Cecil Field Naval Air Station Marine Barracks. One day, a phone call came into the office asking if a Marine would be available to come down to Apopka High School in Apopka, FL and speak to the Marine ROTC Cadets. Jeff, having just been meritoriously promoted to Corporal, said he’d be honored to drive two hours down on his day off and talk to the cadets. Little did he know that this opportunity would lead him into a career he was made for and the man he has become as a result of taking the initiative on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Perhaps it was fate. Maybe it was his as yet undiagnosed bipolar II disorder, which kept him running full-speed-ahead – keeping him active and always wanting more out of life. For Jeff, bipolar is a blessing and a curse. It’s crippling and painful, and has almost been the death of him – but it’s also been a blessing because Jeff is resilient, hard-working, and always striving to succeed in business and in life. Before therapy and medication, Jeff was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but after his diagnosis and being put on medication, he is a whole new person. “I am proud to be a man that lives with mental illness,” he said. Being proud hasn’t come easy, and his greatest regret is that he has hurt people in his journey toward getting to know who he is – the man he is slowly becoming. As a youth speaker in his early years Jeff didn’t talk much about mental illness. He talked a lot about resiliency, self-esteem, and life’s obstacles. Fast forward 28 years: Jeff spends his time focusing on and talking about mental health and suicide prevention. It’s like he’s come full circle – telling his story about where he was, what he has gone through, and now the going through and becoming part. Jeff wouldn’t want it any other way. Life is a journey. It’s not a race. He says this a lot, but he also says, “Get to know who you are and be comfortable with who you are not.” That is all part of the journey of life. Jeff just wrapped up a week speaking to high schools in the Clearfield-Jefferson County of Pennsylvania. What a week it had been speaking at four amazing schools and to parents and community each night. On this day, Friday, Jeff was spending the day at The Meadows. A psychiatric hospital just outside of Penn State University. They had invited Jeff to speak to their patients. Jeff was inspired by this and was excited to be a part of it. Not that it was more important than any other talk or visit, but this one was different because he spent time as a patient in psychiatric hospitals at 16 and again at 22. Jeff doesn’t talk about these visits in his presentations – and it’s not that he is embarrassed or ashamed. Quite simply, the subject doesn’t fit with most of these. It’s part of his story, but not significant enough to add to his usual talks. On this day, though, he was proud to talk about it – especially to let the patients know that it was OK to be where they were. He made sure to tell them that they needed to be present in these moments and take in the support and guidance offered them before going back out into the real world where they are expected to live, reason and act accordingly. It was nearly two hours of talking and answering questions. The staff thought he’d have their attention for maybe 20-30 minutes. Everyone was in awe about how incredible the patients were -attentive, inspired and and eager to want more. Jeff is real. He’s not afraid to be brutally honest about his journey of living with mental illness. He is not skittish about being one with his audience and letting them know that it can be OK. You have to do the work, but paradoxically the work is so much easier than not doing the work. You can live a healthy life with mental illness, but you have to make your health a mindset and a priority each and every day. If you are interested in Jeff Yalden coming and speaking to your school community or mental health event, please visit www.JeffYalden.com or www.TheJYF.org today. You’ll be a HERO when you invite Jeff Yalden to speak at your next event. Check out Jeff’s new book, Teen Suicide: The “Why” Behind America’s Suicide Epidemic.Jeff Yalden has been speaking in education and to school communities for the past 28 years. He started in 1992 while stationed at
On April 19, youth motivational speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden visited Mathews, Virginia – a community in the Chesapeake Bay region of the state. Yalden was invited by the Mathews County Sheriff’s Office to speak to high school and middle school students about life choices, mental health, behavior, and attitude. He also presented to more than 100 parents and community members that night. Investigator April Edwards from the Sheriff’s Office organized Yalden’s visit. It’s fitting that after some due diligence about Yalden himself, she knew that he would be the ideal candidate to instill a sense of purpose, hope and direction to kids who might otherwise be tempted to go down the rabbit hole of risky behaviors and compromise their self-respect. “Jeff Yalden came and took our schools by storm,” said Edwards. “He captured the attention of our students as well as the attention of faculty, administration, law enforcement, parents and many other vested adults from our community.” She added that the kids developed trust in Yalden within two hours and then poured