Marie O’Riordan, International Success – despite of not having a degree
I wonder how many people in this world are capable of thinking ‘out of the box’. And if there are, it must be interesting to know what goes on in their mind. It’s probably alarming, threatening, exciting or enlightening depending on a viewer.
One year ago I met Marie O’ Riordan during an event abroad. She was one of the speakers whose message I resonated with the most. I am honored to feature her life story here as she had gone through difficult situations in life but was able to conquer all that prevented her from succeeding because she knew deep inside her lies the strong, beautiful, compassionate, intelligent version of herself waiting to come out to show the world and help others.
Marie O’riordan was not born with a silver spoon. “I learned it the hard way” according to Marie. Being raised in a farm, in Limerick, Ireland she has always felt as though she is an alien. It seemed that not so many people don’t quite understand her as she always come from a different perspective causing her to feel isolated and was even bullied in national and secondary school. Her cousins and family members became her best friends. She would come home from school and would tell her parents that she wants to become an astronaut and a superman someday. Well, she did not become a superman, but she definitely had become an epitome of a superwoman!
How did this happen? Let us start at the time when she was only four years old, around the time she began setting her goals, all of which are fully accomplished up to this day. Can you believe it? Most people reach the age of 30 such as me and don’t even know how to define what a goal is. It was also at the age of four when Marie experienced a tragedy in her young life.
Her cousin, whom she considered her bestfriend and almost like a twin sister since they were born only two weeks apart, died of leukemia. A couple of years later, the brother died in a tragic accident. If one will observe, extreme emotions caused by unusual events can trigger either extremely positive or negative outlook in a person’s life. While the other people who lived a normal, homogenous life most probably stay the same. Marie, at four years of age, trauma driven, decided to do something important and change the course of her life.
“How can I make the world a better place right now by just being here today?” Marie says and described what she did as a tiny kid how she manifested all of her goals into reality. In her bedroom, she has a lavander wall which she calls “wall of achievements”. She propped it with pictures of olympians, gold medalists, leaders, astronauts which she would look at every single morning she wakes up, and which she would ponder on every single night before she sleeps.
At 13, she became part of a radio broadcasting network.
At 14, she became involved in Television production.
At 15, she became an Sony award winning filmmaker.
At 16, she volunteered in South Africa.
At 20, she took part in CNN as a reporter.
At 22, she met Mother Teresa in Calcutta and was the last person to interview the living saint on the 5th of September, 1997. Mother Teresa died on the same date during the evening.
On March 2012, she was interviewed in Oprah Winfrey show “Lifeclass”.
At 30’s she became an Honorary Award Winning Philanthropist.
Sounds smooth and easy? Not really.
“You have no idea what it takes for me to put myself out there. I’m an INFJ, I don’t normally do this broadcast thing”. Marie says as she mentioned other famous personalities with an INFJ personality such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Oprah.
According to wikipedia, INFJ describes the following:
>I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).
>N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
>F – Feeling preferred to thinking: INFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
>J – Judgment preferred to perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.
Marie as a teenager suffered from depression. “I used to be terrified. I was scared of success and the amount of money I could earn. It took me many years to realize that the biggest person who is holding me back was me.”
Another major obstacle that Marie faced was when she failed most of her Mock Leaving Certificate, and the actual English Leaving Certificate. A Leaving certificate is similar to a NSAT or NCEE in Philippines. Without it, one cannot move on to a higher level of education, ie, university degree. In ireland, parents are always concerned about their children being able to pass the test which put on a lot of pressure on Marie as well. The future of Irish students are defined by their Leaving Certs. If they don’t pass it, there is probably nothing else for them, which could be frightening to most.
“I thought my world is finished even before it started!” Marie recalls. “My options are limited. But I was able to pick myself up.”
Marie, throughout her school life didn’t feel comfortable in a classroom environment. She finds school very hard, even though she has a photographic memory. She says “I learn through hearing, seeing, feeling and talking”. Einstein also, never liked attending school and was thought of by his teachers as lazy and is someone who would be a nobody. What I see very common with Marie and Einstein and other prominent personalities is that their mind map is bigger than what a regular school curriculum offer. Hence, “thinking out of the box” type of people works out much better in an unconventional setting.
“I have to think out of the box” Marie said. A friend of hers in the radio she used to work with offered help by letting her study journalism even though she does not have the educational qualification. She said “These people gave ma a chance. They see something in me that they think I could make it”. And she did.
Additional list of her achievements are as follows:
*As of this writing, Marie ‘s work reached about 150 countries worldwide.
* Television appearance on CNN, Forbes, The Washington Post, NBC, Fox, ABC, USA Today, CBS, The BBC & the list goes on.(I’m not a fan of mainstream media, but just to give here a picture)
* Inspirational mentor to Irish world championship athletes during the London Olympics 2012.
* Honored by the United States of America and congratulated by Irish leader, Enda Kenny.
*Implemented Marie O’riordan Planeteers Philantrophy projects such as giving recycled i-phones to South Africa. All her charitable projects are funded through her own earnings only as a way of giving back.
Her challenges does not stop there. Eight years ago, at the time of this writing, Marie had a stroke and was told by doctor that she has only 9 hours to live. Her right side of the body is paralyzed starting from the top of her head to the tip of the toes of her feet. But miraculously, she woke up the next day and fully recovered. She is still unstoppable, flying from one country to another.
She compares her experience of paralysis to the recent recession that affected the whole world, specially Ireland. But she is out, empowering businessmen, from small shop owners to billion dollar corporations such as Johnson and Johnson, Fortune 500, etc with her Ideal Business Intelligence system called “The Forever Method” which she formulated herself as a product 24 years of research.
This method consist of 105 steps that will serve as a framework for successful business in a wholistic approach.
“They call it snake oil, or wuwuu stuff or whatever they want to call it. If their staff and management feel empowered to get the work done in time and don’t have to bring work home, then their family life is going to get better. I am very much family oriented in terms of business. People can bring children in the workplace to feel like they are partof the family.” Marie describes some aspects of how to run the business.
“If you have fluorescent lighting in your business, you are sucking the energy out of your self and your staff. Fluorescentlighting is killing your productivity because itsucks the life out of the people. It has been scientifically proven to mess up with your sleep pattern and concentration levels” Marie added.
“You’ll be able to know how to tweak language patterns in your business to go from self-sabotage to SUPER success. “
“Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have. It’s like playing football, you focus on the greatest kick in the world, not on your weakness as a player. Be thankful every morning you wake up and every evening before you sleep. If you don’t find appreciation for every coin you find on the street, you wouldn’t know how to appreciate a million.”
Marie loves to be around people who are taking responsibility and not blaming anyone else. If you would like to know more about her and her work, you can connect with her through the following links:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/marieoriordan
Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/marieoriordan
Pinterest – pinterest.com/marieoriordan
You Tube – www.youtube.com/user/idealbusinessintel
Website – www.idealbusinessintelligence.com
This is the video of me talking to Marie O’riordan about inspiration and Mother Teresa.
Other Videos of Marie :
“Stepping through your fears is like walking into your destiny” – Marie O’riordan
Photos and Videos courtesy of Marie O’riordan
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