“You matter” — a message you don’t find frequently in the marketplace of life. As a Limeade Engage 2019 keynote speaker, John O’Leary, bestselling author and motivational speaker, reminded attendees to believe in the power of one. One person is all it takes to make an impact. His motivational message of pursuing your own journey of transformation centered around three questions. When we struggle at work, engagement, HR, relationships — whatever it is — we need to start asking:
- Why me?
- Who cares?
- What more can I do?
At the age of nine, playing with fire and gasoline, O’Leary created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body with 87% third degree burns. He was given only 1% chance to live. At Limeade Engage, O’Leary pushed attendees with his emotional story to seek opportunity, listen and celebrate the joy of life.
Who cares if it’s hard? It’s possible. – John O’Leary at Limeade Engage 2019
Here’s five of our favorite takeaways from John O’Leary’s keynote at Limeade Engage:
1. The voices you listen to influence who you become
People are complex systems — what happens in one area of someone’s life impacts other areas. That’s why at Limeade, we focus on the whole person when it comes to well-being, and organizational support is a key piece. At Limeade Engage, O’Leary reminded attendees that it’s important to recognize that others are paying attention to our words, reflections, the way we show up, walk into a meeting or even listen. And that it’s crucial to always lead by example.
2. Start with where you are, not where you could be
Although we tend to think “it could be better,” O’Leary believes we have to start with where we are. When life is going great, we rarely recognize how great life is and simply enjoy the good times. It’s easy to focus on the negative.
“Whether it’s in life, work or HR, it’s very seldom what you see coming that will burn — it’s almost always the fumes. Together we can see fumes and once we see them we can harness them for good.” – John O’Leary at Limeade Engage 2019
3. You can’t stay in fear long and survive it
Fear and love are two huge motivators in life. O’Leary described fear as anything from a hard work out to a hard phone call, but from his experience, he believes you can’t stay in fear long and survive it. On the other hand, love will attract the very thing you seek.
“Even if it’s hard the answer is yes — the way forward may not be easy but the answer is simple,” said O’Leary. During his keynote, he invited attendees to question what keeps them is the fear of taking the first step — to listen, remain bold and imagine what could be.
4. Never underestimate the power of your voice
While in recovery, O’Leary was cared for by many, but one person was influential in a different way. He shared with attendees personal stories of his road to survival and to never underestimate the power of your voice. The impact that one voice had on his recovery was substantial, simply by a stranger thinking, “what more can I do to make tomorrow better than today?” One meeting or a pat on the back can elevate someone else and change their world.
5. See the opportunity in what’s wrong
O’Leary left attendees with a goal to take the messages they’ve heard at Limeade Engage and apply them. He showed attendees that there’s another way to see the world — to see what’s wrong and see the opportunity within it. O’Leary believes that good leadership is about encouraging people to rise up to where they are — but great leadership is about coming down, humility, meeting people where they are, listening to their story and building the bridge forward. It’s all about finding out their “why,” and their purpose.
Want to learn more about John O’Leary and Limeade Engage 2019? Check out our full event recap.