their hearts out to him. “Jeff has a gift, and he has helped many of our children through a very difficult time in their young lives,” she said. “Many of these kids will never forget the day that a motivational speaker captured their attention, their hearts and their minds.” Yalden was grateful to Edwards for going to bat for him. “Thank you for organizing and fighting to make it happen. We made a difference today,” he said. In his more than 25 years working with young people and school communities, he said he has met many awesome teachers, administrators, coaches and counselors, but he cited then-interim and now permanent Mathews High School principal Alexis Foster as one of a kind. “Today’s teens are growing up differently and need trusted adult who can find the perfect balance of understanding, discipline and encouragement, while providing inspiration and hope – an individual who shows beyond any doubt that they truly care about the students that walk through their doors,” Yalden said. “Mr. Foster is the embodiment of empathy and compassion, yet he held the kids accountable in a way that they felt empowered and hopeful – that their needs were being met and that they had solid futures to look forward to.” Foster himself was more than pleased with the result of Edwards’ work to bring Yalden in for the day. “As a school administrator, it’s very difficult to always find the time to say the right things or to do things to motivate your kids – but if you have the time and really care about kids, you need to invite Jeff Yalden to your school,” he said. “Just spending the day with him today, I saw lives changed, kids’ attitudes changed – and parents are now thinking about things that maybe they never thought about before.” What Yalden most wanted to instill in the young people in attendance was the fact that the world owes them nothing. “You get out of it what you put into it,” he said. For more information about Jeff Yalden, go HERE. Learn all about The Jeff Yalden Foundation HERE. To book Jeff now, call (800) 948-9289.
Cle Elum, Washington is a small community 90 minutes from Seattle, boasting only 1,872 residents as of the 2010 census. In April, the community lost a freshman from Cle Elum-Roslyn High School when he made the forever decision to take his own life. Youth motivational speaker and crisis intervention expert Jeff Yalden spent a full two days in the community last month, presenting to high school students, middle school students, and parents – and simply being available for those wanting him to lend an ear. “I can’t even begin to tell you the amazing stories and conversations we’ve had,” he said. “You can’t even imagine – and through the toughest discussions and the tears, I looked at some of these kids and fell in love with them.” He said he also loved to see how committed the staff members were to the welfare and well-being of the kids. First, Yalden spent two hours with roughly 250 high school students. From conversations with the young man’s friends, it became apparent that he told some of them what he intended to do, but the feeling was that he would not go through with it. “And so here we are – talking about a young man who told people, and followed through,” he said. We have to take all signs seriously, according to Yalden. “Don’t put yourself in the position where you are going to make that decision whether [or not] they are just saying it. No. Young people are probably the most important people in saving one of their peer’s lives – whether it’s direct verbal clues, indirect verbal clues, behavioral clues or situational clues. You are the ones that hear about it first.” Remember: See something, say something. Know something, do something. “You have a responsibility to do the right thing,” he said. “suicide is the most preventable kind of death.” Yalden hosted a parent program on the first evening of his visit, and although speaking to the parents in attendance and having conversations with them is always productive, there is always the sense that the ones that show up are not the ones Yalden needs to reach. The parents who show up are usually engaged and involved in their children’s lives already. On day two of his visit, Yalden had an early-morning follow-up session with students and staff at Cle Elum-Roslyn High School before heading Walter Strom Middle School, where many of the students knew the young man. “There was a lot of crisis going on at the middle school – a lot of hearts to touch, lives to change, hope to restore – and give these kids direction as they move forward,” he said. For Yalden, it’s not just about speaking at assemblies and making presentations. “When you hear about some of these obstacles and challenges that these kids are having and you can meet one-on-one – that’s when you do the work,” he said. “That’s when you challenge the kids to think deeper, to do better, to make decisions that they know they need to make – and be able to hold them accountable.