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Open Right

Luke Kennedy: Living Up to Labels Nearly Got Me Killed

Session Info:

How did I turn from a happy 14 year old into a violent, drug addicted, street fighting thug?

Two things that really affected my life back then were:

  1. I used to worry so much what other people thought about me. This got me doing things I didn’t want to do, and things that I shouldn’t be doing.
  2. I was constantly trying to live up to labels that were placed on me.

I explain to the audience, with drawings of two stick figures, what I mean by labels. One smiling stick figure represents the real me; happy and fun. The other represents the false me. As I tell my story I fill this false me with different labels such as ‘street fighter’ or ‘gang member’, explaining how I tried to live up to these labels, and how doing so nearly got me killed a couple of times and I almost killed people too.

I explain how I figured out this person wasn’t real, just made up in my mind, and show what happened when I started releasing the labels and became my true self again; success.

After giving up the false image, I lost 47kgs, gave up drugs and alcohol, won a state boxing title and now run an award winning gym with my wife. I go further and tell the audience that none of this could have occurred if I kept trying to live up to the expectations of my friends.

Topics:
  • Trying to be someone you’re not
  • Choices
  • Peer pressure
  • Drugs and alcohol can cause death
  • Crime
  • Violence
  • How I turned it all around

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