On April 1st, 2016, our fearless leader, Brendan P. Keegan, captivated and inspired the entire student body of Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, NH. His keynote address was delivered to the school at the invitation of the school’s president, Linda Brodeur. The event, part of an Alumni Career Day, brought together all 750 students, along with faculty and administration members, to listen to Keegan’s message.

Keegan reflected on his own days as a BG Cardinal, shared his personal connection to the students and recalled his best memories of high school life. Keegan then sparked a determination within the students to overcome typical fears of anxiety experienced by teenagers. He encouraged them to think critically and creatively about their own ability to face anxiety and “crush life” in five different ways:

  1. Have Perspective
  2. Find Your Purpose
  3. Be Courageous
  4. Live with Faith
  5. Be a Leader at “Your Thing”

 

At the Victory Academy we work with the emerging generation by helping students develop into leaders and maximize their potential. These concepts addressed by Keegan are some of the key factors we discuss and explore in our academies. Our trainings are meant to evoke personal assessments and reflections, followed by calls-to-action, in which students create their desired goals and plans for the future. For myself, learning and developing these concepts throughout the years has been instrumental in my personal and professional development. Do you face anxiety? As we like to say, the time to act is now!

 

HAVE PERSPECTIVE

As a young student, it can often be challenging to live with an open mind and always have perspective. But it’s possible! Always be conscious of your values and moral standards. It will help you make proper decisions and build your character. I learned the true meaning of having perspective when I got to college. Even though we consistently won games, my coach always challenged us to develop and embrace new strategies. She taught me to think critically about new schemes and embrace change with positivity. Tips to consider:

  • See all sides and be open to new possibilities
  • Know right from wrong and acknowledge when others are right
  • Ask questions and offer solutions
  • Inject positivity into the world
  • Be empathetic

 

FIND YOUR PURPOSE

Find your vision that drives you to your maximum potential. Live your purpose with intention. What fuels you from within? What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning? Set goals and work each day towards achieving those goals. Without a road map, it’s difficult to navigate. I am a sports fanatic. I love the competitive, hard working nature it evokes. So I was determined that I wanted to work in the sports industry after college. I set learning and personal development goals, as well as a networking agenda to help maximize my reach. My road map set up me for success and I enjoyed a wonderful 8-year career at Nike. Just Do It! Tips to consider:

  • Manage your time
  • Write down your goals and hold yourself accountable
  • Befriend motivated people
  • Sit in the front third of the class
  • Create a list of mentors

 

BE COURAGEOUS

Recognize and seize your opportunity and take bold action in the face of fear, uncertainty, doubt or difficulty. It’s easy to hide in groups and blend in during meetings. I’m sure most of us can recall one time or another when we wish we spoke up or stood up for ourselves. During my days as a student, I was generally quiet, but tried asserting myself and my views whenever possible. Speaking in front of a large crowd was generally not at the top of my to-do list. So when I was asked to speak at the United Nations in front of 500 young girls and 100 other business leaders, there was certainly a dose of fear. I planned my speech, asked others for feedback, and made sure I was confident in the delivery. Accepting and performing this honorable speaking request was a game changer for me. It gave me confidence to take more risks! Tips to consider:

  • Speak in front of a crowd
  • Stop complaining
  • Give credit to others
  • Control your impulses
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

 

LIVE WITH FAITH

Believe and trust in yourself, others and a higher power. Have faith that your family, schoolmates, teammates, coaches, teachers and counselors are there to support you. Have confidence that you will succeed and put trust in others. So much of life is about teamwork. It’s important to join the right teams and associate yourself with people who will bring out the best in you. My high school basketball coach taught me the importance of trusting your teammates and believing in a common goal. We all worked together to maximize each other’s strengths, to push our mental and physical limits, and to build up each other’s confidence through positive communication. This team faith and cohesiveness lead us to a 78 game win streak across 3 seasons and 2 state titles. Go Wolves! Tips to consider:

  • Hang out with positive people
  • Use your strengths to teach
  • Give praise to others
  • Identify a fear and beat it
  • Do one new thing every day

 

BE A LEADER

Have the will to accept responsibility and organize a group of people to achieve a common goal. Embrace leadership in “your role” and own it! Whether it’s on the debate team, on a school project or on the playing field, you can be a leader through your own unique style. You could even be a coach, a manager or a mentor. I wasn’t the most vocal leader on the sales force at Nike, but I worked hard, took on big challenges and achieved my goals. I led by example and led with intention. Tips to consider:

  • Separate yourself; Take on tough tasks
  • Have high attendance
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Seize the opportunity to share an idea
  • Make thoughtful decisions

 

The reaction to Brendan Keegan’s message was eye opening for many of the BG students. It’s easy to get lost in the motions of our busy days, so he was able to provide them some wonderful perspective on how to tackle anxiety and crush life! The Victory Academy is fortunate to have a founding leader like Keegan, who instills these notions and values into our daily culture. “It’s up to each of us to find our values and our strengths, and then lead our life based upon those values,” concluded Keegan.

 

Contact: Kristen Kjellman Marshall | 603.402.1711 | kristen@velocityperformance.com