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Overcome, Stories of Hope /
August 4, 2020

Meet Mike Coots

Something I am excited about in my Unstoppable Life Course is being able to bring you advise from teachers who are experts in certain areas of life that I have found essential to living Unstoppable.

Sometimes these people are individuals I have had crossover with and respect and admire like Nick Vujicic (Overcoming Obstacles), Laird Hamilton & Gabby Reese (Training Your Mind), or Arielle Estoria (Letting Go of Comparison). And sometimes these people have been individuals who are part of my regular life and have been for a long time, like Sarah Hill (Blessing Others), Dustin Dillberg (Optimizing Health) and someone I’m stoked to introduce you to today…Mike Coots (Discovering Your Passion)

Mike is a Kauai boy and he has known my family since I was a tiny grom. Mike became a significant part of my healing journey after the loss of my arm. He was my “Hint of Hope” reminder. As you might remember from my documentary Unstoppable, Mike visited me in the hospital and told me that surfing with one arm was totally possible. Coming from Mike that mean A LOT because he himself learned how to surf with his prosthetic leg after suffering limb loss from a shark attack while body boarding at age 18.

Like me, Mike was happy and thankful to be alive after his accident and he set his sights on returning to the outdoors and getting back into the water. Mike also ended up discovering a new passion because of his accident – photography.

Today, Mike is a trained and gifted outdoor photographer and recently his photography has become centered around sharks. Mike realized the importance of preservation and has become an advocate for saving sharks in an effort to maintain balance in the ecosystem. He strives to use pictures for change. As he says, “When I’m under water photographing sharks I feel strongly that there is nowhere else in the world I should be, than doing that.”


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I really like watching Mike’s life and seeing how he chases his passion, which is why I knew he would be a great guest for Discovering Your Passions. We had such an exciting and empowering conversation about passion and I want to share a few nuggets with you today…

First, Mike shared a great saying, “I can do anything, but I can’t do everything.” This is so true. Part of pursuing and growing in your passions is focus, and part of focus is daily action and drowning out the distractions. Passions take commitment, sacrifice, and hard HARD work. Mike even suggests identifying your “but” – the excuse you may have for not going after your passion. He suggested writing it down on a piece of paper and tearing it up as a visual and symbolic action.


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Mike also addressed a question that many people have: What if you don’t know what your passion is? He encourages people to not freak out if they can’t clearly identify their passion yet. Very often passions evolve, just like his for shark photography and education. A good place to start in identifying your passion is to simply ask yourself what brings you joy and what are you good at? Friends and family can sometimes be better at identifying your passions than you are. Ask them what they see as your passion area and then try new things within that area.

Discovering and living your passion, whether it’s full time or part time, paid or unpaid, will make you more alive, and people who are joyful and more alive make for a better world!

See Mike’s story, his view on sharks, and the direction his life takes:

Mike’s Photo Portfolio:

Mike’s Instagram: 

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