities as a direct result of Thalidomide – a drug prescribed to relieve morning sickness. Alvin Law was one of them. In his case, just a couple of the tiny pills were enough to cause him to be born without arms.
Facing what they thought was a hopeless situation, Alvin’s birth family courageously gave him up for adoption. They hoped and prayed that their sickly, deformed newborn would somehow find a family more capable of caring for his needs. Luckily, their prayers were answered.
Hilda Law was a fifty-five-year-old foster mother who, along with her husband, Jack, took in neglected and abused children. They loved and encouraged them back from their hopelessness and, through social service programs, sent them to couples yearning for adoptions. They were truly special people.
One day in 1960, the most disturbing case they had ever seen was presented to them – Alvin. They were warned he’d never possess any quality of life and would likely need to be institutionalized.
Not only did Hilda nurse him back to health, but her intuition told her that lurking inside this impossible scenario was… hope. Through the Law’s faith, dedication and infinite belief, little Alvin learned to use his feet for hands. Suddenly, his world opened up.
Alvin attended regular schools at a time when handicapped children were relegated to institutions or, at best, schools that segregated them from the ‘normal’ students. He was blessed to have remarkable teachers who recognized his potential, and worked with the Law family to encourage his abilities.
Life took a turn for the amazing when Alvin discovered his musical ability and he joined the school band, playing trombone, drums, and piano. Within an impossibly short time, he became an award-winning musician and graduated from high school with honors. He then graduated, again with honors, from college… and he hasn’t slowed down since.
Alvin Law has been presenting his compelling life story to groups across Canada, the United States and around the globe since 1981. He is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser and musician. He has also worked for non-profit groups, in advertising and public relations, the civil service, and has even run for public office (unsuccessfully, but he got over it).
Alvin has played a direct role in raising over $175,000,000 for charity. He’s also dabbled in acting, playing a role in Harmony Korine’s quirky creative film Julien: Donkey Boy and, in a life highlight, played an armless preacher in an episode of the hit television series The X-Files.
He has appeared on countless telethons (well over 100 since 1976) and media features and has been the subject of two award-winning television documentaries. The first, Alvin, His Best Foot Forward, was shown across Canada in 1978. The second, Broken Promises, focused on the plight of Canada’s Thalidomide victims and after its Canadian showing was seen on American Public Broadcasting’s Frontline. Re-named Extraordinary People, it was nominated for an Emmy Award. Alvin has appeared on The Joan Rivers Show, CBS’s How’d They Do That, CBC’s What On Earth and ABC’s Frontrunners. Their segment about Alvin won an Emmy Award.
Alvin formed AJL Communications Ltd. in 1988 and has since brought his Attitude Revolution to over 2 million people (and counting) on five continents around the world. He’s earned over One Million Miles with Air Canada and has the highest tier membership at both Hertz and Avis (yep… he drives!)
He has earned the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an honor possessed by less than ten percent of professional speakers worldwide. In 2009, Alvin was inducted into the Canadian Association of Speakers (CAPS) Hall of Fame.
He shares his life with his wife and business partner, Darlene; his adult son, Vance; Raymond, the dog; and Trixie, the cat. They all live in beautiful Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Start an Attitude Revolution
Imagine if everyone in your organization saw themselves, and each other, as leaders. If they positively influenced each other by proactively jumping in and making things happen. If they inspired each other by consistently operating from a mindset of ‘yes’. What could you accomplish? How far could you go?
Attitude can make or break an organization. But attitude can’t be imposed upon people – it has to come from a genuine place. Attitude Revolutions happen because people are inspired, from within themselves, to practice cultivating a more proactive and effective outlook on their lives.
Alvin uses his remarkable story to demonstrate the power of attitude, and inspire you to want to be and do better in your personal and professional life. There are no buzzwords, no jargon – Alvin offers himself up as an example of what’s possible, and challenges you to re-evaluate and rewrite the stories you tell yourself about what you can and can’t do, be and achieve.
Although his circumstances are unique, his story is universal. It’s easy for him to craft an experience that is relevant to your specific audience based on their specific circumstances…so they walk away having heard the message you need them to hear. So whether you need one of Alvin’s most requested presentations or require something completely custom, let us know… we’re happy to work with you.
Want to ensure your Attitude Revolution sticks? After your event, Alvin follows up with an Attitude Audit to make sure your audience walked away with more than just inspiration; rather, that they turned that inspiration into positive, meaningful action in your organization.
The Attitude Effect
You’ve probably heard of The Butterfly Effect – a principle of chaos theory which states that a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico, at the right point in space and time, can cause a hurricane in China. It might take a while, but the connection is real. It’s an interesting way of expressing the fact that seemingly very small actions can have drastic effects.
The Attitude Effect works the same way. A team leader, manager, supervisor or C-level executive with a poor attitude tends to pass it on to employees and co-workers, lowering morale and creating a negative work environment. And employees tend to pass it on to customers…who then decide to take their business elsewhere. To put it plainly, a leader with a bad attitude can have a drastic effect on the productivity and profitability of the entire company.
The good news? Our attitude is the one thing we have complete control over. We can’t always choose what happens to us on a day to day basis, but we can choose our attitude. And when a leader adopts and practices good attitude habits, it ripples throughout the entire organization. Productivity, innovation, engagement, quality, service and customer loyalty can skyrocket when you have a positive company culture.
In this presentation, you’ll learn how to make The Attitude Effect work for you. You’ll learn how your interpretation of business and personal stresses impact your work, your attitude and your co-workers, and how to be aware of and re-interpret your attitudes on a day-to-day basis. This presentation won’t teach you how to do your job – you can hire an MBA coach for that. What it will do is demonstrate how practicing good attitude habits helps you become the type of leader people are excited to work with, and give you the tools you need to practice The Attitude Effect at work and in your personal life. (No mantras, group hugs or sing-alongs… promise!)
Manager of Patient-and Family-Centered Care for The Medical University Of South Carolina Health System
Inspiring pilot who became one of the youngest woman to fly a single-engine plane around the world
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