Dennis, whose talk was titled “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn,” spoke to a full room at NorthPointe Church as he used personal anecdotes, props and giveaways to explain how to learn from failures, apply the lessons and share them with others.
“It’s important to figure out and to also recognize like what it is that you learned when you feel like you’ve experienced a failure,” Dennis said. “... I submit to you that because of the fact that we oftentimes have the behavior that we’ve lost in life and not the behavior that we’ve learned.”
Dennis encouraged guests to reflect on what they believed were failures and ask themselves what lessons they learned from that failure.
“The second one is, how can I apply what I’ve learned? How can I apply it? Not just what have I learned, but how can I apply what I’ve learned? Think about that for a minute, OK? Your biggest lessons in life have all become things that you’ve learned from losses,” he said. “Here’s a question: what have you taken from life in the past, and what can you do this year to take what you’ve learned? How can you find ways to apply it?”
Throughout his talk, Dennis encouraged audience participation, including an exercise to foster risk taking. While holding a CD, Dennis asked who wanted it, and, when a woman plucked it from his hands, made the remark she must have wanted it the most. Dennis then challenged the audience, asking why they did not get out of their seats if they wanted the CD.
“So again, taking chances, don’t be afraid to encounter risk this year. Because it’s by taking chances we learn how to be great,” Dennis said.
Before the motivational presentation, Bartow County Schools Superintendent John Harper remarked on the upcoming demolition of the old Adairsville Middle School. He said he had spoken to Adairsville’s representative on the school board, Anna Sullivan, after her election about what should be done with the building.
“So I said, ‘Ms. Sullivan, we need to find out from the community what we need to do with that old school.’ That’s her alma mater, so we’ve been working for the last couple of years trying to face the decisions of what to do with the money, and we have found that no one wants it that’s not going to cost the school system money,” Harper said. “And so, on the 20th, that building … demolishing that building is going to happen. On the 17th we’re going to have a reunion meeting there, particularly for the alumni to have a last-minute tour and we’re going to show some plants for an elementary — Buddy [Bagley] it’s going to be built on site in the city.”
Harper commented Adairsville City Council member Buddy Bagley had “fussed” at him for putting schools outside of the city.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to build a brand-new school with modern technology in there for developing students and keep it in the city of Adairsville,” Harper said.
At the end of the breakfast, chamber President and CEO Joe Frank Harris Jr. recognized incoming Chair Adena Harper as being the first chamber chair from Adairsville. He added the breakfast had moved to NorthPointe Church due to the event outgrowing the Adairsville Inn.
The next Eggs and Issues breakfast will be held Feb. 6.