Posts Tagged ‘Richard Mccann’
This post was written by Katherine Connolly of Keeping HR_Simple on 19th August 2010
Over 100 people listened to Richard McCann talking in the Cambridge Cancer Help Centre last night and many of us were moved by what he had to say. I have heard messages like these before – “you can do it”, “get out of your comfort zone”, “challenge yourself”. I’ve never once thought they applied to me. I’ve never once felt personally affected by any of them. For me, the speakers and writers were always talking to someone else. They didn’t apply to me because I didn’t want to feel challenged. I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone, thanks very much. I never wanted to release my potential because as far as I was concerned, maybe I didn’t have any. I’d rather not try than do it and fail.
I’ve never once felt personally affected by any of them.
Last night, Richard’s message got to me. I believe that things happen for a reason (Jason always says that things don’t just happen, things happen just) and that the time was right for me to get that message and what’s more, to act on it. Until we started this business, I was a PA. A very good PA, thanks very much. I went to work every day, stayed in the office, acted as the central point of contact for everyone and everything. If someone wanted to know where something was, guess who they came to? If someone wanted help or advice or to pass on a bit of gossip, guess who they talked to first? I knew everything that was going on and I was very comfortable. My feet were firmly under the table there and I loved it all; the job, the company and the people.
I’ve learnt that I’m capable of much more than I think I am.
Now I know that I was missing out. Doing that job was fulfilling maybe 1/10th of my potential. If even that. I’ve learnt so much in the last year but mostly I’ve learnt about myself. I’ve learnt that I’m capable of much more than I think I am. I’ve learnt that I can go out and talk to people – people I’ve never met before. I’ve learnt that I can survive difficult situations. I’ve learnt that I have a way to go before I could call myself a good public speaker. But I’ve tried it and I’m willing to keep trying it. I may never be as good a speaker as Richard McCann but I have the potential to be. I’ll never dye my hair ginger though – I don’t want to be an honorary member of “the ginger massive” . Most importantly of all, I’ve learnt that if I say “no” to the things that scare me or worry me or make me feel uncomfortable, I’m missing out. So, thank you to Richard McCann for bringing that message home to me. People probably tell you all the time how you’ve affected their lives but you should know how you’ve affected mine. Richard McCann
How easy do you find it to forgive?
This post was written by Ellee Seymour on 18th August 2010
I met Richard McCann this evening and, like the entire audience at The Inspired Group , sat mesmerised as he told us his devastating life story and described how he had overcome one major personal catastrophe after another. Being born with ginger hair was another one of life’s challenge he was forced to face, he joked with us to lighten the mood as his story was dark and haunting.
The colour of his hair certainly paled into insignificance compared to the trauma of being the young son of Wilma McCann , the first of 13 women murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper in 1975, a week before his sixth birthday. A fairly horrendous life followed which forced Richard to lie about the true nature of his mother’s death to Army comrades, culminating with a spell in jail as a drugs dealer, and a desperate struggle to get back on his feet after his release so he would not lose his home.
The theme of Richard’s motivational “I can” speech, which he gives around the country in schools, prisons and to business groups, is to make us believe that even the worst situations in life can have positive outcomes if you focus on them, rather than the negative. He wants to inspire people and give them self-belief – and counsels others who have lost loved ones in violent situations – using his early wretched life with a brutal father and his unhappy experiences as an example of this.
His dramatic life story and how he coped with his personal tragedies has been described in his moving best seller, “Just A Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood.” Thankfully, the story has a happy ending as Richard is now blissfully married to a midwife with three adorable ginger haired kids! But that is not the end of the story.
I sense that his real happiness came from being able to forgive – first of all his father for the misery he caused to his family, and then, most surprisingly, forgiving Peter Sutcliffe for the murder of his mother. This happened after he heard Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at the Forgiveness Project charity which explores forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution through real-life human experience of which he is patron. Afterwards, Richard managed to catch up with Desmond Tutu before he left and told him that he was now able to forgive Peter Sutcliffe who had stabbed his mother 14 times. The two men hugged, and I imagine there were tears following such a huge release and acknowledgement, something 99% of people in his situation could never do.
Richard is an amazing, powerful speaker. He left us all speechless and humbled. His mum would be so proud.
Do you find it easy to forgive?