July 15, 2021

Richard Maraj’s Comeback Story - Finding Gratitude and Love After a Life-Changing Car Accident

Richard Maraj’s Comeback Story - Finding Gratitude and Love After a Life-Changing Car Accident

Richard Maraj shares his story of how he escaped a downward slide into depression after suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed and unable to walk again, and how he discovered his passion for spreading a message of spirituality,...


Richard Maraj shares his story of how he escaped a downward slide into depression after suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed and unable to walk again, and how he discovered his passion for spreading a message of spirituality, gratefulness, love, and joy.

  • Growing up for Richard was fabulous. As one of the youngest of 10 siblings, he always had someone to play with and he excelled in sports at school. It wasn’t until the day after he graduated from high school did things change where he was paralyzed in a car accident.
  • The accident seemed to end everything in Richard’s life and he was devastated, leading to further depression. When he went to University to learn kinesiology he felt even more isolated and he began using marijuana and alcohol to numb the pain. It was at university where Richard saw another injured person using crutches instead of a wheelchair. 
  • He began using crutches himself but it was an arduous experience and involved a lot of pain and difficulty, but learning how to use crutches and being able to move without a wheelchair forced Richard to push through and gave him the drive and belief that he could do anything.
  • Sometimes people come into your life and they can be the uniting force and catalyst that allows you to believe in yourself.
  • Richard’s mom was his first real teacher. She gave him the support that allowed him to figure out the crutches and always guided him towards taking the time to do things well.
  • Find what ignites your passion. Your talents and abilities are not always attached to your job, but you should find the gift you have that you were meant to share.
  • Live the slash. You can be more than just your profession.
  • Richard was encouraged by his brother to join Toastmasters, and before he knew it Richard was competing in the World Championship of public speaking. This opened him up to speaking gigs and helped spread a message of motivation, which eventually evolved into a ministry of spirituality, forgiveness, and wellbeing.
  • When Richard stopped believing that his life was hopeless, it opened up his life and what was possible for him. Our own self-worth is the most influential aspect of how much love and joy we receive.
  • Almost everybody has a belief around what they are capable of. We need to be more flexible and willing to see what’s possible.
  • Gratitude is the foundation for Richard’s life. You have to be grateful for what you have today because if you can’t, you will never be able to be grateful for the things you have when you make it. An attitude of gratitude opens yourself to solutions and joy.
  • Forgiveness is the other pillar of Richard’s life. Forgiveness and letting go is one of the hardest things that humans can do. When you hold bitter resentment and hatred in your heart, there is no room for love or joy. Forgiveness frees you from the past and lets you move beyond the pain.
  • Our perspective on the world affects how we see everything, which is why a growth mindset is so important. A fixed mindset only sees obstacles and failure.
  • For anything that happens to you, there are three things that can come of it: it can make you worse, leave you unchanged, or it can improve you and take you to greater heights.
  • If a situation looks hopeless, ask the question “what can I learn from this?”.
  • Curiosity is what opens up relationships and creates more intimacy and depth.
  • If Richard could send a short message to his past self, it would be to keep being himself and live his most authentic life. Richard has realized that the more comfortable he has been with himself the more effective he’s been as a speaker and spreading his message.
  • Connect with someone who has the mindset of success. Find role models and ask them questions if you can. 
  • Richard’s comeback story shoutout goes to his mom and brother, as well as the person who comforted him after his car accident and kept him safe until the ambulance arrived.

Richard Maraj

Minister, Speaker

For many years Richard worked as a successful motivational speaker who traveled throughout North America to address large Fortune 500 and other companies. During the early 1990s, he felt a strong call to ministry, and was compelled to attend ministerial school.