Developing A Career As A Hospitality Consultant And Inspirational Speaker After A Traumatic Brain Injury

Chris Dittrich, Bangkok

Summary: Chris had a serious car accident in his senior year in high school. He sustained a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which resulted in him being unable to walk and a loss of short term memory.

First game changer: Setting goals

Instinctively, Chris new that goal setting was going to be important. He used the term “Keep Moving Forward” and has been relentless in applying this approach to each goal he sets. His first goal was to attend his senior prom. This was no mean feat for someone who couldn’t yet walk, but he stayed on task and reached his goal. Chris’s next goal was to walk across the stage without a cane or other assistance at his high school graduation - What’s clear by now is that, for Chris, setting lofty goals that are extremely challenging was serving as a powerful motivator in moving him forwards. Needless to say, Chris reached his goal and was now starting to walk independently.

The little things that made an important difference:

Moving outside his comfort zone:

Many people in Chris’s situation would have struggled with moving away for college, but Chris saw this as an opportunity to improve his independence and deliberately threw himself in at the deep end by moving all the way from New York to the University of Miami.

White Board:

For someone who struggled with retaining information, white board reminders became very useful early on.

Focus and building a support team:

Chris realised early on that the more passionate you are about an idea, the more other people will want to join you for the ride. Chris embraced this approach with his therapy team. This in turn led to him getting more attention from the therapy staff and working together his recovery continued long after many professionals felt it would plateau. Seeing how successful this teamwork was, Chris then applied the same approach to his support team and circle of friends at college. Unsurprisingly, people took to Chris and with their support and an incredible amount of grit and determination Chris was able to achieve a strong degree.
Whilst the achievements are clear to see, it goes without saying that each step that Chris made was building a new level of confidence.

Learn More About Chris’s Work

After completing a masters degree in hotel management Chris was able to get a job offer for a management training program with a top international hotel chain in Bangkok, Thailand.

Chris has spent the last four years in Bangkok, working in different hospitality functions and traveling. Chris is now a hospitality consultant, Inspirational speaker, and coach.

See Chris working as a motivational speaker

See some highlights from Chris`s recovery