Most of us go to industry conferences all the time. If the ones you attend are anything like most that I have been to, they usually have a keynote speaker to kind of kick things off and get people energized. Also, and if you are anything like me, you have heard really good ones and some “not so good.”
Like everyone else, it is hard for me to get “energized” and in a positive frame of mind when I read what I read, and see what I see both on the domestic as well as the international scene. Not much to get energized about.
In truth, it is pretty easy to get down on life in general and yourself in particular even though in doing so you know very well that you are wasting both your time and energy.
How do you break the cycle?
One way is to stop being so self-centered and look for examples of how others have dealt with adversity; those who have been dealt lemons and as the saying goes, “made lemonade.” Certainly not something new, but often something we can easily forget.
So if these times and your own personal situation find you in one of those “down” moods, take some time to learn more about a keynote speaker I heard some years ago. Her name is Kathy Buckley. She is a comedienne, so you might recognize her name, but for those who don’t here’s the short version of her background:
Since birth she's been hearing-impaired. As a child, she was misdiagnosed and labeled as retarded. She was sexually abused and seriously contemplated suicide throughout her teens. Then she was run over by a Jeep while sunbathing on a beach, which resulted in broken bones and intermittent paralysis in her legs (not to mention being pronounced dead by the attending paramedics). And after five years of recovery, once she could walk again, she discovered she had ovarian cancer.She turned all this adversity and more into becoming a highly sought after stand-up comic and for anyone who has ever heard her, an incredibly powerful motivational speaker.
I am sure that all of us have marveled and been motivated by individuals who have overcome barriers in life that are so far beyond anything that any of us have ever faced and that once having heard their stories our own "troubles" pale so much by comparison that it's embarrassing.
That being said, Kathy has such a powerful way of putting this sort of thing in the right perspective that unlike most of the motivational speakers I have heard over the years, this is one I never forgot.
If you are having an event where those attending need to gain that perspective, I would recommend you check to see if Kathy is available.