Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

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The Yo-YO

Fri, 2011-12-16 17:17

This summer I took my family to a beautiful cottage in Northern Quebec. We were right on the lake, the view was breath taking. I figured we would swim, play games, do a little boating maybe explore the area through a few hikes. We did do all this, but it wasn’t the highlight for my 11 year old son.

On the second day I went into the small town and picked him up a Yo-Yo. It’s a toy developed more then 400 years ago. Hasn’t really changed in 4 centuries. Well, for Matthew, that was it. He didn’t stop working on it, making up tricks and best of all putting on shows synchronized to music. It was one of the high points for all of us. Every day there was something new to see!

I found the Yo-Yo the other day and it it made me think, aren’t our lives a lot like Yo-Yo’s. I mean there are ups and downs and sometimes we have to do tricks to get through. At first glance we all think that playing with a Yo-Yo is easy. I mean it looks that way… from a distance. The reality is, it’s pretty difficult. Especially to truly master it. Here’s the thing, sometimes you flick the toy down and it get’s stuck, it won’t come back up. You may try and spin it back but it just sits there, staring at you. almost laughing. You think “I can’t even make a silly toy come back to me. Many of us will put it down and walk away. Call it a dumb toy or say “I can’t do it” and chalk it up to a waste of time. It’s like the problems and challenges we face in life. When we get hit with a down cycle many of us just walk away and give up, or what’s worse we slip into anger and depression.

Then there others who will pick the yo-yo back up and re-wrap the string and try again. A successful and happy life is about picking the yo-yo back up and re-wrapping the string. Trying again. There are some tricks like “walking the dog” that are easy and some like “the bell tower” that are really hard. You may not master them all. That’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. You need to try, sometimes you will get really good at some and other times you just need to forget the ones that frustrate you (friends, habits, relationships, negative people) and try something new. You have to understand that sometimes “things” may look easy and when you try them they ARE hard or not for you. That’s cool. That’s part of the learning process. It doesn’t mean you or your life should be considered a failure.

Understand this, the Yo-Yo wants you to play with it. It wants to be flipped through the air, spun fast and held in the palm of your hand. Equally, life wants you to succeed. Life though, needs as much practice as the Yo-Yo. There are only a few Yo-Yo masters out there. They can’t do all the tricks but they can do a few really, really well. It wasn’t a quick thing, it took time and tons of failures. Treat life like that. Don’t give up, try! Make sure though you have the wisdom to know when to try the next trick.

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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