Success Magazine – A Moment with Russell Lehmann

Success Magazine Russell Lehmann 2019 www.russell-lehmann.com

If it is one thing all of humankind has in common, it’s that we all struggle. Within this profound commonality of the human race lies the key to personal growth and development.

Diagnosed with autism at 12, I have been admitted to 3 different psychiatric wards at the ages of 11, 21 and 25. I dropped out of public school in the 5th grade and subsequently became somewhat of societal recluse for the next decade. I have battled incapacitating OCD, tumultuous panic attacks, severe depressive episodes and almost lost my life to anorexia.

Now? I am 28 and an award-winning and internationally recognized motivational speaker, author, poet and advocate. My story is archived in the Library of Congress.

Through my strife I have learned to run towards, and not away, from my obstacles. To not turn my back on my challenges, but rather to stare back at them. To kiss the feet of adversity, for it has given me the opportunity to learn my most cherished lessons and gain my greatest insights.

I am strong because I have been weak. I’m fearless because I’ve been afraid and I succeed because I have failed.

A large portion of life’s struggles are unfortunately exacerbated by societal conditions such as judgement, expectations, prejudices and biases, comparisons, peer pressure, so on and so forth. To protect ourselves from this, each of us has a mask we wear in certain situations to protect the fragility of our true selves.

It is behind our masks where we find the true essence of life and where we can experience the totality of what it means to be human. What Novalis stated centuries ago turns out to be true: “The path of mystery leads inward”.

I used to shun my trials and tribulations. Now, however, I embrace them with open arms. I have found my success through my struggle. You can, too.

 

Share this post…

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

You Might Also Like...

Dear Russell,

On behalf of the Community Engagement Conference 2022 Planning Committee we would like to thank you again for the wonderful keynote address that you presented on our theme of “Building Community” at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. The conference had over 300 people in attendance. The audience feedback on your presentation was outstanding! Out of approximately 50% of returned surveys, 100% of the respondents gave you the highest possible review on your presentation. We felt honored to have you as our guest in Northeast Missouri.

Russell, your presentation came at a pivotal moment for our community as we discuss and plan the development of the Greenwood Center for Autism in Northeast Missouri. To quote one of the key players from the conference, she said “Russell is saying exactly what everyone in this room needs to hear.”  We appreciate your transparency in sharing your inspiring personal journey. Your willingness to discuss your story, identify what worked and what didn’t work for you as well as your balance in reviewing educational and community supports had enormous impact on our community leadership. We are confident that your message will be considered in the planning and providing services for the autistic community in Northeast Missouri for many years to come.

In addition, the participants were particularly appreciative of the round table discussion which you led following lunch. So many of the people receiving community services felt comfortable enough to speak up and share their thoughts. Many participants said that they have never seen that level of participation from the consumers of our services in the history of this conference. Together we all agreed it was because of your motivational speaking style and ability to connect on a deeply personal level with your audience.

Russell, your ability to communicate a positive and inspiring message to people with developmental disabilities has emboldened many to speak up and embrace self-advocacy. Following your presentation, several local citizens impacted by autism have come together and are beginning to share their stories in support of one another. You modeled for many what leadership and vision looks like. You demonstrated how that vision can help a community come together. We cannot express enough our gratefulness for all that you said and did during your visit. We look forward to continuing our communications with you as your message continues to change the world.

Thank you for all that you do

Crystal Aminirad

Executive Director

Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Russell Lehmann | Speaker, Poet, Advocate

Presenter(s) Knowledge of topic

Content presented in presentation

Usefulness of information presented

Clarity of objectives of presentation

Understanding of subject matter AFTER presentation

Comments

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

9

10

10

10

Would love to have him speak to students. I will look over his videos to present to kiddos.

10

10

10

10

10

Wonderful information and thank you for sharing your own experiences

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

9

10

10

10

Very inspirational!

10

9

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

9

6

none

10

6

7

10

10

none

8

7

7

6

5

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

AMAZING!!!

10

10

10

9

8

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

This was fabulous!

10

10

10

10

10

none

Russell Lehmann - Breakout Session

Presenter(s) Knowledge of topic

Content presented in presentation

Usefulness of information presented

Clarity of objectives of presentation

Understanding of subject matter AFTER presentation

Comments

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

9

10

10

10

I wish there was more time for Q&A. I felt talked to for an hour, which was fine, but I would have liked more of an interactive presentation.

10

10

10

10

10

Again, very good speaker

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

8

7

7

6

5

none

10

10

10

10

10

Great presentation

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

This guy is so inspiring

9

9

9

9

9

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

none

10

10

10

10

10

Grateful for his articulate, personal and very honest story shared with us

10

10

10

10

10

none

8

8

8

8

8

none

10

10

10

10

10

Great perspective and reminders

8

8

8

8

8

none

10

10

10

10

10

none