Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

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A TITANIC Experience

Sat, 2015-12-19 15:25

There’s a crazy stat that says the vast majority of people give up after being turned down just once. They rarely, if ever, ask twice. Let alone 7 times. In fact, most people give up prior to even trying.

Maybe it’s because I am not “smart enough” to understand that it’s my place to say thank you when turned down and move on to something else; something easier. Maybe that’s it.

The problem, or the awesome thing is, I never stop asking. I have had the most STUpendous life because I just keep going for it. When talking to an old friend about the film I created and the media company I started a year ago he said, “The reason why you succeeded was because you didn’t know you weren’t supposed to!”

Weird. I guess that’s a pretty honest statement, though. Science says that bumble bee’s shouldn’t be able to fly because physics says their body mass is too large for their wing span. Why do they fly then? Simple, no one has told them that they can’t!

I know it’s cheesy but it’s a powerful thought.

Scott Stratton, who I had the the pleasure of hearing speak a week ago, shared a great thought. He said that no one is born hating anyone, that they learn that behaviour. That’s the same with our limitations and dreams. People say, “That’s a dumb idea. Don’t do it.” And so most of us stop believing, dreaming and trying.

9 years ago I set out to connect with international author and leadership expert Robin Sharma. I had read his book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” (highly recommended), and loved the concepts in the story. I emailed every single employee in the company and after 6 very polite “no thank you’s” I got the meeting I wanted, with Robin on the phone. I knew once we met we would connect on a great level. We did, we have, and now he’s one of my most cherished friends.

I admire Robin because of his authenticity. He lives his message. That’s HUGE for me. Don’t tell me to take risks, face my fears, dream BIG, if you, the messenger, don’t.

This brings me to my TITANIC experience. I hope you’re still with me. 9 years ago Robin invited me to be a part of an event he was running in Toronto. To be a facilitator in the room. It was great. Now we have done 12 events together. Each one better than the last.

This past week at The Ritz Carleton in Toronto I was again invited by my friend to be a part of the third annual Titan Summit. A gathering of 140 of the most successful leaders on the planet. What an honour. How awesome. As I was standing beside Shaquille O’Neil and we were talking about kids and how to create better leaders, I had another moment of clarity. I am here because I didn’t give up. It’s that simple.

I had the additional opportunity to meet Ian Lopatin, one of the minds behind Spiritual Gangster. This is a STUpendous company that you need to check out. He is a true Titan of giving. We sat together at dinner at the Chef’s Table in Toca Restaurant a The Ritz. I was again wondering to myself, why am I here? This is bizarre. Ian turned to me and put his hand on my heart and said, “You, you deserve this, you are here. You are supposed to be here.” I said nothing, he just offered me this thought.

There’s reason why most people don’t rise to a STUpendous life. They doubt the possibilities that are given to them, offered to them. It’s not that they can’t. Everyone can. Once you give up the excuses, the doubt and the cynicism, you can go to levels you never expected.

It’s not easy. I am sorry but it’s not as simple as “The Secret” would have you believe. You will get knocked down here and there, but if you believe you are supposed to be great, then I believe it’s more than possible.

In STUpendous gratitude for you and for my life,


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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye