Having listened to many ‘inspirational’ talks and people, talking about their life and stories – sharing life lessons and morals, these four talks have stuck in my mind and I continue to mention them in discussion with friends and family. For me, this is a good sign of an interesting, inspiring and engaging talk – where their life lessons have actually had an impact.
By no means am I trying to re-tell their stories, but merely recommending you go check them out, hear what they have to say. I will include all their links etc below:
- Talan Skeels-Piggins: Talan was involved in a major motorcycle accident which left him paralysed from the chest down in 2003, in which he also shattered his spine and broke his neck. Talan tells his story from rock bottom, the agonising journey from 16 weeks bed rest to sitting up supporting his weight, to a World Champion 600cc biker and British Alpine skier. What struck me was his sheer determination and continued ambitious and risk taking character, and his ability to joke around with his relationships and acceptance of his failures. With every new life adventure he told, I was surprised and in awe of his achievements and attitude to life. Well worth a look! Here is his short documentary and links to his page.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talan_Skeels-Piggins : Talan’s Biography
- https://adaptiveskiing.net/alpine-skiing/item/talan-skeels-piggins : Talan’s skiing
2. Emma Cole: Emma has been diagnosed HIV positive since 1991 and continues to live and deal with HIV every day of her life. Her humorous and ‘no bullshit’ approach to telling her story, was not only informative but truly eye-opening to me- given I didn’t exactly know what HIV was and how it affects people who are HIV positive on a daily basis. The Q&A section at the end of her talk was almost as interesting, with Emma’s willingness to answer any question we had, she had a profound impact on all 150 of us. Such a cool woman.
- https://www.positivevoice-emmacole.co.uk : Emma’s website
- https://twitter.com/emmacolehiv?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor : Emma’s twitter
3. Patrick Foster: Former Nottinghamshire cricketer, Patrick found success in cricket and attained a good degree from Durham University in which he found work in London. But he developed a severe gambling addiction after winning £34,000 after a random bet went his way. His hard hitting and emotional story included his lowest moment, contemplating suicide. His ability to eventually reach out and seek support was inspiring and the main message for me, being ‘don’t ever think it couldn’t happen to you’. Patrick’s background and upbringing was fairly similar to mine and he stresses the importance of not overlooking the significance of having awareness.
“My rock bottom was standing at the end of a train platform about to end my life– Patrick Foster
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Foster : Patrick’s Biography
- https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2018-07-23/ex-cricketers-addiction-warning-after-huge-gambling-debts/ : ITV video
4. Shaun Attwood: You may have heard of Shaun before but if not… He is an English former ecstasy distributor turned Youtuber, public speaker, activist and author. Shaun told us of his story from his interest in the stock-market at the early age of 14 in which he became a millionaire; to facing a 200 year prison sentence in which he served 6 years in Arizona’s toughest prison. His talk and story is not for the faint-hearted, (albeit I didn’t look at the graphics images!) but is well worth a listen if you have the chance. As well as being hugely informative and fascinating into the workings of a prison and gang-culture. His honesty and acceptance of his consequences, knowing that he got what he deserved, was an appreciated fact for us all listening – you must take responsibility for your actions.