On Wednesday 20th November 2019, Antony Bennett, a motivational speaker, had given a talk about Resilience at Woodford County High School.


The Inspirational speaker had fallen extremely ill, after contracting multiple infections, once returning from a school trip to Disneyland Paris. Anthony Bennett’s last hope of survival was a life support machine called ECMO; he was later transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital - where he was treated. He was told that he had a 10% chance of survival and was revived 12 times during his time in hospital.


After being asked by Great Ormond Street Hospital to speak at a Morgan Stanley charity event as guest speaker, it sparked a career in inspirational speaking. Morgan Stanley is a global investment banking firm and this was an incredible opportunity for him. Despite being initially scared to take on this opportunity, he grasped it and used it to his advantage.


Yes - say yes to everything, all the positive opportunities, everything that is offered to you is his main motto. The word yes can enrich your experience, boost your journey to success and gain limitless skills, which is what Anthony Bennett draws from his experiences.


I had later interviewed him about his experience:


Do you perceive the trip to Disneyland Paris, today, to be a good/bad experience? What did you take away from it?


‘Best experience of my life, and that is the same way I look at the whole thing … I see it as the best worst thing that I have ever been through… By going through that big “life – slap”, where life just slaps you and wakes you up a little bit, I think it has helped develop me’.

‘It was me and my friends in a different country, we were all quite young, those memories will always be very positive.’


Bennett clearly recognises that this life changing experience, has allowed him to develop into the best version of himself; this just means that a bad experience doesn’t have to be bad but could instead be the best thing for you.


What would the outlook of your life be if this all did not happen? What would your trajectories in life be? To what extent is this different to your life now?


‘My dreams where to have a job within the media industry… I was good at having a creative imagination, so I wanted to make that imagination visible for people to watch and enjoy… I think I would have built myself up in the media industry.’

‘My outlook on people has changed, It has allowed me slow down and I constantly think about what I’m saying, because I have learnt the impact words can have on people. I just radiate positivity…’

‘This experience has helped me to marry up the two loves of my life; speaking and the media aspect of things.’


Antony had a lump stuck in his trachea, a tube that he was using to breathe. This near death experience had led him to give up, which he talks about in his speech.


‘When you give up in life, you start to constantly give up in all situations’, how would your outlook on life look like?


‘The doctors would have needed to revive me, I would have survived it.’

‘I still would have had the same positive outlook in life, because getting that second chance in life, was the big positive that happened to me… just by having that second chance in life and having that alteration of how you see the world, it would have been my push to say you know what, lets go through this…’


To what extent do you think being Resilient in 2019 is difficult? Does the access of Motivational Videos and other content is giving us an edge in being resilient?


‘I think so massively… everything is at our fingertips now, and we spend our time looking at a very small screen… It also depends on who they are following online, these are like people that we are seeing day to day… It will have a slow influence on you, you don’t need to watch the news to gain this information… It being fed to you day by day…’


I would like to personally thank Anthony for coming to Woodford County and for inspiring us all with his heart-warming story of resilience. A true inspiration to everyone, fighting day by day, to be the best version of them, there is no doubt that he will continue to share his story and continue to inspire others.


I highly recommend looking further into Anthony Inspires and for him to come into your schools as well. His website is https://anthonyinspires.com/


Lakavi Suthan, Woodford County High School.