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeff will be on hand all day tomorrow, April 3, for students, parents, community members, and recent graduates. For details, contact Atchison High School at (913) 367-4162. Hey Atchison Community – A lot of people in the community and parents have reached out to me and shared with me the latest loss. First and foremost, I want to share my thoughts and prayers to the young man’s family, friends and the people that know the young man and the family. I am sorry. I was just in your community. I love your community. I wanted to come by and offer you a couple of thoughts. My friends, I don’t think suicide is ever the right decision. I think suicide is a permanent action to a temporary problem – but I get it. I understand where young people are. I want to share with you again two reasons why young people end up with the thought for the desire for suicide: 1) Young people feel alone – basically it feels like you don’t have meaningful relationships. I get it. We live in a world today where we spend so much time on smartphones and social media, and it’s about balance and boundaries. I don’t really want to go there, but if you spend more than four or five hours a day on screen time, you are 70 percent more likely to have depression in your life. So – I want to encourage you – less screen time and more social engagement. And when you have social engagement – whether it’s a trusted adult, whether it is your friends – where you are problem solving, communicating and you are together – listen, that takes care of the “I am alone.” That makes sense, right? 2) The other reason is that you feel like you are a burden. This basically means that you feel that you don’t make any notable contributions to the world and that you serve as a liability – and that you are disappointing your parents, teachers or coaches because maybe their expectations are so high – and you are spending so much time on your smartphones that you are not focusing on things that are really important: Your motivation. Your school, your future – your direction. Here’s what happens: When emotionally you feel like you are alone and that you are a burden – and it lasts so long – suddenly you end up with that desire. I don’t think young people want to die. I think one of the problems is that young people live in the here and the now. Young people – you don’t know what you don’t know. Like, you don’t know what it was like at one time to not have smartphones, Internet, social media or YouTube – so you are the first generation growing up with this. I think we have done a disservice to our young people as a society. We have given young people these rights and these privileges where this frontal lobe, or frontal development has not matured and come into focus – so the emotions that come with smartphones, the Internet and social media – we’re not mature enough to emotionally handle the result of this. If your parents aren’t going to say no and teach you balance and boundaries – it’s hard for you to put that balance and those boundaries in your life – but that’s something that you have to start working on. Social and emotional learning does not come as a result of being on the screen all of the time. Online time can affect mental health in a negative way. Social engagement social interaction can help your mental health. Think about it. Two of the biggest things that we are concerned about with teenagers today are coping skills and problem-solving skills. We live in the here and the now. We think that we go to the bank and an ATM spits out cash. We send a text and get an immediate reply… Again – Atchison, Kansas – I don’t know the details on this young man. But I will tell you this: It’s going to be OK. My friends, it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to want to talk to somebody. I meet young people all the time and they say, “Yo – I don’t want to talk to anybody because every time I talk to someone, it’s like they are telling me my emotions don’t matter. I shouldn’t feel like this, and it’s like they aren’t validating how I feel.” Part of being young is about having crazy emotions and feelings – and not understanding them. And it’s OK to have that trusted adult to go talk to. I spoke at a school in Indiana today, and a girl wanted to talk afterwards. The girl has been in counseling for two years. Do you know that today she told me more than her two counselors knew about her? I asked her why she felt comfortable telling me what she did. “I don’t know,” she said. “You seem like you get it.” Don’t you think you have trusted adults in your life that – if you gave them the chance – they would get it too? Folks – we can’t help you if we don’t know. “Well Jeff – I don’t know how to talk to someone…” When you didn’t know how to ride a bike, that didn’t stop you, did it? When you didn’t know how to ask a girl out – you still found a way, right? When trusted adults in your life sit down with you and something is wrong, they know what to say. You just have to be willing to just go up to them and say, “I don’t know what to say but I am kind of really struggling.” When I spoke to that child today, I can’t tell you how many times she said, “I don’t know” in tears – and you know what I did? I just kept asking her if she felt safe and if she knew she wasn’t in trouble. As long as she knew those two things – little by little, she opened up. It was a beautiful day. My point is simply this: Suicide is a permanent action to a temporary problem. If you are afraid to talk to a trusted adult and you don’t open up to anybody – and living in the here and the now – all of this pressure is so much that you start to think that the desire is there – but it doesn’t ever need to get to the point where you have that desire. But you have to have the courage to realize that it’s OK to go talk to somebody. I am praying for you. I’m sorry, and I love you guys. Don’t be afraid to open your heart and find a trusted adult. And they are going to support you and encourage you – but you have to open up. For more information, visit www.jeffyalden.com To book Jeff now, call (800)948-9289 Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit: www.jeffyaldenfoundation.com
