“This is the story of my life, a life which, throughout my teenage years and early manhood, repeatedly placed me in situations where my ego got me close to being killed.” Luke S Kennedy
On your first encounter with Luke Kennedy you are met with a youthful and positive spirit of a man with a warm smile and a great sense of inner peace. His purpose is to listen and help others find their purpose and inner peace through their own personal storms, much like the thunderous storm his earlier life portrayed. A life he openly shares in his incredible debut bestselling memoir “Stabbed Ego – A Thugs Journey to Enlightenment”.
Kennedy pens a tale of growing up as an angst riddled teen from a middle class Australian family from Sydney’s Southern suburbs, with a penchant for boxing and getting up to a little bit of no good, as boys do. However when that odd bout of no good spiralled into a continuum of drunken, violent and brutish behaviour that started to affect those around him and the veritable strangers that crossed his path, Kennedy began to toy with death as his ego becomes larger than life and threatens to destroy his troubled soul. Set against a soundtrack of an emerging Aussie hip hop scene, Kennedy delves in the worlds of street fighting and graffiti tagging, running the streets of Sydney searching for the purpose that was fighting to be found. Then after two near death experiences punctured by a knife blade and countless senseless attacks courtesy of his nocturnal dealings, Luke Kennedy decides to turn his life around from the root up and focus on rebuilding himself in mind, body and spirit.
As his re-construction continues, 30 year old Luke Kennedy is indeed living his best life yet. Heralded for his powerful memoir which has seen him add public speaker and motivational coach to his resume, spends his days in between speaking events at schools all over the state and the country to working at his successful ‘ Punchy’s Gym’ with his stunning co-owner and wife Jade. He is an inspiring human being with the ability to engage your spirit and ignite your soul with his positive and fearless affection of life. I am incredibly blessed to be able to share this poignant and honest account of Luke Kennedy’s journey thus far and am earnestly inspired, thanks to his courage, to continue to fight for the purpose in my life too.
Thanks so much for your time Luke, I truly appreciate it. How is life treating you?
Thank you for having me. Life is magic. I’m genuine when I say I’m one of the happiest mofos going. My day is spent hanging out amazing people at the gym I own with my sexy business partner (who is also my wife). Life has also introduced me to some really cool people like yourself. So for all of that, I’m incredibly grateful.
Congratulations on the success garnered from your inspiring biography Stabbed Ego ( out now on Amazon.com and all good book stores) , which was released mid-2014. It is a very personal exploration of your youth and the wild life you had lived up until a near death experience brought you back to a better quality of life. How would you best describe this book and how if has changed your outlook on life today?
The book is my story… from the ages of 15-23 I was at the head of a violent street fighting and graffiti crew in Sydney. I grew up in a family of boxers so from day one I was welcomed into the crew because of my ability to fight. I weighed over 120 kilos and knew how to throw my weight around. I was addicted to pills, coke, and speed and got blind drunk most days.
After getting stabbed twice; once in the lung and the other time in the head, I came close to killing people myself. I used to worry all the time what other people thought about me and it got me doing some inexcusable acts. On the outside I looked strong and confident but on the inside when i was alone I was severely depressed. I would sometimes cry myself to sleep. It wasn’t a single thing that started my shift. More a combination of many things. One of the key things that helped me change was the realisation that what i was fighting for was all just made up in my head; my ego. I thought i was the king. King of fighting. King of graffiti. I would stand over anyone and i really hurt a heap of people. I had created, in my mind, this fucked up world that was worth dying for. I realised this by reading a book (the power of now) and it helped me to start being myself again.
We’re all happy people when we come into this world but unfortunately some shitty things might happen to us or we will do some shitty things that take us away from who we all are deep down. Once i started being myself and stopped caring what people thought, that’s when life took the turn for the better.
You are not only an author, gym owner, mentor and public speaker to school aged kids and young adults across Sydney about your life and how you have turned it around? What do you feel is the most important message Stabbed Ego gives to the youth of our generation and what do you feel your role in life is best defined as when you are doing your public speaking engagements?
After each of my talks I get home to countless messages on Facebook with the kids thanking me. Before my talk they thought they were the only ones who had these thoughts and worries. They think they’re alone. Some of them think they’re crazy! I help them to care less about what others think and to be themselves. I believe that’s a true key of happiness. During my talk I take the kids on a ‘journey’ where I describe my upbringing and how it turned bad. I tell them how I started living up to the labels placed on me like ‘fighter’ and ‘gang member’. I describe some harsh events I witnessed; a drunk friend being run over by a train, and another friend drop dead in front of me after he consumed a single ecstasy tablet. I then detail how I escaped that life and demonstrate how I started releasing the labels to find the true me, the happy me. I then show them what being yourself can bring you: success and happiness.
So my key message in my talks and book is to open people’s eyes up to the ‘false self’ and that here’s no point in worrying what other people think. Just be yourself. When i read the power of now the first time I couldn’t understand it. I’m glad i read it again. So I wanted a book that everybody could understand and get the same message. My book has some crazy stories that gets people reading and the explanation of mind opens their mind up to eternal possibilities.
How did arrive at the title Stabbed Ego for your book?
