In the lead up to Professional Speakers Day on 7 August, I’ve had a few people ask me what got me into speaking in the first place, and to be totally honest, I’ve been speaking for so long and for so many different reasons that I had to take a minute to give them a straight answer.

You see over the last 25 or so years of speaking, the reasons have been many and varied…

When I was younger, it was mostly for organisations who helped me along the way as a junior athlete aspiring to represent his country. 

Other times it was talking to young kids and teenagers about living life as a young person with a disability, and about how you shouldn’t let obstacles get in the way of living your best life…You know that inspiration porn shit that people go crazy over?

In the end, the question did get me thinking though.

Was I really any different from the other nearly 4 million people in Australia living with a disability? What did I really have that was uniquely mine to offer?

In the end I came to a single conclusion…whilst my story is identical in a lot of ways, equally, it is vastly different.

And in those differences was where I discovered the value of telling my story.

Over the years, as I’ve aged, got married, became a dad, the story has grown, the experiences have changed, but one thing has remained the same…
I have always had a motivation behind everything I do.. a Why.
When I was younger my Why revolved around being the absolute best I could be at my chosen sport, wheelchair racing and remaining healthy and fit enough to continue smashing training goals.
These days my Why still revolves around health and fitness, but for a totally different reason, and for a different person in fact..

In 2018 I was the very proud dad of a son who had just turned one and was living the “dad life”, plus all that came with it. In 2018, after battling a long illness which I had repeatedly been told was “just a virus”, I found out I was in chronic renal failure.

In 2018, after only being a dad for a little over 12 months… I almost lost my life.

Talk about a “Holy Shit” moment!

For better or worse it was this moment that cemented my true Why…

To be the best, healthiest and most active Dad I could be for my son and to make sure I was doing everything in my power to guarantee I was going to be around for him for many many years to come.

He is my Why…he is the Fire the stokes my Why!

If you are interested in hearing more about Why Fire: Stoke Your Why With Fire, please visit www.adambsheppard.com.au/whyfire. Here you can get info on my upcoming live workshops (face to face on the Gold Coast and live streamed online), purchase workbooks and sign up to my newsletter.

I’d love to see you there!

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