Newcomerstown, Ohio is a small rural community just north of Appalachia. I was invited to spend the day with Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools and heard that nearly 80 percent of the students there were receiving free or reduced lunches. I hear that stuff all the time but have never let that influence how I look at the kids or the community. I arrived on February 20 at 6:50 in the morning for a seven o’clock meeting with the administrative team and was astonished to learn that all these people were born and raised in this area. They had grown up, graduated, gone out into the world and came back. It was that kind of community. I love that. We had a great hour-long meeting, and I listened – learning about who they were, their needs, and how they value their kids. It was an awesome way to start my day. My first impression was from high school principal Josh Branch, who texted me about parking in the pharmacy lot across the street and come in through the front doors, which I did. Three steps into the building, I noticed the lockers – many of which were decorated with inspirational quotes and messages of kindness from students to their peers. The walls were also filled with uplifting posters and decorations. Shortly thereafter, I met the young ladies who were responsible for such awesomeness. I assumed that they had put everything up the night before and asked them how long it took them to do this. It turns out that these young ladies decorated their peers’ lockers in October, and the kids hadn’t removed anything – everything still looked new. I was amazed. At this point, I knew that this day was going to be awesome. My first assembly was for middle schoolers. I spent two hours in the auditorium with sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Did I ever mention that I should request a shower after my talks? I sweat a little too much. These kids were amazing. We didn’t waste any time with an introduction. I just said, “BOOM – Lives are going to change,” and sure enough, a bunch of students lined up afterward to shake my hand. Some told me that I changed their lives. A few of them wanted to talk about their lives, and they did. I heard about a group of girls that called their group “different.” I found out that they were very smart and mature for their age, and all had lovely hearts. However, they secretly talked to each other about their thoughts and feelings. This was a circle of trust in which they talked candidly about suicide and self-harm. Imagine being in the sixth grade and hearing this stuff about each other. Then it happened. I was summoned to the office and told about a self-inflicted gunshot incident that morning at Jackson Middle School, about 40 miles away. A seventh-grade boy brought a rifle to school and shot himself in a restroom there. [UPDATE: He died the next day. No additional details have been released, and an investigation is underway.] After processing this, we had to get back to work at Newcomerstown. But it didn’t take long before a couple kids came running in and told us about an incident in the auditorium concerning a female student. Now we have the young girl in the office, and a couple of her friends are in other offices. School personnel responded very well – calmly and on top of things. This is the team that I would want looking out for my kids. This isn’t my first rodeo, but it was incredible to see well they worked and how open their hearts were. I was very impressed. This incident took a couple hours of our attention – talking to kids, parents coming in and figuring out who knew what. The whirlwind day continued with another two-hour assembly – this time for the high school students. If I were to travel with a camera crew you’d see and hear stories that would break your heart. I love what I do. It’s amazing giving these kids hope and support, but gosh, it can be tough hearing their pain and home lives. I met with the teachers after school for 45 minutes. At six o’clock, I gave a presentation for parents. More than a dozen mental health and other agencies had tables set up as well. It was impressive to see the support for a school community that wanted to be proactive about the issues their students face every day. We had 125 people come out for the event, and I think that was a great turnout. We spent an incredible two hours talking about parenting, teen mental health, social media and the signs and symptoms related to teen suicide. It was after nine when I was finally saying my goodbyes – and we all just sat in the auditorium, thanking each other. I love my job. For more information, go HERE. To book Jeff now, call (800) 948-9289