I wanted my title to stand out and i think it does that. The storyline is the progression of my ego and I also get stabbed so Stabbed Ego it was lol.
Who is Luke Kennedy in his own words?
Wow! Big question. I know i might sound like a wanker but I genuinely feel I’m here to help save the world. Why else did i go through all that shit and come out of it to be in the position I’m in now. I get messages all the time off people telling me they’ve never read a book before but read mine cover to cover. They also ask me about meditation. Some of my boys from the crew who i did some hard things with contact me about what books they should read next and tell me about how their minds are easing… that’s some good shit right there. I think I’m avoiding the question…. lol.
Who am I? Fuck that’s hard. I’m a young man (almost fucking 30!!) and I’m always looking to better myself and others. I love nothing more than when my mind is at ease. Although lately it might not seem like it because i haven’t been able to see them as much, i love my family and friends with all of my heart. I work incredibly hard, 7 days a week with my wife. Either on the gym or my upcoming speaking or books. We are forever working and I love it. I do it now so later i can live a good life and so i can give my parents the life they deserve. I also have an authentic quest to help less advantaged or disabled youth.
What I picked up in your book is your connection to the early days of Sydney’s hip hop scene and how it played a direct part in the young man you were becoming until your life changed direction. How do you feel about hip hop as a music genre overall and do you possess a hip hop heart at the end of the day?
I was more into the graffiti side of hip hop rather than the music. Painting trains was what I loved. Some of my earliest memories in the crew was chilling out getting drunk doing outlines with hip hop movies like Wild Styles or Style Wars playing in the background. It puts a smile on my face thinking back to then. I used the hip hop scene as a tool though to progress my image. There were a few big name rappers in our crew and we would frequent hip hop gigs at the Lansdowne and across Sydney. I wasn’t too fussed with the music but liked to attend them to fight and carry on. There was always a heap of ladies at the gigs which was another strong lure. Whenever talk came up about Oz hip hop music I’d pretend I knew what I was talking about or that i cared. It was just another label for me. Graffiti was my form of hip hop.
How hard would you say it has been to write a book on such a dark and personal period in your life? Describe its process and how you inspired yourself to keep pushing through till its completion?
It wasn’t hard at all to be honest. I loved it. I wrote the entire first draft on my phone because I’m terrible at typing on a keyboard. I’m a lot quicker on the phone. After writing the first draft i posted some sections of it onto an authors’ forum. I thought i was the best writer in the world (think that’s the ego kicking in again). I found out otherwise. I could write a great story but my spelling and grammar was hopeless. I’ve still really got no idea where those fucking commas go. So authors on the site tore it to shreds. I also sent it to an editor who wouldn’t edit it unless i took a course in writing (mother fucker).
An incredible lady, Sarah Catania, in boxed me though. She was an editor. She could tell i could write a great story but just needed some guidance. She guided me the entire way and taught me so much. After writing the first draft it was then time to publish it. I had heard that getting a book published takes ages (if it ever does). I’m pretty impatient when I’m onto something good so i started up my own publishing company and with help of other people got the shit done. I outsourced everything that a publisher does; editing, cover and internal design, promotion etc. I also hired a publicist. It’s now a best seller on amazon US and AUS in 2 categories. Life is cool (fuck your writing course lol).
What are your currently working on Luke and where can people find your book and follow your inspiring life online?
I’m writing a couple of more books; one that is complete is the sequel to Stabbed Ego. I took a section out of Stabbed Ego and turned it into its own book (is that a sequel?). I’ve got a sequence I’m running with. The first book, Stabbed Ego, opens your eyes up to the ego. The second book Silent Ego shows you how to lessen it. Both have some hectic stories. It’s personal development that also includes sex, drugs, humour, violence and death. What more could you want? I also work weekly with a charity that’s close to my heart and i want to expand on that. Other than saving the world, I haven’t got too much else on.
What would you say your greatest motivation in life is and why?
One of my greatest motivators is to work my arse off so i can repay my parents. They were with me every step of the way and never gave up on me. We struggled for money, growing up in housing commission, but my parents always gave me everything. Even when i fucked up in Thailand, I was run over by a truck when I rode a motorbike high on cocaine and blind drunk. My dad had to get a $22,000 loan to pay for hospital bills to get his dickhead son home. They’ve always bailed me out of trouble and even now they grab brochures from my gym and go do letter box drops for me. I can’t wait to have enough coin to give them everything they want and buy them a house.
That’s my motivation right there.
The best piece of advice you have been given and how has it shaped you?
“You are not your thoughts”! Those 5 words have the power to change the world. We all get caught up in this fake world that our mind perceives the world to be. Our thoughts can be scary as fuck but once we separate ourselves from that and be the observer rather than believing the thoughts are who we are, that’s where true happiness comes from. We are the soul who can see the thoughts without judgement. Think (for lack of a better word) about it… what is it that can hear the thoughts? That’s you. The soul. The mind is frantic. If we believe we are the thoughts, life sucks balls.
For more on Luke Kennedy and his bestselling memoir “Stabbed Ego” visit: www.lukeskennedy.com
Authenticity, Life & Love