A few weeks ago, I was wasting time watching YouTube. I stumbled across a video that would forever change the way I thought.
Before watching this video, I thought I had survived some pretty crazy situations. I thought I was playing all out and giving everything I had. That was until I stumbled across Michael Crossland and the speech he gave.
His speech showed me the bravest thing I’ve ever seen someone do:
“Tell someone it’s going to be alright.”
Here’s why it was the bravest thing I’ve seen:
Telling the truth in the face of death is not easy.
Michael has lived a life that most of us can never imagine. He had his first heart-attack at twelve. As a kid, he had a 96% chance of dying from a disease that many other children had no hope of surviving.
In the speech I saw on YouTube, you hear about Michael’s battle with health. By the end, you think you’ve heard it all.
Then he smacks you in the face and tells you that earlier this year they found four tumors in his throat.
For a man that doctors said should have been dead many decades ago, you get left in that moment, speechless.
That’s not the hardest part of Michael’s story. During the speech he describes how every time he got a life-threatening diagnosis as a kid, his mum would say one line to him:
“Everything is going to be okay Michael.”
He always believed that line. It was this sentence that kept Michael alive.
The power of hope.
This line that his mom would tell him in the face of death gave him hope. As an adult with his own kids, Michael learned how giving hope to people was one of the best gifts we have available to us.
When the doctors found four tumors in his throat this year, his mom asked him one question: “What did the doctors say?”
He told his mom “Everything is going to be okay.”
As an adult, Michael learned what his mom taught him as a kid without realizing it. Every time Michael asked the same question as a child, his mom would tell him that everything was going to be okay.
Giving people hope and believing there is a way, is one of the bravest things any human being can do.
The rawness was incredible.
Being brave is often full of emotion. In this speech of Michael’s, he’s nearly in tears the entire time.
He told the story unfiltered, warts and all.
“He didn’t care how it made him look or how weak it made him appear. Michael shared his suicidal thoughts and the reason he wanted to die in his younger years. That’s not easy to do.”
It’s not easy to admit to your family, friends and work colleagues that you nearly committed the most selfish act possible.
Suicide is such a taboo subject and those who’ve had those horrible thoughts very rarely share them with the world.
Being raw, showing your emotion and talking about your weaknesses in front of a room full of people is the bravest thing I’ve seen.
I got the feeling that Michael had never shared these thoughts before with anyone. I got the impression he’d been working up to this speech his entire life and that he saw it as potentially his last words given his throat situation.
Purpose shines through.
What made Michael Crossland keep going was his purpose to teach others, through his public speaking, how they too can overcome seemingly impossible odds to do something that can help a lot of people.
By taking the focus off himself and his long line of illnesses, he showed what is truly possible when we disconnect from all the negativity and go for it. No matter what is weighing you down, you can push through and defy the odds.
In the face of death, it’s the only thing you can do. Otherwise, you live out your days feeling defeated which doesn’t help anyone. That feeling of defeat only kills the ray of sunshine you have inside of you that keeps you alive.
Being brave is not about doing a startup, making tonnes of money, finding yourself or getting your dream career.
Being brave is about giving other people hope through your own life lessons and sacrificing a part of yourself in the process for the greater good.
Thank you, Michael Crossland.