A Wish for Leadership

As a youth motivational speaker at the national level and locally here in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area I am approached at many of my leadership presentations for a copy of Dr. Earl Ruem’s Leadership Poem.  Please feel free to use this as I do.  In an effort to build a generation of young people who will be prepared to take on the challenges of running the world.  11022518_838371252912551_4044680186852117319_o









I sincerely wish you will have the experience of thinking up a new idea, planning it, organizing it, and following it to completion and have it be magnificently successful.

I also hope you’ll go through the same process and have it “bomb out!”

I wish you could know how it feels to “run” with all your heart, and lose horribly!

I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worth investing your life within it.

I wish you could achieve some “great” good for humankind, but have nobody know about it except you.

I hope you become frustrated and challenged enough to begin to push back the barriers of your own personal limitations.

I hope you make a stupid mistake and get caught red-handed and are big enough to say those magic words, “I was wrong!”

I hope you give so much of yourself that some days you wonder if it is worth all the effort.

I wish for you a magnificent obsession that will give you reason for living and purpose and direction for life.

I wish for you the worst kind of criticism for everything you do, because that makes you fight to achieve beyond what you normally would.

I wish for you the experience of leadership! — Dr. Earl Reum

I can’t stop drinking…

10 Years Sober.  No booze, no drugs.  I walked into a church basement ten years ago.  I felt hapless, hopeless, and helpless.  Beaten over the previous 18 years from alcoholic drinking.  I was in pain, desperate, and convinced that I couldn’t stop drinking.  I thought my life was over, I thought the “fun” was over, I thought I was relegated to a boring existence which would involve a daily struggle to battle my demons.  I was willing to accept all of this in order to stop the pain.

10 years later there is no struggle.  I am at peace.  My life and the people around it continue to grow.  The joy of living is a gift I get to experience everyday.  My deeds and my actions demonstrate the incredible power of a loving spirit which flows in me and through me.  I’ve been provided a program of recovery which requires that I light the path of others so that I can see my own.  This program has set me free.  Free from alcohol, free from nightmares, free from self.

IMG_064610 years sober has allowed me the chance to discover who I am.  I have learned much about my shortfalls and my gifts.  I’ve learned who my family is, who my friends are and what makes them tick.  I’ve also learned why the not so friendly are sometimes placed in my life.  And been provided with a way to learn and grow from every obstacle that is placed in my path.  Not all of the events in my life are happy events and yet my life is filled with happiness today.  Some of the most beautiful people I have known have lost their lives to the disease of alcoholism.  I have not lost them.  Their beauty, and humor, and music stay with me.  They have left a permanent imprint on my heart and for that I am grateful.

10 years ago I use to feel absolutely alone in a room full of people, today I feel completely whole regardless of my surroundings.  I am able to set goals, achieve them, receive satisfaction, set higher goals, fail them, and receive even more satisfaction.  I’ve learned that my journey here on earth is designed to provide me with lessons in love, spirituality, and laughter.  That life is meant to be enjoyed. So many people have helped me along this journey. Many of them had no idea.  I have a love and respect for each and every person who has helped me along the path.

10 years without a drink has allowed me to have a lot of conversations about drinking and the life of an alcoholic.  Often I am given credit where very little is due.  I was graced with the gift of desperation – I certainly didn’t earn it.  Often I am asked if I struggle.  The struggles I’m faced with today pale in comparison to my old life and the desire to hide from my problems left once I figured out how to solve them.  Often I hear that I don’t look like an alcoholic.


That is because I was an alcoholic (notice the picture to the left); today I am a recovered alcoholic.  Not cured, but recovered.  Recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.  I am like a man who has jumped off a building and broken both of his legs.  His legs are placed in a cast.  After a period of time the cast is removed.  With some help he begins to walk with a walker, then with a cane, then he hobbles around until one day he can walk, run, and even dance again.  He shows no signs of his previous injury.  He has recovered.  This does not mean he is able to jump off buildings again.  Apparently he’s as bad at jumping as I am at drinking.

10 years ago my life began.  It has new meaning.  It has a purpose.  Today I have a passion for living and I’m grateful to all who have helped me along the way.  The only way I know how to repay this debt is to give away what was freely given to me.  A way out.

11022518_838371252912551_4044680186852117319_o10 years ago I had my own perceived stigma around alcoholism.  For 27 years September has been known as National Recovery Month.  It is a month dedicated to the celebration that people can and do recover.  I write this post as my tiny contribution to continue to improve the way people with substance abuse and other mental health are perceived.  I was wrong then.  I did not know what the disease of alcoholism was and I certainly had no idea what a recovered alcoholic was.


10 years and not a drop…Thank you God.







The top reasons you are under appreciating the millennial generation:

Young people have always received the brunt of society’s disapproval. And yet, Millennials may be the most heavily scrutinized generation to face persecution. Those who were born between 1980 in year 2000 are commonly referred to as the technologically obsessed, high maintenance and socially awkward individuals that make up the bulk of consumer society. While these personality traits are shared by some Millennials, there are a number of reasons why many of us under appreciate this generation. Traveling the country as a youth motivational speaker and working with young people for over a decade has allowed me to take note of some of the more amazing traits Millennials exhibit.
Millennials value peace:
This group wants to find a way that we can lead lives of coexistence. This generation is the most unlikely to to enter conflict or join the military than any other in the past.
This generation is motivated:
Millennials are very confident group and they are extremely adaptive to change. Many people born within this age group are more willing to take risks, to work longer hours and to get out and experience the world.
The generation is educated and diverse:
Not only do Millennials take a stand on equality and push for equal rights for all marginalized groups but the generation is more diverse than any other in North America previously. As the most educated generation the planet has ever seen they have an ability to catapult the planet into the future.
Environmental consciousness:
Millennials take a stand on the environment and they are the most likely generation to consider volunteering to create social change as well as environmental change. This generation knows that in order to survive as a society, it is important to pool together and to protect the resources that we have today.
Free thinking:
Members of the millennial generation truly can think for themselves and question everything. Although many millennial seem obsessed with technology, it is often because they’re taking the time to learn what’s important in the world and how they can express themselves on a worldwide scale.
Keep some of these reasons in mind and more for why you may be under appreciating the millennial generation. If you would like to learn more about these subjects, consider a conversation with this student success advocate and keynote speaker. As a youth motivational speaker, I am here to provide support to millennials!

US National Guard Testimony from Teens and Guardsman

As a National Youth Motivational Speaker I have the privilege of transforming all types of young people.  By far, providing my keynote to the children of our Army National Guard is the most gratifying.  I have found these young people to be incredibly hardworking and resilient.  Through my leadership workshops, I learned they are often met with difficult situations which place them in an adult role at a young age.  They rise to the occasion seeking to learn and grow from each experience.  Hearing their stories has provided me with motivation and inspiration.  It’s crazy how this all works out.  I am living a fortunate life…

New Demo Edits Required

As a National Youth Motivational Speaker I sometimes end up getting more help than I give.  In this video, a student from Sparta High School asked if she could interview me after filming one of my presentations at Wallkill Valley Regional High School.  After she interviewed me she asked if I’d like to see her final product.  She wanted to make a demo video for me as a school project.  There are a few edits that still need to be made but this is some really terrific work.  I plan on sharing this with HOBY, FBLA, FCCLA, DECA, Pass It Along, FFA, and HOSA.


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