Motivational speaker Clint Pulver really connected with the upperclassmen at Wayne County High School, along with their instructors. It was an afternoon assembly held courtesy of the GEAR Up Program in connection with the recent College Night activities.
Pulver’s message to the receptive teens and teachers was to believe in themselves and in the power of others. He encouraged the audience to live a life of significance, not just a life of success. “It’s not about being the best in the world. It’s about being the best FOR the world,” he explained.
He started his program by saying it was his seventh time speaking in Kentucky. Like the local audience, he is from a small town called Heber City, Utah, where there were “more cows than people.”
“Choices matter,” he said, as he described one of his greatest moments at 18-years-old sitting in a cockpit of a small plane rolling down a runway making his first solo flight as an aviator. “I graduated high school with my pilot’s license.”
He went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication and high distinction from UVU’s nationally ranked leadership program. He was active in college as a Presidential Leader, Orientation Director, UVU Ambassador, and former UVU Student Body Vice-President.
After a two-year study abroad program, he returned home and was renewing his driver’s license. During a routine eye exam, he realized he could not see the letters on the screen. That led to a diagnosis of a unique eye disease that would lead to blindness by the time he reached 30-years-old. Needless to say, his dream of flying was destroyed.
This lead to his realization that “Greatness is within the soul.” He took that slogan and made a point with help from a local student holding up a banner with the two-line slogan printed with the word “the” repeated at the break in the sentence. Most of the audience did not catch the deliberate typo in the verbiage. “Sometimes you just don’t see it. But, just because you do not see it, does not mean it is not there. It’s the power of perception!”
“You know, every one of us is one-step away from a caring person,” Pulver told the crowd.
Pulver told the students how he had been picked on growing up and was the kid that was bullied because he had trouble sitting still. He had been told to “sit on his hands” in the classroom but his feet would start tapping. One day an older teacher asked him to stay after class. His classmates whispered, “Twitches’ gonna die….”
During the conversation after school, Pulver admitted to Mr. Jensen that he had been sent to the principal’s office because of his excessive movement. “When you do your assignments you use ambidextrous skills,” said Mr. Jensen.
“You know what, I don’t think you are a problem. I just think you are a drummer,” said Mr. Jensen, as he presented him with a set of drumsticks some 22-years-ago.
“Sometimes, there can be a single moment in time that changes someone’s life,” said Pulver. Mr. Jensen wisely realized his student was not a problem, but an opportunity.
As you might guess, since that seed was planted in his life, Pulver in fact, has become a professional drummer playing for various professional groups and large venues. For six years, he directed the UVU Drumline he founded in 2010 known as the Green Man Group, as well as the Drumline for the Utah Jazz.
He unveiled a drum set on the gym floor and demonstrated his remarkable skills to the appreciative student body. Then he took it a step further by blindfolding himself and playing the drums even more effectively to cheering applause.
He has received awards like being voted in as one of Utah’s most fabulous people and UVU’s distinguished Young Alumni Award. He has appeared on Americas Got Talent and in several different motion picture films. He is also a professional business and top producing sales representative and distribution manager in the medical device, capital equipment, disposables, and pharmacogenetic industries.
He referred to Mark Twain’s quote about the two most important days in a life: “The day you are born and the day you figure out why.”
“Live a life that allows you to live, not just exist,” he recommended. “Eighty percent of adults hate their jobs. Do what you love. Find out how to do it and prepare for it.”
“Do something bigger than yourself!” he advised.
He got a volunteer out of the audience and asked the student to take a sip out of a glass without using his hands. The student pulled it off by getting down on the floor in front of the entire audience and using his feet to hold the glass and bend over to drink from it.
“I know all of you were thinking, I’m glad he didn’t call on me to come down and demonstrate that task…”
He said that he noticed, not one person in the audience stood up and came down to help their classmate drink the water. “You never need permission to help somebody. It is always okay to ask for help. You have great teachers and you can ask them for help.”
“Name a coach or a teacher that has made a difference in your life,” Pulver challenged. The students yelled back a variety of names. “Who has made your life a better story?”
He concluded his high-energy speech with a story about a football player who’s Dad died unexpectedly in a car wreck on the way to his championship football game. The football coach excused the athlete from the game to be with his mother. Instead, the student athlete chose to play the game and he and his teammates exceeded all expectations winning the game, touchdown after touchdown. Afterwards, the coach told the athlete he was ashamed of him because he had chosen to play the game for fame and popularity, instead of going to console his mother. However, the athlete told his coach, “You don’t understand, my Dad has come to every game, but he was blind and never actually saw me play. Tonight, my Dad was able to watch me play like a champion.”
And the bottom line for Pulver’s eyesight, after maintaining hope and much perseverance – a clinical trial in a study of 600 visually impaired patients, with Pulver number 47, resulted in a new drug that saved 100 percent of his eyesight.
The local crowd cheered for Pulver’s happy ending.
Motivational Speaker Clint Pulver
Osvaldo Alvarez held up a banner with Clint Pulver to teach a lesson on perceptions
Pulver plays the drums
Pulver plays the drums blindfolded
WCHS Junior William King did a great job participating in a demonstration