As a life-long rocker, Mark Goffeney has always bucked what society expected of him. Including how we expect somebody to play the guitar. You see, Mark was born without arms, so, he shreds the guitar using his feet.

With his skills as a performer and musical talent, Mark Goffeney has started bands, survived the rock scene of the ’80s and continues to do what he loves. He’s got a great story to tell, one that reminds us to pick up the thing we love to do once again, and dance to our own beat a lot more often!

Image: Mark Goffeney playing guitar in a park with his feet

Courtesy of rossangeles

Becoming a Performer

Mark grew up like your typical kid, riding his skateboard, playing video games, and participating in the school band (starting out as a trombone player) he just did everything with his feet. His life was a little different from other kids, though. From an early age, he spent time interviewing celebrities like Magic Johnson and Prince Charles to help raise money for organizations like the March of Dimes! 1

Mark’s passion for performance was spurred on when his dad brought home a guitar he found in the garbage.

He quickly took on the challenge of learning to play with his feet. And as his skills improved, he grew more and more determined to put together a band. Which, as it turned out, wasn’t easy for a rocker playing with his feet in the image-driven world of ’80s rock.

Eventually, though, he got his band together, Wicked Misfits, which spurred on a life of making music. Now, reflecting on his career thus far, he has some great insights to share with all passionate people about what really matters, and what success sometimes looks like, when you stop looking for it. Here’s a great short film from rossangeles featuring Mark and his music:

If you want to see more from rossangeles, make sure you check out his Vimeo page! He’s got some super great work shared there. You can also dive a little deeper over on his website.

You can hear more from Mark on YouTube, Facebook, or your favorite streaming service! When I reached out to Mark about featuring his work for this article he suggested I send you to his song “We Are All the Same.” As he says, “This song carries a message that I think ties in with your mission statement.” We agree, Mark! Go take a listen!

“I don’t really see myself as a person you should feel sorry for; I’m more of a person you should want to be like, or at least hang out with.” — Mark Goffeney

We’re all working with what we’ve got, whether that’s our physical limitations, our economic constraints, or just the circumstances that life dealt us. The real question is, what are we going to make of those circumstances?

A lot of the time we’re already doing things that others see as “unique” or “impossible” and they just seem normal to us. When we find the things we love, the impossible becomes very possible.

We’ve got a few other great stories in this vein that will get you inspired, too.

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So, work with what you’ve got, find what you love, start sharing it with people, and you’ll start, little by little, to do the impossible.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Looking for more inspiration?

Pop over to our Thought Leaders category to hear some more insights! From TED Talks to timeless wisdom from kids, there’s sure to be an article there that will leave you feeling a little more inspired.

Thought Leaders on EWC

Notes:

  1. “Mark Goffeney.” Abilitymagazine.Com, ABILITY Magazine, Feb. 2010, www.abilitymagazine.com/Goffeney.html.
  2. rossangeles. “Hands Free : Mark Goffeney.” Vimeo, rossangeles, 19 Oct. 2015, vimeo.com/142965023. Accessed 19 Dec. 2019.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and the COO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV