It ain’t about you

“It ain’t about you!!” is an often exaggerated tagline from Dr. Phil, but when you really think about it…it’s good advice.  The world is a better place when we consider others before ourselves.  My personal perspective got an adjustment last night, and it came in the form of a speech by a young man named Kyle Bryant.

In my mind, last night was supposed to be about me. I was competing for the 5th straight year in the  Toastmasters District 39 inspirational speech contest, and I had worked very hard for 4 months leading up to Saturday night.  My goal this year was to develop an impactful “dramatic story” speech, about having to turn back on a Yosemite Half Dome climb (read the original post here.)  I appreciated the judges awarding me with 2nd place, but this concludes my drive toward the world championship for this year.

1st place went to Kyle Bryant, who told a story about having heart… and “heart” trumps “drama” any day.  Kyle was the final speaker in a field of 8 strong contestants, and he closed the show with a heartfelt telling of his battle with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a degenerative nervous system disease.  He rode a recumbent tricycle across the US with his father to raise money for a cure, and is about to enter an even bigger race. As I sat in the audience, I couldn’t help feeling grateful for my health, and wishing for a cure for Kyle.

Everything happens for a reason.  If I hadn’t entered the contest, I wouldn’t have met Kyle and heard his message last night – “It’s not what life throws at you… it’s how you react to it.” 

So I’m reacting by passing his story along to you now. Learn more about the new documentary movie at and donations are still welcome.

It’s true… sometimes, “it ain’t about you.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Motivation

14 Comments on “It ain’t about you”

  1. Ray Basile Says:

    Great job David!! Pulling off a 2nd place with that kind of competition is not easy. Your concession speech is also well written.

  2. diane davidson Says:

    David – you are so open to letting yourself learn from others. This reminds me of the gentleman on the train going home. Congratulations on 2nd place and even more on your celebration of and support for Kyle.

  3. Ron Says:

    Graciously done, Dave.

    Not everyone could have seen it the way you have. I think you’re a winner anyway. Always have.

    A class act.


  4. Karen Says:

    Congratulations David on 2nd place! And hip-hip hurrah that you found a new perspective leaving the District 39 contest! Life is grand and we just never know what will be coming our way. You are a true inspiration David! Keep doing what you are doing and sharing it here.
    Your friend and fan, Karen

  5. Tushar Says:

    Heartiest Congratulations David,

    and this blog in particular says much more about you than your speaking prowess which i am already aware and a fan off…thanks much for all the sharing and making such a great difference wherever you can and your innate ability to learn, respect and share, very inspiring indeed…congratulations !

  6. Kyle Bryant Says:


    Thank you for the kind words. Your speech was amazing, I would love to hear more from you in the future! Thank you for helping to spread the word about FA and the good news that we truly believe the cure is within reach. I imagine that our paths will cross again, soon I hope.


  7. Pam Says:

    Congratulations and well done David! You’re #1 in my book. You’ve discovered what some people never learn in their entire lifetime.

  8. Jeff G Says:

    Congratulations on your continued success Bro!
    The 1st place award will happen one of these years, but your positive impact on others is happening every day with your messages!
    I look forward to your motivational perspective as I get ready to embark on a tough journey myself.
    I’m very proud of you!

    Big Bro

  9. Jan Says:

    What a gracious man you are– to relinquish 1st place with such dignity and grace. Thank you for that and also writing about Kyle. He’s an amazing young man, as you can see.
    All 3 of my children were diagnosed witht the same disease as Kyle. Kyle, and others like him, have been such an inspiration to so many of us with his heart and drive to bring awareness.
    He is a terrific young man… and from your few words that you wrote… it is my assumption that you are too.

    • davidgoad Says:

      Thanks Jan. I did no exactly “relinquish” first place. Kyle earned it from the judges. I was honored to share the stage with him 🙂

  10. chris lansdowne Says:

    You just changed my night.. thanks

  11. chris lansdowne Says:

    You just changed my night…thanks David

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