As Makara’s (Stephen’s) bio would tell you, he’s been profoundly deaf since birth but that hasn’t stopped him. He’s a former award-winning Wall Street stockbroker and the world’s first deaf instrument rated pilot. That’s not all – even though he’s never heard a sound in his life, in the words of many who meet him, he speaks amazingly well.
Makara can tell the difference between similar sounding words like “tear” and “tear” (i.e. “He shed a tear because there was a tear in the painting”). After 15 years on Wall Street, Makara had a spiritual revelation on a beach in Florida where he literally heard God tell him that his destiny was to become a global transformational speaker and author. Even though he had no compelling evidence that he could do that, Makara ended up resigning from his lucrative Wall Street career in the mid 90’s to pursue this crazy idea of “one day speaking all over the world and becoming an author in the process.”
The day after he walked away from Wall Street, he began hanging out in coffee shops all over New York City, writing journals about how he was feeling (getting in touch with himself, finding out who he was and going deeper, etc). As time went on, Makara began forming stories, true stories, about the things that happened in his life. Soon he submitted some of them for publication around the country. To his delight, three of them were eventually accepted for publication in books like bestselling Chicken Soup for the College Soul, heartwarmers and Magical Souvenirs. As you can imagine, that bolstered his confidence as a writer but it would be another decade before he would publish his first book.
And here we are!
You can buy a copy directly from Amazon.
Check out this book video trailer:
Obstacle Illusions contains 25 bite-sized chapters all of which end with a life lesson. Each chapter is followed by interactive exercises, the purpose of which is to help readers come up with their own “Ah-Ha” revelations. Stories are in 1st person narration and range from the highs to the lows and the most embarrassing moments of my life.
The title is based on my own experiences which has proven to me time and time again that obstacles really don’t exist. That’s right, they don’t exist! They are illusions. You’ll understand why when you read this book – he is betting it’ll change the way you perceive the world and yourself.
You’ll read about 3 words his fifth grade teacher said that absolutely rocked his little world. You’ll know what Makara (Stephen at the time) courageously said to the VP of a large Wall Street firm at the end of a grueling series of interviews that forever changed the course of his business career. Then there’s the most embarrassing time when he found himself in a rather uncomfortable position with a woman of dubious character because of some stupid human game he was playing in a bar one night. And then there’s the time when he flew through the worst of weather conditions as a relatively new pilot that could have led him to his early demise. The flying story is probably going to generate a lot of controversy but it’s my story and he’s sticking to it!
The book was nationally released on Amazon on March 17, 2011.
Buy a copy from Amazon now!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface: Take a Little Trip with Me
Part I: The Early Years
Chapter 1 No Illusions
Chapter 2 The Jordan Factor
Chapter 3 On the Playground
Chapter 4 The Power of Persistence
Chapter 5 You’re FIRED!
Part II: Fun and Games
Chapter 6 Dare Take Risks! – Swimming Championships
Chapter 7 The Elevator Incident
Chapter 8 The 100 Club
Chapter 9 The James Bond Lady Fiasco
Chapter 10 Bluffing Ain’t Gonna Get You Anywhere!
Part III: Wall Street
Chapter 11 Harry The Arrogant Bank Boss
Chapter 12 The Interview
Chapter 13 Miss America and the Surprise Client
Chapter 14 The Grandmotherly Client
Chapter 15. The Kiwanis Club Speech
Chapter 16 Goodbye Wall Street!
Part IV: Learning to Trust
Chapter 17 The $9.99 Soup
Chapter 18 Tale of the Lost Driver’s License
Chapter 19 The Grocery Bill
Chapter 20 First Car Loan
Chapter 21 Blizzard Housecleaning
Part V: The Sky’s the Limit!
Chapter 22 The Jovial Flight Instructor
Chapter 23 The Great Adventure
Chapter 24 The Never-Again Flying Experience
Chapter 25 Leeza
Afterword: A Note For Parents of Deaf Children
About the Author
PARTIAL LIST OF TESTIMONIALS
”Obstacle Illusions is a powerful account of Stephen Hopson’s life experiences ranging from defeat to triumph. Readers will find themselves laughing and crying and contemplating life in a deep, meaningful way.” Marci Shimoff, # 1 NY Times bestselling author, Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Soul
“Stephen demonstrates through the power and grace of his personal life experience how nature’s support shows up when one is living life with deep inner passion and faith despite the challenges.” Janet Bray Attwood, NY Times bestselling co-author of The Passion Test
“This enjoyable, insightful book will inspire and motivate you to see opportunities in every problem and become unstoppable in the face of adversity.” Brian Tracy, Author, No Excuses, The Power of Self-Discipline
“If you want to be inspired, empowered and entertained, read Stephen Hopson’s Obstacle Illusions. His energy, enthusiasm, and can-do spirit is the ultimate prescription for facing life’s challenges.” Arielle Ford, America’s #1 book publicist to famous best-selling authors
“Stephen Hopson and I met in 1996 in Orlando at the National Speakers Association Convention. He had told me at that time his dream was to learn how to fly. I encouraged him to follow his aviation dreams. He did and succeeded above and beyond what I could imagine for someone who has been deaf since birth. Stephen shows you how to face and overcome adversity in your own personal life and in business. This is a fascinating read no matter what your age or level of experience.” Howard Putnam – Former CEO Southwest Airlines – Speaker – Author: The Winds of Turbulence
“To a martial artist, every disaster is an opportunity. A tough opponent is your opportunity to test your quality. Stephen Hopson has had his share of disasters, and he’s turned them all into opportunities. As I read Obstacle Illusions, I alternately choked back tears, laughed out loud and even pumped my hand in triumph. This book is destined to be the next great “feel good movie of the year”! Don’t just read this story – listen. Listen with all your heart, the way Stephen has to listen. This book is a powerful guide to living life to the fullest no matter what challenges you face!” Jim Bouchard, Speaker, media personality and author of Think Like a Black Belt
“Contained within every hardship, failure, obstacle, disability, and mistake is the key to success. You just need to believe you will find it. So even if you happen to be thrown into a river against your will, you’ll end up swimming out with a pearl in your hand. Stephen’s book is a wonderful illustration of this principle.” Fred Gratzon, author of two books: The Lazy Way to Success: How to Do Nothing and Accomplish Everything and Instant Athlete, Instant Zone: The Discovery of Sports’ Holy Grail