Teen Suicide . . . Expectations to be #1 VideoTeen Mental Health expert and Suicide Prevention Trainer, Jeff Yalden talks about society expectations and how it’s impacting our teens in a negative way leading to more and more teen suicides. It’s an epidemic, America. Suicide Prevention Training Online Course for Teachers (Click Here) – Be a lighthouse, instead of a helicopter. Be reliably there for your child, but committed to helping him or her learn to ride the waves. “Children who feel secure, without feeling controlled, have less to rebel against in the teen years and may be more comfortable managing their own lives as adults,” he says. – Praise your child’s effort, not the outcome. A child who is only praised for the outcome, such as solving a puzzle, may become afraid of causing disappointment compared to the child praised for what they did to get to where they could solve the puzzle. – Speak in sentences with “and” instead of “but” when disciplining your child. Praise children for what they did correctly “and” add your expectations to correct what they failed to do. – When your child is sad, anxious or overly sensitive, see their feelings as strength that will someday help them. Empathy and feelings are not enemies, Jeff says. – Tackle your own ambivalence about getting help before asking your child to seek help. They will read your mixed emotions and risk becoming more ashamed or resistant to help. – Develop a code word that your child can use when they need to leave a situation. Allow the child to shift the blame to the “mean” mom or dad as a reason to leave. – Check in with your children when they get home. If they know they will need to talk (and could be smelled or sensed), it can help them create their own boundaries. – Use dinnertime to be a role model to your children. Talk about your most embarrassing moment, the biggest problem you faced at work today and how you overcame it, and what went well and what did not go well that day. For more information about Jeff Yalden and suicide prevention in your community, please visit www.JeffYaldenFoundation.com.
Most of us have heard the old adage, “If you assume, you make an ASS out of YOU and ME.” It’s a staple in journalism school, but more importantly, the wrong assumption can send your mental state into a downward spiral – sometimes resulting in anger or resentment – or both. Mental health speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden says that the ability to walk away from a situation without letting it trigger a negative emotion like anger is key to living your BOOM life. Recently, Jeff was on a plane from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Kansas City. He had a Gatorade with him, and when the flight attendant asked him if he wanted anything while in-flight, he thanked her and said he was all set. But then the warm peanuts came around, Jeff wasn’t offered any. As he mentioned in episode 61 of The BOOM Podcast, he knows this sounds almost like a non-issue, but it didn’t seem like a non-issue at the time. “When you have bipolar and anxiety, triggers like this really hit you – and by the way I love those warm peanuts you get on the plane,” he said. Even though the flight attendant also offered everyone in first class warm towel, including Jeff (which he declined), it felt weird that everybody got the warm peanuts but him. He decided not to say anything because he didn’t want to seem like a ten-year-old who didn’t get his candy – but somewhere in his emotions was the inkling that he might have done something wrong – as if the peanut exclusion was some sort of punishment. Jeff is a man who lives with mental illness every day, and he was grateful to keep his emotions in check by repeatedly telling himself to let it go, and this was not a big deal. But for something that isn’t a big deal, this perceived exclusion happens to many of us, especially on social media. Let’s say you see a post from a friend who is having a great time at an event with other friends, some of whom you know. The first thought might be that you have been excluded for some reason. You weren’t tagged, and you certainly weren’t out with them. Did you do or say something to hurt this person’s feelings? “There are little things in everyday life that can affect you, and you start wondering if you did something. My friends, sometimes we just need to let it go,” he said. To the flight attendant’s credit, maybe she took to heart what Jeff said in his first encounter with her – that he was all set. She offered him a chocolate chip cookie when the flight was about to land, but he politely declined. “Getting off the plane, she was like, ‘have a great day, sir.’” Let it go. “Don’t compare one situation to another situation,” he said. “Don’t compare your life to someone else’s life. I think sometimes when we do that, we raise our anxiety and stress us out more than we need to. If you haven’t heard from someone for a couple of hours, it’s no big deal. “We are all busy. We are all trying to work hard – but if you think that maybe you have hurt someone’s feelings – ask them.” More times than not, you will come to know that it’s not about you. To listen to this episode of The BOOM Podcast, go HERE. Find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s Number One Youth Motivational Speaker. Go HERE. Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit, THE JEFF YALDEN FOUNDATION. Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now for your event, organization or school now, call 800-948-9289. For a limited time, you can own Jeff’s new book, Your Life Matters, for only $0.99 on KINDLE. SUBSCRIBE to The BOOM Podcast. JOIN the BOOM Nation Facebook Group and share your BOOM moments with us.
