134 – Look for the good and trust in the work

You don’t know what other people are going through. Listen to hear why Hugh van Cuylenburg will never stop pushing his organisation’s (The Resilience Project) message.

Rob Grundel joins the podcast this week! He’s standing in for Shawn, who’s on leave.

Rob shares a story that recently came up in an Anecdote team meeting. It’s from Hugh van Cuylenburg’s first book, The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness

Rob also mentions Hugh’s new book, Let Go: It’s Time for us to Let Go of Shame, Expectation and our Addiction to Social Media. And the pair discuss Rob’s debut on Anecdotally Speaking, which occurred for 122 – Grumpy maestros and all that jazz.

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Trigger warning: this week’s episode touches on suicide, so some listeners may prefer to skip this one and tune back in next week. If you need help, you can call Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14.

For your storybank

Tags: audience, help, mental health, resilience

This story starts at 03:11

Hugh van Cuylenburg is a Founding Director and Facilitator at The Resilience Project. A few years ago, he worked with The Roosters, an Australian NRL team, and gave a talk at their clubhouse.

Immediately before the talk started, a player wearing a hoodie walked into the room and sat in the back row. As Hugh began speaking about his topics—gratitude, empathy and mindfulness, he noticed the player pull his hoodie over his face and cross his arms.

“Wow, this guy is hating this,” he thought.

When Hugh finished, the player moved to exit the room. But on his way out, he paused. His hand on the door, he turned and stared at Hugh.

“Weird,” Hugh thought.

The following year, Hugh presented at a public event in Sydney. Some 600 people were in attendance, and in the front row, he noticed the player again, sitting next to an older woman.

“What is this guy doing here?” Hugh wondered, “He hated my talk last year.”

The player wore a cap, and as Hugh spoke, he pulled it over his eyes.

After the presentation, as the crowd was thinning, Hugh felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around and saw the player, a large guy, standing next to the older woman.

“Hugh, I don’t know if you remember me, but I was at your talk last year for The Roosters. I’m Martin Kennedy, and I wanted to bring my Mum here today to hear you speak.”

Martin broke down into tears. His Mum grabbed his arm and held him tight.

As he recovered, he told Hugh, “I wanted to tell you that the day before your talk last year, I had decided I was going to go down to my Mum and Dad’s beach house and end it all. But after I heard you speak, I decided not to. You’re the only reason I’m still alive.”

Over the following few years, working with all the NRL clubs, Hugh received four emails from players saying similar things.

As Hugh wrote in his first book, Martin and those four emails are five reasons Hugh will never stop pushing The Resilience Project’s message.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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