12 June 2017, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
What drives me, and what drives you, comes from within.
And people like me come and go.
And I can tell you now, in a week’s time, you won’t remember a thing I said .
I can’t remember what I said a year ago, or the year before and neither can you.
But, I hope you remember what I do.
People say to me, and I sort of look at them blankly, they say, ‘why do you do what you do? You got a terminal illness, why don’t you tick off your bucket list, enjoy life, you haven’t got long left. Why do you do this?’
‘What keeps you resilient?’
Why do you persevere? Where do you get the resolve from?
And it all comes back to ... I’m really clear on why.
With ‘Fight MND', as you see up there, what drives me, is not about me.
That’s not called the ‘Neale Daniher Foundation’.
That’s called ‘Fight MND’.
It’s about others.
The disease will get me, I know, but why I do it is that two or three people will die today, while I’m talking to you. And two or three will die tomorrow. And two or three died yesterday.
And what drives me is ... it’s curable. This is curable.
I can’t accept that like now there’s no treatment or cure.
And that drives me to go - well what can I do?
Mightn’t help me, but what can I do that might make it better for others.
And I think there’s something in that for you guys too. In football, there is an element of self. To get the best out of yourself. There’s an element of that that’s true for everyone. You want to be the best you can be.
And there’s a continuum, if you’re looking at self. Over there is selfish, and over there is selfless, on that line.
And nothing great can get done with selfish people.
So where do you sit on that? To be great together, you have to be over here. Selfless.
And where that sits with you,. you can say whatever you like, but your teammates know, by what you do.
By what you do.
I’m really clear on what drives me. And with that, being resilient, and handling adversity, and having resolve, becomes second nature.
I know I’ll have setbacks, I know I’ll get worse, and people say, why don’t you tick off the bucket list?
Why don’t you go and just do what you want to do. In a sense, be selfish.
That doesn’t give me any meaning or purpose.
That gives me no drive.
What drives me is, how can I help people?
There’s a saying, ‘when it’s all said and done, more is said than done’. And the mark of a person is not what you say, but what you do.
The question I’m going to leave you with is, well what are you going to do? The next time you play, what will you do?
You teammates are not all that interested in what you say, they’re interested in what you’re going to do.
Good luck boys, thank you.
To help find a cure for MND, donate here.
Another popular speech on Speakola about finding meaning in the face of a terminal illness, is 'The Last Lecture' by Randy Pausch.