Inspirational Speaking on Youtube

In Motivational on November 4, 2007 at 6:43 am

Perception and Reputation: You are who you are.

New inspirational message from motivational speaker Antonio Graceffo.

By Dante Scott

“The monks taught me, you are who you are. You are fine the way you are. Don’t let anyone bully you into changing.”

More than six years ago, Antonio Graceffo, left his position as a financial consultant in New York City to pursue his dream of being an adventure and martial arts author traveling around Asia. He lived with monks and hill tribes, practiced martial arts, climbed mountains, kayaked on the ocean, trekked into dense jungle, learned four new languages, and canoed down rivers. Along the way, he published four books and several hundred articles in magazines.

Now, he has incorporated all of those experiences into his professional motivational speaking. 

“The whole time I was traveling I was constantly writing and taking pictures because I wanted to share the stories and images with people who were like I used to be, chained to a desk, unable to go out and see for themselves.” Says Garceffo.

A turning point came for Graceffo when he reported on an entire village of families living in a garbage dump outside of Phnom Penh.

“The smell was horrific. Most families only earned about a dollar and a half per day, scavenging garbage. They couldn’t afford to buy bottled water, so they were drinking the fetid ground water, which I didn’t even want to get on my skin. It was no wonder they were all living in a constant state of illness.” Said Antonio.

“That story, as well as several stories about Burmese Refugee Hill Tribes being slaughtered made me realize I wasn’t just watching more TV. I was experiencing, even if as a tourist, other people’s real lives and emotions. But the editors didn’t want anything but cold facts.”

Journalists are expected to be neutral, sending back bland reports about other people’s suffering, with no hint of emotion or personal experience.

“Some of the magazines wouldn’t even let me write the word I in my stories. They said first person perspective was unprofessional. But I was there. I felt. And I was learning life lessons that I wanted to share with others.”

The lessons Antonio learned from experiencing foreign cultures, as well as his frequent periods of consulting with Buddhists monks, have created a rich inventory of stories and anecdotes which Antonio now imparts as part of his motivational speaking.

“I have friends in these countries who earn less than $30 a month. Suddenly, this puts your own money troubles in perspective. There are Burmese and Laotian refugees in camps through out Asia who can’t go home because their government will kill them. What are my troubles compared to theirs? I know monks who spend every waking minute in meditation, prayer, and study. How much time do most of us dedicate to any of these? My martial arts masters and friends spend countless hours, over a period of years trying to reach physical perfection, for no reason other than they feel led to do so.”

“Speaking gives me an opportunity to tell people about my experiences, but at the same time to help them to draw conclusions about their own life and hopefully help them to find a way of living which works for them.”

 Antonio Graceffo speaks professionally as often as possible. For people who he can’t reach face to face, he has produced a CD, entitled “Around the World and Back to Your beginnings.” Working together with independent film maker, Soso Whaley, he has managed to put several of his inspirational videos on youtube, which people can watch and enjoy for free.

“Your dreams are right. Follow them. Live the life that suits you best. If you try to live the way someone else forces you to be, you will be miserable. Live the best way that you can. Use your time to learn and experience, and grow. Help people along the way. You are fine the way you are. Don’t ever let anyone bully you into feeling bad about yourself.”

You can see Antonio’s recent videos at youtube

 An brief version of the full length CD, “Around the World and Back to Your Beginnings” “Perception and Reputation” Antonio’s speech for the semi-finals of the World Championships of Public Speaking.” See Antonio Graceffo’s website,    

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