Kevin Touhey Helps Shore Regional Get Motivated

Motivational speaker visits Shore

Martin MacStudy

Martin MacStudy, Staff Writer

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SHORE REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, WEST LONG BRANCH– On October 6th, 2015, students at Shore Regional were visited by motivational speaker, Kevin Touhey, who spoke to students. “Attitude is everything” was the key topic Mr. Touhey spoke about during the assembly.

Mr. Touhey used the following examples to get his message across: if you don’t get the lead role in the play, if you don’t start in the big game, if you don’t get the grades you wanted, that doesn’t mean you drop everything and give up. It is up to us, the students, to learn from our misfortunes and overcome adversity. During the assembly Mr. Touhey stated, ”You can’t let failures stop you from your goals.” Mr. Touhey was sure to make it clear that being successful and not succumbing to failure is important. However, to Mr. Touhey, success isn’t being the lead role, it isn’t being a starter, it isn’t getting the highest grade. To Mr. Touhey, success is when a person achieves some level of personal achievement.

Along with attitude, Mr. Touhey told students that perception is everything. If a person views everything in a negative light and believes he or she is entitled to things, he or she won’t lead a successful life. In order to lead a successful life, Mr. Touhey told students to maintain the core values of courage, risk, compassion, and welfare of others. These four core values could lead to a very successful, gratifying life.

Overcoming adversity was touched upon a lot during the assembly. Mr. Touhey shared his own example of overcoming adversity. He described growing up in absolute poverty.  He described, in detail, how he and his nine siblings grew up with no electricity and no food, and were evicted from house after house, often moving during the middle of the night, so as not to be seen by their landlord.

As if absolute poverty wasn’t enough adversity to overcome, on April 23rd, 2013, Mr. Touhey was rushed to the hospital because he couldn’t breathe. What doctors then found, changed his life forever:  a seven centimeter malignant tumor was positioned in his lungs. The tumor had gone undetected long enough for it to spread. Eventually, Mr. Touhey had cancer in his ribs, spine, throat, and brain. He had been given six months to live.

That time stamp was given twenty nine months ago. Five percent of white men who don’t smoke are diagnosed with this type of cancer, but Mr. Touhey stated, “I rarely ask, Why me?” Although Mr. Touhey has advanced cancer, he was able to fight it to be able to share his story with Shore students.  Mr. Touhey also discussed how he tries his hardest to talk to five cancer patients a week. He wants them to know that he is there for them.  Mr. Touhey said, “By giving, I get.”

Mr. Touhey takes pride in helping and encouraging others overcome their problems. He even has had an impact on some students here at Shore Regional by speaking with a student’s relative. Mr. Touhey’s desire is to leave more for society than he takes from it. “Society teaches us that everything is about yourself!” Mr. Touhey exclaimed, trying to get the students to be more charitable.

When Mr. Touhey allowed the students to ask questions, he had some great responses. When he was asked what his take on hesitation and vulnerability was, Mr. Touhey responded with, “Hesitation is rooted within fear and doubt. You can’t let hesitation stop you from doing something you want to do. Vulnerability is powerful. It allows you to open up and become more courageous.

‘Mr. Touhey has two books published about how he overcame adversity and another one on the way. The two books he currently has out are Miracle of Optimism and Agony of Winning and are available in bookstores and online.

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Kevin Touhey Helps Shore Regional Get Motivated