DARE TO SAY YES - Inspo from a “Miracle Man”

A close up of Anthony in a white shirt, smiling to the camera.

Anthony Bennett has turned his extraordinary near-death experience into an opportunity to inspire others. As such, he was kind enough to travel to the Make-A-Wish Hub in Reading in January to give us a rare in-person talk, that was replicated online for remote workers.

For whatever reason, sadly, Ant was not referred to us for a wish. Had he been, he may well have met his idol Eminem by now and be telling a slightly different story! But that story truly does inspire, as you'll see.

Here are our top takeaways from that talk:

  1. Shockingly, Anthony was resuscitated 12 times and spent seven weeks in intensive care after contracting a pneumonia like condition, which turned into four different life-threatening complications. Tired and on the brink of giving up, it was the seemingly small thought that he would miss listening to Eminem's imminent new albums that made him push on. He also surmounted challenging times as he recuperated. Anything is possible!

Anthony on a ventilator in his hospital bed, during treatment for his illness.

Anthony in hospital during treatment for his illness

  1. When he finally went home from hospital, the world seemed to be moving at an incredibly fast pace. He urges all of us to slow down enough to notice the little things after this gave him a fresh perspective. He recalls: "I saw a man running for the bus and both his feet were leaving the ground. I started to pay attention to the small details and was amazed and inspired at what I noticed! It made me want to push harder to get back to full health.”
  2. After recovering, Ant was asked to give a talk to an audience of businesspeople to inspire then to fundraise for the hospital that had treated him. He learnt that by saying yes – even though he feared what that might entail – amazing things could happen. That’s how his career as a motivational speaker emerged. He said: “My biggest fear became my biggest passion.” It's one of the messages he continues to spread: https://youtu.be/UjwAN_xDzC0
  3. His mum was a massive inspiration who got involved in his hospital care, asked what she could do to help, worked hard and dispensed sage advice – (the message here is: always listen to your mum folks!)
Anthony on stage during one of his motivational talks at the 2017 Risky Business event.

Anthony speaking at the 2017 Risky Business event

  1. There are usually two voices inside all our heads: the voice of The Dreamer and the voice of The Doom Monger – a character Anthony calls The Puller-Backer. It is possible to allow the voice of The Dreamer to become more dominant and to quieten the other voice; the one which tells you you’ll never be able to achieve something or that you’re not good enough. It takes practice, but it is possible.
  2. It also possible to live with or overcome depression, by taking small manageable steps. To do this, Anthony became his own coach, using self-talk to question and motivate himself. He knew going for a run would boost the chemicals in your body that evoke a feeling of wellbeing, so he made all the steps towards going running easier. He laid out all his running kit the night before. He told himself he’d just see what it was like outside. Once he was there, he said he may as well just run round the block. Once he’d started running, he talked himself into carrying on and going that little bit further each time.

These six points are just a smattering of what we learnt from Anthony and wanted to pass on. We wish him all the best as he continues to enlighten others throughout the world on his mission to embolden us all to dare to say yes!

A close up of Anthony on stage during one of his motivational talks.

Anthony giving one of his talks

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