Photographs compliments of John Delea. JD Photographry.

On the 20th March I gave a talk to St Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom, Co. Cork. Session one was to 5th years and session two was to 6th years. It was all part of the school’s initiative of: ‘Health is wealth’ week.

I spoke with the students about my personal story. I told them what I have learnt from life is the following:

D         Different

E          Emotional Intelligence

W        Why


Being different is ok. When I was in secondary school I always wanted to fit in rather than stand out. But what I have learnt from life is that it’s ok to stand out and not to be ashamed of yourself. When we value difference in each individual we truly accept them. What I have learnt from life is for others to love you then you have to love yourself first and self-accept yourself. Once you accept yourself then you wont care about being different, you wont be so caught up in trying to be part of the: ‘make-up’ girls gang.

Emotional intelligence

What I have learnt from life is that understanding how you think and feel will help you overcome obstacles and bounce back quicker. Normally if I encounter an obstacle I:

A         Acknowledge my emotion

U         Understand my emotion

M         Move on from it

Self-awareness skills will help you identify the reason you think and feel certain ways. In turn, allowing you to recognise and find ways to move past your emotion. For example, when I went to Mexico horseriding before I got on the horse I felt huge: ‘fear.’ Fear can stop us from achieving our goals so I was lucky that I was able to acknowledge and understand why I was feeling so afraid.  To move past my fear I began to ask myself questions: What exactly am I afraid of? When you ask yourself the right questions it can get to the bottom of the fear. I was afraid of falling off the horse and ending up with a second disability and one disability is bad enough. I was able to tame my emotion by understanding it. In turn, I overcame my fear and went horseriding. Achieving that goal made me feel very proud of myself because for years I stopped myself from going horseriding because I was too afraid of falling off.


The third part of DEW is why. The why of life is very important to bounce back from disappointments. What is your purpose in life? The next time you get a disappointment, a setback, a hurt, think of the why that makes you want to keep on going. We all have a purpose. So when you run out of money, when things don’t work out for you, when things happen that couldn’t have been anticipated, what are the reasons that you can think of to keep you strong and in the game? When the messenger of misery comes your way think to yourself why is it that you deserve your goal. Find that reason.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with the teachers and pupils at St. Mary’s Secondary School. I will keep on striving to inspire people.

Until next time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Charity and Voluntary Work

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.