In Episode 60 of The BOOM Podcast, mental health speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden encourages you to bring the BOOM into your life – whether it’s a factor or an effect – but if you can align that BOOM with a purpose, and that purpose makes you happy every day, even better. Day 14 of the “Attitude of Gratitude” series is all about purpose and fulfillment. “If you knew me when I was younger, and you would have ever thought then that I’d be doing what I’m doing now – there’s no stinkin’ way,” he said, but he added that he is proud of the work he does because it’s fulfilling, meaningful and very rewarding. Jeff said being happy personally is not the same as being happy professionally, but if you are not happy professionally, you will have a tough time feeling fulfilled. “You have got to determine whether you are happy or not, and one of the ways for happiness to be fulfilling is to do something in life that is bigger than you. Serve this world or your community or your family in a way that, every single day, you feel like you are not stressed because you are living a purpose that is so big.” Find what you are grateful for, and this can serve as a roadmap to fulfillment. Jeff shares a couple of examples of this in his life where his purpose is bigger than himself. “Carolina Forest High School here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had a student make that forever decision about a week ago. I sent a message to the school and I offered my prayers and thoughts. I said I was sorry, and if there was anything I could do, please let me know.” Because he reached out, Jeff was able to do presentation at the school. “I feel very fulfilled in my heart that I got to do that,” he said. He also recently spent two days in Killingly, Connecticut, where the local community lost five people in the past year. “In those two days, I had some very meaningful conversations with the student body, the counselors and social workers and the administration – and I got to talk to some students one-on-one.” He also participated in a home visit for a person whose roommate overdosed and died that very day. “We got to go to the house to just let this person know – ‘we care about you and we just want to make sure that you are OK as you go through this process over the next couple of days.’” He finished up his time in Killingly by watching the local high school continue to go undefeated against a rival team from Hartford that had three Division 1 athletes on the team. “It was cold, but it was beautiful to watch those kids of character and, resilience and perseverance,” he said. What can you do that is bigger than you? “When you find something to do that gives you a beautiful purpose, your life is going to change,” he said. Find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s Number One Youth Motivational Speaker. Go HERE. Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit, THE JEFF YALDEN FOUNDATION. Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now for your event, organization or school now, call 800-948-9289. For a limited time, you can own Jeff’s new book, Your Life Matters, for only $0.99 on KINDLE. SUBSCRIBE to The BOOM Podcast. JOIN the BOOM Nation Facebook Group and share your BOOM moments with us.
Years ago, Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden was walking toward his gate at Pittsburgh International Airport when he caught sight of Bill Cowher, then the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jeff’s first inclination was to go up and shake Cowher’s hand, but he wavered for a moment because he thought most everybody wanted Cowher’s time and he likely didn’t want to be bothered. But he decided to approach Cowher anyway. The iconic coach was with his wife, Kaye Cowher, who died in 2010. “I will never forget that moment,” he said. “Bill Cowher stopped and turned toward me, and his wife engaged in the conversation. They probably gave me 20 seconds, and 20 seconds is a long time. I introduced myself and told him I was a big fan. He looked me in the eye. His wife smiled, but I remember him smiling and saying, ‘thank you.’” Day 13 of the “Attitude of Gratitude” series is all about exposing the truth, and how the little things will hold you accountable. Jeff recorded this episode of The BOOM Podcast in Reno, where he was the keynote speaker for one of the regional Student Council (STUCO) conferences in Nevada. He arrived early at the hosting high school, got set up for the event, and met the principal. “I went to shake his hand,” he said. “It was a good handshake, but he gave me that ‘looking away’ handshake.” This moment turned into a later defining conversation between Jeff and the principal. “I asked the principal if there was anything he wanted me to share in my message, and he was telling me about social media and first impressions.” Obviously, the door was wide-open for Jeff to bring up his earlier first-impression – that handshake. “I took a great risk, but I tried to be tactful,” he said. “I explained the handshake we had, and I explained to him exactly what he did. He didn’t realize he had done that.” The point is this: ‘I know you’re busy. I’m busy too. I know we’re grinding so hard every single day and that sometimes we need stop and be present.” Jeff recalled a similar moment when a young man bought one of his books after a school presentation a while back. “Apparently, I didn’t acknowledge him – and I remember getting an email from him, just blasting me. I reached out to the school and to the advisor of this young student. I tried to do everything I could. I sent books, t-shirts, posters, pictures. That young man wanted nothing to do with me because of that one moment.” According to Jeff, sometimes that first impression is a lasting impression. Always remember that a little kindness and common courtesy go a long way. “My moment of gratitude today is recognizing that it’s the little things every single day.” Find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s Number One Youth Motivational Speaker. Go HERE. Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit, THE JEFF YALDEN FOUNDATION. Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now for your event, organization or school now, call 800-948-9289. For a limited time, you can own Jeff’s new book, Your Life Matters, for only $0.99 on KINDLE. SUBSCRIBE to The BOOM Podcast. JOIN the BOOM Nation Facebook Group and share your BOOM moments with us.
