Not once this semester have I been more fired up than when I left Gret Glyer’s “How To Find Your Purpose In Record Time” talk. I mean, I was shook. Expecting a lukewarm format of “this was my childhood, this is where I am now, & go do great things,” his motivational speaker demeanor had the audience and I squirming in the best of ways.

Allow me to elaborate. Gret is an intense, no-nonsense kind of guy who bluntly speaks the truth, drops the mic, and leaves. His piercing eyes gaze past any defenses or disguises one may erect around themselves for protection. He stares into your soul and asks three simple questions: Who are you? What’s your impact? How are you going to improve?

Now, that alone doesn’t make for a good keynote talk. An audience that sulks out with broken egos probably won’t want to come see next year’s show. Never fear, for Gret saves the day by offering pearls of wisdom he himself picked up in his battle for greatness. Above all else, he eases audience tension by boiling it down to this pithy statement: “Your purpose is the framework through which you make all decisions.” Woah. Basically, figure out said purpose and the rest of the puzzle pieces will fall into place.

Tensions arise once again. “But Gret,” we plea, “how on Earth can we figure out something as overarching as our foundational purpose?” Gret comes to our aid by sharing tips on how to look at the puzzle box picture before the puzzle itself is assembled. First, he shares the example of how he found his way. (An inspiring story delivered by a remarkable storyteller, might I add.) After that, he shares all of the principles he views as objectively necessary in finding a wholesome purpose.

One wide-eyed hour of feverishly scribbled notes later, I was shook. I knew I needed to be like this guy someday. To have his speaking ability, his drive, and his capability to inspire awe. From the back of the auditorium I asked a few questions, the usual suspects: favorite books, best habits, etc. Then, as the audience shuffled out, I took a spot in line to speak face-to-face with the man. I waited and waited, intentionally slowing my heart rate, calming my nerves, and running through what I’d say to him. Finally, I stepped up to the plate. Our engagement was brief, but it meant so much to me. His presence was even stronger up-close. It’s as if he vibrates on a higher frequency, and you can almost feel his presence before you even see it.

We shared a departing handshake and I left Sticht, smiling cheek to cheek.