Speaker: Respect yourself, others will show respect

Take Time To Think was the message motivational speaker Jeff Yalden gave Tiffin Middle School students Tuesday morning.

Yalden has spoken to high schools and middle schools in every state and 48 countries.

As a teenager, Yalden had a stutter and facial tic which resulted in him having a very low self-esteem.

Yalden described his image as “someone your parents would not want you to talk to.” He has tattoos on both arms and earrings.

“People have judged me my whole life,” Yalden said. “They judge me by the 5 percent they think they know about me.”

At 18, Yalden was kicked out of his home and joined the United States Marine Corp. and by 22 he had two daughters, Tori and Taylor.

After a failed relationship with his daughters’ mother, Yalden was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

“Life is hard, you don’t know what is going to happen next,” Yalden said. “You have to believe it is going to be ok.”

Yalden has used his life experiences to talk to teens about life and relationships.

“The disappointment that we feel comes from our expectations from others,” Yalden said.

He said that throughout his life, he believed that he wasn’t smart enough to succeed and didn’t have what others have.

“Go home and look in the mirror and believe you are smart and special. You have to respect yourself first before others will show you respect,” Yalden said.

Yalden said he’s always wanted a son named Bo. He built his house in Cape Cod, Mass. He and his wife wanted to get a dog, and since they couldn’t have a son, Yalden wanted to name the dog Bo.

The couple got a chocolate lab puppy from a neighbor, and his wife wanted to name the dog Chase. Chase and Yalden became fast friends.

“One thing never failed, Chase always was excited to see me and greet me at the door,” Yalden said.

Chase died in May 2012 and Yalden said when he heard the news, he “cried like a baby.”

“Never take the ones you love for granted,” Yalden said.

Today, Yalden has a female bulldog named Bo, who has her own Facebook page, he said.

Yalden loves his family and spending time with them. One of the most significant people in his life was his grandfather.

Yalden said his grandfather gave wisdom he lives by today.

“The three most powerful words are ‘I love you.’ The three most courageous words are ‘I am sorry.'” And one of Yalden’s favorite quotes: “We never have time to do things right, but we always have time to do things over. Why don’t we just do it right the first time?”

Yalden is the author of several articles and books, including his latest book “Your Life Matters.” He has been a life coach on MTV’s reality show “MADE.”

Tiffin Middle Schools Parent Teacher Organization sponsored the event.