If you can count your true friends on one hand, consider yourself wealthy. In Episode 58 of The BOOM Podcast, mental health speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden continues to lay out his 28-Day “Attitude of Gratitude” series. Day 12 is all about self-awareness. Are you loved? Hated? A little of both? Self-aware people know where they stand with others. Jeff has a close circle of friends that he knows he can call if he ever needs them – and any of these friends would be there for him in a heartbeat. “I consider myself a very wealthy person, but I think it’s also important to understand and to be OK with the fact that not everybody will like you,” he said. An interesting question to ponder is this: Do we change who we are to meet their approval, or do we continue being who we are in our lives’ journeys? Your journey is not somebody else’s journey. “Listen: There are a lot of people that don’t like me, and there are a lot of people that don’t like you – but here’s the thing: Are we going to live our lives every single day, giving these people the power over our emotions, or are we going to realize that there are people that just don’t like us? People might not like you because you are different from them. Being different is OK. “But if people don’t like you because you are a straight-up ass, I think you really need to look at the type of person you are, because there might be a lot of other people with valid reasons for not liking you – and if that’s the case, I don’t see that you live a very happy life.” Jeff knows that he can be loud, opinionated and selfish with his time, but in his self-awareness, he knows his intentions are pure. “I’ve got a big heart. Maybe too big – so I can’t really be affected by people that don’t like me. You might not like me because I’ve made mistakes in the past. I have. I’ve hurt people in the past, and I’m sorry,” he said. “Have you ever said something to someone you wish you didn’t say? Have you ever done something you wish you didn’t do?” We all have, haven’t we? “I can’t dwell on the past. I can kind of look at the past as a rear-view mirror. It’s just used to check out the past, but you don’t live there long,” he said. But if you have hurt somebody, Jeff recommends reaching out to them and apologizing if you can. “Now it’s up to them to accept your apology and maybe give you forgiveness – which I think most people probably would – but there are also a lot of people who might not.” But at this point, it’s no longer about you. The ball is in their court now. You have attempted to make amends, and if forgiveness doesn’t come, that’s their issue. There is nothing more for you to do. “In being self-aware, I think it’s important to know who you are – but it’s just as important to know who you are not. In being aware of who you are not, you are also choosing to live in a way that you are not going to live your life to meet the approval of other people,” he said. Jeff said that if you can forgive, and if you can apologize and ask for forgiveness from the people you may have hurt, that’s a very powerful place to be. “When you look in the mirror, the big question is this: Are you as beautiful a person on the inside as you are on the outside? That’s the question that you must answer.” When Jeff recorded this podcast episode, he was getting ready to head to Reno, Nevada for a speaking gig. “I’m going to reflect on the plane – about who I am as a man – who I am as a significant other – who I am as a leader in my community and a leader in my field of work – and I want to challenge you to do the same thing. The question is: Do you like yourself? Because that’s what matters the most.” Find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s Number One Youth Motivational Speaker. Go HERE. Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit, THE JEFF YALDEN FOUNDATION. Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now for your event, organization or school now, call 800-948-9289. For a limited time, you can own Jeff’s new book, Your Life Matters, for only $0.99 on KINDLE. SUBSCRIBE to The BOOM Podcast. JOIN the BOOM Nation Facebook Group and share your BOOM moments with us.