Channel 9 | Luke S. Kennedy | Corporate Motivational Speakers Sydney
Corporate Motivational Speakers Sydney, Luke S. Kennedy, was guest speaker for Channel 9.
I was thrilled when I was invited to speak at channel 9! They've got a monthly event, Spark, where they invite guest speakers, with various topics, to present to their staff.
Catching a train into the city I actually passed some old stomping grounds where I used to frequent. The tracks along the Bondi Junction train was my backyard. Many night were spent causing trouble, fighting, vandalising, and stealing whatever I could get my hands on. As I traveled along the train line I giggled a little to myself.
That world outside sped past me as I sat wearing my business shirt, long pants, and my hightops on my feet (to still give me that edgy touch). On my lap sat my laptop where I was going over my slides for my presentation. My previous life continued to speed past outside the window as memories flooded my mind. Some memories made me laugh, others brought a tear to my eye.
Bringing myself back to the moment though brought nothing but smiles. It's been an interesting last 10 or so years. How different my life could've ended up.
I'm grateful for my life.
Jumping off at Town Hall station I glanced across to a platform where I once held my friend who was close to death. He had just been run over by a train and ripped his arm and some of his other hand off.
That was a memory that brought a little tear back.
Back to this moment I smiled as I walked up the escalator and for the first time that morning felt a little nervous about the talk. It's actually probably more like excitement.
The city brings back a lot of emotions for me. Exiting Town Hall station I looked over at the steps where I would drink and fight every night. Sitting there in my 120 kilo body, stolen shirt, drugs down my pants, and a spray can in my bag.
This section here from my book, Stabbed Ego, highlights one of these crazy nights.
...The fact was, I couldn’t handle alcohol. It would send me into a deep depression. Drugs and alcohol would have me thinking the worst scenarios imaginable, and I’d get incredibly paranoid. I was fighting every week and I knew it was bound to catch up with me. So far, I’d been lucky, but my luck could change at any time. I could trip on a gutter, only to have my opponent’s shoe in my mouth. A king hit might land. The use of a weapon may finish me for good.
It was only a matter of time before I’d be the loser. I’d been kicked in the face plenty of times in brawls, but I’d managed to avoid kicking anyone in the head. The noise it made was foul, like a cupped clap, and it left an ill feeling in my stomach. ‘Never kick a man when he’s down. It’s what a dog does!’ Dad had always told me. And I’d stuck to that rule.
Until one night, at Town Hall steps. Anne was with me, and we were having a drink.
‘Hey Punchy,’ an older boy, who wrote Lock, said. I gave the boy the same two-finger handshake that Kon had given me a few years earlier.
‘What’s been happening, Punchy?’ Lock asked.
‘Nothing,’ I replied arrogantly, hoping he’d go away.
‘What, you think you can take me on?’ Lock said jokingly, shaping up. I laughed and stood off the sandstone railing.
‘Come on then,’ I said. We laughed as we mucked around, sparring. Whack! Lock had punched me straight in the face and I immediately tasted blood. The crowd of onlookers gasped. Lock noticed the evil look in my eye.
‘Punchy,’ he said. I dropped him. My next act would have me losing sleep for the rest of my life. As if time had completely slowed down, I felt all of my senses become active at once. I could smell the fumes coming from the busy street. I could hear Lock, on the ground, plea for leniency. The cool air on my bare legs wasn’t enough to douse my fuming temper. The others’ silence spoke a thousand words: Stop, Punchy! But it was too late.
I put all my weight on my left leg as I raised my right and pulled it back as if I was loading a slingshot. I fired the kick. Even as my foot thrust through the air, I felt regret. The kick landed straight on his face and I watched as his eyes rolled to the back of his head. In spasms his hand locked up, out in front of him. When I heard that heartbreaking noise, as air was released through his tightly closed jaw, I begged to have the last five seconds back. Everything went quiet, there was no more cheering.
I stood looking as one of the girls bent down to help him. Anne snapped me out of the daze I was in. ‘Run Luke!’ she bellowed, pushing me forcefully. I looked to my right and saw a police officer on the back of a horse approaching fast. I ran down George Street and could hear the horse behind me, its metal shoes clopping on the concrete footpath. I dashed across the road. The horse and its rider stayed on the other side, not wanting to risk playing in traffic. I ran and hid in Hyde Park.
‘You dog! You fucking dog!’ I repeated to myself. ‘Why would you do that? I hope he’s okay!’ I knew I’d turned into someone I hated. I was now a person my dad would see as a coward, a person who’d committed an act he would consider inexcusable. I heard the others arriving. Whenever we were kicked out of Town Hall steps, we’d head straight to Hyde Park to regroup.
‘Man, you dropped him big time.’ Mick said. I looked past him and saw Lock walking with a couple of girls holding a tissue to his nose. I walked over to him. He froze when he noticed me heading in his direction.
‘Man, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?’ He nodded his head and stared at the floor. ‘I really am sorry. You didn’t deserve that.’
‘I’m okay, I’m just spewing I lost my hat,’ he said, trying to lighten the situation.
‘Here, take mine.’ I gave him my hat. I saw that act as though it made everything square. He placed my hat on his head and smiled a fake smile. Lucas, my friend who would speak of the universe, was blunt with me one night. ‘Bro, you should know that you’ve turned into one of them.’
‘One of who?’ I asked.
‘Those people we grew up hating....’
Fast forward to now, 9 years later. I'm walking as a fit and sober man towards the channel 9 building. I'm heading there as a motivational speaker. I'll be speaking to and inspiring a large corporation.
Life is a trip.
Finishing my talk, I was caught up in the buzzing energy and welcomed the sensational feedback.
"Listening to Luke’s journey was a very sobering experience. He spoke openly, honestly and from the heart. Luke’s raw and genuine account of his story underlined his resilience and grit against any obstacle he faced. Luke conveyed real, tangible advice that we can apply to our own situations. A true inspiration and an invaluable insight into a man who has completely turned his life around."
- Tim Iffland, Content Partnerships Executive, Channel 9
I love my life as a motivational speaker.
Do you have an audience that need to be inspired? Let Luke present at your next event.