It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Heppell’s, culminating in joining 60,000 fans watching Sam Fender fulfil his life’s ambition and play to a sold-out St James’ Park.

At one point, mid-song, I had an overwhelming sense of pride.

Thinking about it, it’s strange.

I don’t know Sam Fender or most of the 60,000 people watching.

But it was there.

I felt it.

Proud to be a Geordie?

Proud to be a part of the occasion?


The week before, I presented the keynote address for the graduating students at the Academy International School in Mallorca.

Afterwards during a beautiful reception Christine and I had the opportunity to talk to many of the students, parents and teachers.

That theme popped up again. Pride.

Of course, the parents were proud. Teachers too.

And what about the students?

They were so cool, calm and (nicely) self-confident – it was difficult to tell 😄

But I was proud!

Here we go again.

Two hours earlier I didn’t know them.

Just a short while later, I was proud that I’d been asked to speak.

Proud to have played a small part in their special event.

Proud of what they will go on to achieve.


Here’s what I’ve realised. You don’t choose whether or not you want to feel pride. But you do choose how (or if) you want to show it.

Pride can be a double-edged sword. While it empowers and uplifts, it can also blind and deceive.

Real pride is the quiet confidence that radiates from within, a testament to resilience and determination.

You know, when you know.

The life skill is determining between pride borne of genuine accomplishment and pride that stems from ego and arrogance.

Would you agree?

What makes you feel proud?

Let me know your thoughts and anything else around this subject below.


And speaking of feeling proud.  

This Saturday I know I am going to feel very proud as 17 amazing people take to the stage to present and share their ideas at DAY17.

The event has been sold out for a few weeks, but you can still buy tickets to watch the Live Stream (and 90 days to watch the replays).

You can find out more here, book your place and receive instant access from the comfort of your home.

Be Brilliant!


  1. June 15th 2023 by Summer Time

    I tell people they should be proud of themselves.

    I don’t understand what entitles me to be proud of someone else’s achievements. Sam is a rare talent. He should be proud of his achievement because he played St. James through his own determination and hard work.

    I am interested in the debate around this because it genuinely intrigues me.

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