‘Find your purpose, live your passion’

Motivational speaker Richard Wright on the My City Talks stage
Motivational speaker Richard Wright on the My City Talks stage
Image: Werner Hills

Twice in his life, Richard Wright has been told that he did not have long to live.

But the businessman and two-time stage-four brain cancer survivor overcame the odds, beating cancer at the same time as competing in some of the world’s toughest endurance events – including Ironman.

Sharing his journey at a My City Talks event hosted at the Boardwalk Convention Centre on Tuesday, Wright said it was in “finding your why” that you begin to understand the power of purpose.

While the road had not always been smooth sailing, understanding both his fear and purpose was instrumental to him finding the power to cross the finish line.

His two young daughters, he said, helped give him the strength he needed to fight back every single day.

“On the day that cancer takes me, I am no longer a cancer survivor,” he said.

“But until that day, I am a survivor of absolutely everything that has ever happened to me in my life.

“You are a survivor of everything you have ever been through in your life.

“If you are married right now, you have survived marriage.

“If you’re divorced, you have survived marriage and your divorce.

“If your car is financed, if your house is bonded, you are a survivor of debt.

“Everything negative that has ever happened to you, you have survived.

“Do you reflect that in who you are?

“Right now, in this moment, you are the oldest you have ever been in your life.

“Right now, you are the closest you have ever been to your death – and that is probably the most inspirational thing I could tell you.

“So focus on the goal and know your why.”

In an earlier talk, awardwinning Bay entrepreneur and Chumile Holdings director Violet Lupuwana said there were always those who tried to box you in and force your hand into following a particular path.

The power lies within you, she said.

“You determine where you are and where you will go.”

With a background in industrial engineering, Lupuwana said she was constantly curbed by previous employers when she tried to pursue a position unrelated to engineering.

Taking matters, and her purpose, into her own hands, she ventured into her own business and continuously looked for ways to grow and diversify her brand.

“My calling in life is to be a value-adding citizen through training and development, through mentorship and through transport,” she said.

The journey to success was a forward trajectory of both peaks and falls, but it was the moments where she was at her lowest that she learnt the most about herself and her capabilities, Lupuwana said.

“If you are an entrepreneur, you need not fear to fail.

“I, too, started off being afraid of failure, but the question is why?

“Because it is in failure that you gain the most wisdom.

“Most of us have our profession, but are we living our passion?

“The key skills I believe entrepreneurs need are having the ability to sell – if you can’t sell, you can’t make an income – learn how to build a team, teach your team and get their buy-in to share your mission, and establish your code of honour, which will stipulate how you are going to play internally and externally.”