09.23.2015

The Three-and-a-Half Lessons of Tracy Morgan’s Comeback

Tracy Morgan made a surprise appearance at the Emmys last Sunday to a rousing ovation from his peers. The lightning-rod comic is only 15 months removed from a car accident that put him in a coma for over a week and left him with a serious brain injury, but he boldly took the stage and absolutely stole the show. Award shows are usually about celebrating the winners, but on Sunday the best victory of all was Morgan taking the stage under his own power. Here are the comeback lessons we can learn from him:

1. It takes time and perseverance. With a myriad of broken bones and a head injury, Morgan has only let us see glimpses of his journey along the way, but the progress is undeniable. From photos of him in a wheel chair, to a walker, to a cane, and now on stage at the Emmys, he is showing us where hard work, time, and good old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness can take you.

2. It takes a little help from your friends. At the 2014 Emmys, host Jimmy Kimmel promised the world that Morgan would be back. But this is a bit quicker than even Kimmel could have imagined. And it doesn't stop here. In October, Morgan is slated to host the show that gave him his launch: Saturday Night Live. And FXX has upheld a commitment to Morgan to begin production on an unnamed series that was greenlit before the accident. There is little doubt that he is a beloved figure amongst his peers. Behold the power of a support group!

3. It might come in flashes at first. It was evident by his delivery that he doesn't quite have the same bounce to his step -- yet. But he ended the speech by delivering a line that indicated the comedy legend is fully capable of coming back to form: "Only recently I've started to feel like myself again, which means a whole lotta women gonna get pregnant at the after party."

And three-and-a-half: Perspective is everything. Morgan recognizes the challenges of his journey, saying in a June interview, "I have my good days and my bad days when I forget things." And no doubt, there will be challenges ahead, but he has come so far. In the words of his own brain doctor, Dr. Brian Greenwald, "When I started treating Tracy in June 2014, if someone had told me that he'd be on SNL in October of 2015 I would've had to look at that with great doubt ... He's really nothing short of a miracle in general." A miracle that I will gladly tune in next month to see when he takes the stage at 30 Rock.

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Categories: Motivation & Inspiration Success Through Failure