Catholic motivational speakers
By Kerry Weber
In order to make a living as an internationally recognized motivational speaker, Matthew Kelly has to have a good stage presence, a booming voice, and a sense of humor. And he does. But to truly succeed, Kelly, 36, also needs to listen. We all do, he says, because there are so many ways in which God speaks to us in everyday life. Paying attention to the ways in which God has called him has helped Kelly grow personally and professionally, and he’s made it his mission to help others notice God’s presence in their own lives. Kelly urges each person to “become the best version of yourself, ” and has written 10 books and created multi-media products and teaching tools to help with the process. A native of Sydney, Australia, he now lives with his wife in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kelly took a moment prior to his lecture at the Catholic Thrive conference in New York (see related story) to speak with Catholic Digest about life on the road, finding balance, and his faith.
How did you get your start as a motivational speaker and writer?
In business school I was invited to speak at a monthly event. In my class I was always interested in the ethical questions of business. I guess that made me stand out. They used to tape those talks and pass them around in this network in Sydney, and I just started getting invited to speak at different organizations. I spoke about how business and faith could be integrated. People heard me speak and said, “You should write some of this down.” The writing emerged from that.
The many voices of God
Matthew Kelly has written about his own mystical experience of hearing God speak to him. Yet he’s quick to point out that there are many ways to hear God’s voice. In addition to mystical experiences, he describes the supernatural voices of God — Scripture, tradition — and what he calls the three ordinary voices of God, which he says can be heard by all:
LEGITIMATE NEED. These can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. “When you hear the voice of those needs, you’re hearing the voice of God.”
THE VOICE OF DEEPEST DESIRE. “You may have a desire for six double-chocolate donuts, but hopefully, you have a deeper desire for health and well-being. The deepest desires have your destiny all over them.”
THE VOICE OF TALENT. “You’re not going to be able to explore all your talents to the fullest, but certain talents and abilities will call to you.”