L’école secondaire Le Sommet kicked off its second semester with a talk given by a very special visitor, Justin Kingsley.

Storyteller/best-selling author, creative director, strategist, director, photographer and proud Franco-Ontarian, Kingsley visited the school at Anne Laflamme’s, the Principal, bequest.

“As a holiday gift, I gave members of my staff a copy of Kingsley’s new book, Le livre du don, after reading it myself. I later got a chance to talk to him and asked, ‘Would you come and give a talk for the school’s teachers?’. He replied: ‘I’d much rather talk to your students.’

Kingsley’s talk started with him asking students what they wanted to do with their lives. After collecting a handful of answers, he proceeded to tell them:

“I’d hate to disappoint but I may have some bad news. I’m 46 years old and I still have no idea what I’ll do with my future.”

Kingsley’s words aimed at inspiring the students to “make their own way” in life, one of his inspirations being the French author Martin Gray, who once said that to be free is to learn how to dream, to invent your own life.

And indeed he has.

“I wrote two New York Times number one best-sellers and a television series watched by millions of people, I was Press Secretary for the Prime Minister; everyone keeps reminding me how good I am… and I still remain one of the most insecure guys you’ll ever meet.”

Kingsley used his own insecurities to build a context the students could relate to, stating that the challenge of believing in oneself can be overcome no matter the hardships faced while growing up.

“At 46, I still struggle with it. I want people to think I have value. I’m always trying to prove myself.”

Kingsley concluded his talk be sharing three important lessons with the school’s students.

“Believe in yourselves. A lot of people won’t believe in you. Just remember that it has nothing to do with you. It’s all them. That’s number one.”

“Two: be honest with yourselves. Do what you love doing.”

To that second lesson, Kingsley added:

“Some say that once you find what you love, you won’t work another day in your life. Wrong. Once you do find it, you will work harder than ever, every single day and you’ll love every second of it.”

To top it all off, Kingsley concluded with his third (and most important) lesson.

“Get to work.”

An inspiring start indeed for the students’ second semester.