Dr .Joanna Osborne Masingila, Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University">Keynote speaker David Essel with Dr .Joanna Osborne Masingila, Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University

Healing Stories: The Path to Success is Covered in Failure

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David with Dr.Joanna Osborne Masingila, Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University

Healing Stories: The Path to Success is Covered in Failure

One of the greatest honors I’ve had in life was to be invited back to my alma mater Syracuse University to do the keynote address to graduating students a year ago.

From the days I was in Syracuse to today. They wanted the students to get a honest idea of what it really takes to become successful in life.

If I knew along the way how incredibly challenging my life would be I’m not sure I would have accepted the challenge. But it was worth it. Here is my story, my commencement address, to the graduating students of Syracuse University


Thank You Dr. Joanna Osborne Masingila and the School of Education…. Heather Waters and everyone here for inviting me to be a part of this really important day…

First congratulations to each of you!… The graduates of my alma mater, Syracuse University!

Probably the most important piece of information I can give you… Would be for everyone to tap in to your own inner “Lady Gaga” in the world of education… Be strong enough to be yourself, be unique, and you’ll make the biggest difference in the world in whatever career path you choose.

40 years ago in this gym… In Manley Fieldhouse I lived here… I love this place… As a member of the junior varsity basketball team… This was home.

(As a sidenote… 40 years from now you’ll be about 60 years old or so… I know at your age we don’t never think that’s going to happen… I sure didn’t… so make sure that you take full advantage of every breath for the rest of your life!)

40 years ago in this very gym with coach Roy Danforth and Jim Boeheim
Coach Danforth called me into his office… We have a spot for you on the varsity team do you want it?

Yes sir this is all I live for!

We want you to push our seniors in practice so that they’re ready for anything are you ready Essel?

Yes sir.

There’s only one catch… You’ll never get in a game





24 hours later I return and tell coach that I can’t do it.

I ended up leaving school and going on a one and a half year search to find out what my purpose in life was.

I finally returned to Syracuse and enrolled in the School of Education and had one of the most incredible advisers ever, Dr. Carl Shantzis…
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David Essel is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach and inspirational speaker. If you would like help in overcoming any challenge you’re currently facing in life, simply visit www.davidessel.com