The past 12-months have been some of the hardest if not the hardest of the last twenty years. The COVID19 pandemic which cost nearly 3million lives, has changed the world we live in. As well as costing lives, jobs, and putting a strain on the world medical profession, it has also increased the number of people suffering from mental health.
The World Health Organization which previously reported that stress cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year, has said more people than ever before are suffering from stress due to the COVID19 pandemic. It is no wonder more people are suffering from stress with the problems that the pandemic has caused, but one man who wants to bring hope to people and reduce stress levels is Sixty-Nine-Year-Old New Zealander Keith Lightfoot.
Keith Lightfoot who launched the SPEED Project in April 2020 in an effort to inspire people during the pandemic has been credited for helping people all over the world.
The SPEED Project which means Short Powerful Episodes of Enthusiasm and Determination has been a huge success. Already there have been more than 330 episodes, so we decided to catch up with speaker, author, songwriter, and teacher, and find out more about the man and the project.
- First of all, can you please introduce yourself?
KL: Hi, thank you for the opportunity to chat. My name is Keith Lightfoot. I live in a lovely little village called Pukerau (in New Zealand) with my beautiful wife Andrea. My focus is to help people with their well-being and self-worth.
- You launched a Free Online Motivational Service early last year, can you tell me more about the project?
KL: When the lockdown began, people became anxious and depressed about their immediate situation and the long term consequences. I wanted to reach into people’s homes and help them, and the best way was to develop something online that everybody could access for free.
- As well as being an author, public speaker, songwriter, and teacher, please let me know if I have missed anything out, you have also become an inspiration to so many people during the pandemic, how does it feel to know you have helped people?
KL: It is humbling to know that I have made a difference and it inspires me to keep going. The positive feedback and the wonderful comments often bring tears to my eyes.
- Let’s talk about how you have helped people. For those people that don’t know, you have recorded and uploaded more than 330 episodes of motivational messages during the pandemic, how did that come about?
KL: I distinctly remember celebrating 100 Episodes! At the beginning “100 Episodes” seemed almost impossible. I am grateful for the people who have encouraged me, supported me and believed in me. SPEED is a constantly evolving process.
- When you uploaded your first motivational message, did you intend to just to that as a one off, or had you planned to keep doing it?
KL: I still remember the emotional, physical and psychological effort required to plan, design and create the very first episode of SPEED. It’s actually “quite scary” putting yourself “out there” for everyone to see and judge. I am so thankful it was well received and within a week, people starting commenting on the positive impact it was having in their lives.
- You have already created and uploaded 330 episodes, where do you get the motivation and energy from every day?
KL: I get motivation and energy from my loved ones and from the people who reach out to me and tell me how it has helped them. My purpose and destiny is to “make a difference” and SPEED is a vehicle to help as many people as possible.
- The COVID19 pandemic has hit people in so many different ways and has been the reason for the huge increase in mental health issues, how have you handled the pandemic?
KL: I am blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and support me. My family and friends believe in me and they encourage me to “keep going”. I find the most effective way to deal with the pandemic is to focus on helping others. We can all make a difference in the lives of people, we all have something unique to offer.
- How do you plan each episode, and what is the one thing you want people to get out of them?
KL: Planning usually involves book or online research, followed by mind-mapping, brainstorming and then individual episode design. I want people to realise how special they are and how important they are to their family and friends.
- Some people have said that your episodes have helped them to cope during the pandemic, how does that make you feel?
KL: I feel grateful and humbled by the feedback. I am constantly looking for ways to do more!
- Once the pandemic is official over, do you plan to continue uploading more episodes?
KL: Yes. There is no “end date” for SPEED, just as there is no “end date” for helping people with their anxiety and depression. I want people to pursue their dreams and goals!
- You have called your campaign SPEED, why choose that name and what does it mean?
KL: SPEED stands for “Short Powerful Episodes of Enthusiasm and Determination”. I came up with the name during the initial design and creation process in 2020.
- Although you are based in New Zealand, and you are helping people in your home country, you are also helping people around the world, was that your intention?
KL: Yes, we are all impacted by the pandemic, no matter where we are located. One of the benefits of the internet is that a message can reach all corners of the world.
- And lets talk about you after the pandemic, what will life be like for you once this Covid situation has finished?
KL: Once the pandemic is over I will continue to write, speak and coach. People everywhere are hurting and I want to help.
- Finally, what dreams do you have left?
KL: Everything I do revolves around my mother’s last words “Don’t die with your dreams inside you!” My goal during my time on this planet is to help people not to “die with their dreams inside them!”
Thank you for the opportunity to chat. I appreciate it.
For further information about Keith Lightfoot, visit: https://publicspeaking.co.nz.
About Keith Lightfoot
Keith is a speaker, author, songwriter, and teacher. He lives in a tiny village in New Zealand with his beautiful wife Andrea. Keith says, “Unlike many speakers, I am not enabling people to build wealth. I am enabling people to feel worthy and capable”.
Media contact: Keith Lightfoot
Listen/Watch SPEED on:
YouTube Playlist: https://bit.ly/2RaoF6b