Create Bright Spots

Few heroes wear capes.  


Did you step up when others remained seated? Have you given of yourself to those in need? Are you one who listens with their whole heart? Did you do the right thing, when the wrong one would have been much easier?  

If yes, then you are a creator of bright spots. You are a hero who engages in renegade acts of kindness. And those deeds echo, creating a progressive butterfly effect that can change the world for the better. It can also change you, making you happier, healthier, more productive, and part of the solution humanity needs to rise and thrive.  

James Fell has been a popular voice for the Los Angeles Times since 2010 and the Chicago Tribune since 2012, with his pieces republished in major outlets around the globe. The author of two published books on human performance and motivationhis work has appeared in TIME Magazine, the Guardian, Chatelaine, NPR, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and many others. A media regular, he’s appeared hundreds of times on radio and national television, been a frequent guest on top-rated podcasts, and spoken at events across North America. 

Together Against the Dark


We are huddled together on a tiny spec of habitable rock hurtling through an unimaginably massive void of cold and dark, with only each other to cling to. Loyalty to our fellow humans is paramount to our future survival 

“Be the change you want to see in the world” seems a tall order. When faced with the magnitude of solving the mountain of problems we face, it can appear an insurmountable task. But have you ever seen a movie about time travel where the traveler changed one minor thing in the past, and it rippled across the years, resulting in a massively altered present? We fear what effects a tiny change in the past may reap on the present, yet struggle to believe that a small act we make in the present will impact the future. 

But such small acts can change the future. The bright spots you create are powerful. They will ripple across space and time, echoing on into eternity.  

No individual player makes a team victorious. No one battle wins a war. No solitary effort turns a tide. Change for the better is not all up to you, but some of it is. Together, people change communities, businesses, countries, the world.  

True generosity is a binding force in society. Make caring and kindness part of your strength, and you, and others, will reap benefits

To have me speak at your event, please send me an email.
Call  403-991-0061

What Do You Want to Talk About?

All keynotes are customized for the specific audience. When you hire me to speak, you’re hiring someone with years of experience in transforming the lives of many thousands of people. This isn’t hippie fluffy granola “you can do it” mental Pablum. I take a science-based approach to everything I do and excel at translating the work of the world’s leading motivational psychologists and philosophers into plain and accessible English. I tackle these subjects with humor and ease, punctuating key points with real-life stories to captivate audiences and make them true believers in their own abilities for creating brighter futures for themselves, their organizations, and those around them. 

Here are three topics I’m currently focused on delivering. 

Topic 1: Be a Hero: How to Be the Change You Want to See in the World

This keynote is geared toward the high-energy crowd of change makers seeking to improve their own lives, the lives of others around them, the organizations they work for, and the world community at large. In a time of constant upheaval and disruption, leaders are needed to steer our family, friends, companies, and countries along a journey of compassion and inclusivity that works as a tide raising all ships.  

The history of humanity is not one of inevitable moral improvement. There is little evidence that good ideas that benefit our specieflourish while bad ideas fade. Rather, people allow themselves to be held hostage to toxic notions, generation after generation, simply because those views are popular and help maintain the status quo. This keynote is about becoming a beacon of positivity for all to see and follow, bending the moral arc toward justice. 

Session Objectives 
  • Learn actionable ideas for transforming the social order that realizes caring as a form of strength. 
  • Learn how to challenge toxic ideas and find the courage to step up by having it emanate from a true sense of self.  
  • Learn the power of modeling heroic and kind behavior to inspire others for change.  
Topic 2: Acknowledging Privilege and Using it for Good

As much as we’d like to think it is, our society is not a meritocracy. The playing field is uneven. There are a wide variety of types of privilege that permit some to succeed, while putting up roadblocks for others. It goes beyond color and gender. There is privilege for those who lack physical disabilities or health issues, including mental health. There are education gaps, wealth gaps, and people who had loving parents vs. those who had a toxic home environment. Some got an easy ride, and others struggle. Some are respected and listened to and promoted because of privilege, and others are shoved aside because they don’t fit into some manufactured “ideal.” The privileged need to understand the advantages they have and choose to use them to open pathways to success for those who lack the same. The playing field gets leveled when those who control that field break out the bulldozers and knock down the barricades.  

Session Objectives 
  • Learn the various types of privilege that exist and how to recognize it in one’s self. 
  • Learn how to recognize and stop contributing to systemic inequality, accept diversity of thought, and see the merits of and be welcoming in creating a more inclusive work environment. 
Topic 3: Silencing Imposter Syndrome: Overcoming Self-Doubt and Embracing Your Excellence

If you have imposter syndrome, you’re not fooling anyone. You are far more capable than you realize, and those who praise your work haven’t been duped. You really are that good.  

The great irony of imposter syndrome is that those who suffer from it are often the most capable. It is the fear of being “exposed as a fraud” that motivatesImposter syndrome is also limiting. As philosopher and activist Bertrand Russell said, The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. Imposter syndrome is often a sign of intelligence, but silencing the self-doubt enables you to maximize your smarts to be the best you can.

Session Objectives 
  • Learn to become more self-aware of negative self-talk and how to silence it. 
  • Learn to gain confidence in capabilities, dismiss imposter syndrome, and pursue challenges commensurate with true abilities. 

I Swear to You

When it comes to writing, sometimes I swear like a mom with a red-wine hangover walking barefoot through a field of LEGO. I even wrote a book with a swear word in the title, but “Speaking James” is a bit different. I’ve made hundreds of appearances without uttering so much as a hell or a damn. That’s because I realize a speech is more intimate than an article, and I want everyone to feel comfortable and safe; I get that not all who are present dig the potty mouth. I do everything I can to make the audience laugh and cry and think and change, all while being respectful 

A sample of my social justice writings can be found on my FAQ page.

To have me speak at your event, please send me an email.
Call  403-991-0061


"James Fell is brilliant. In addition to being a phenomenal presenter, he is articulate, educated, and well spoken. He tells the truth, and audiences are captivated with his authenticity. I enjoy working with James because I can trust him with my audiences, and he consistently gets standing ovations for saying what needs to be said in a loving way."

Erin Skye Kelly and Associates ( bestselling author and keynote speaker )

"James was a guest on Breakfast Television Calgary several times when I was hosting, and he was one of my favorites. He's a straight talker who tells it like it is, but with a fantastic sense of humor. Most notably, his positive energy is absolutely contagious!"

Tara Sloan ( TV host )

"I had the pleasure of hearing James Fell speak at one of my weekend fitness retreats. The feedback I received from all the participants was one of hope, clarity and excitement.  His message was to inspire people to transform their health and fitness.  He dispelled all the myths and junk science in the industry.  It was very clear from his point of view of what works and what does not. People were able to identify their own obstacles that prevented them to fully realizing their own body and health potential. With this newfound inspiration people could not wait to get started and see what they could accomplish.  James is a master motivator."

Paul Plakas ( TV host and trainer )

"James’s enthusiasm is contagious. He is very relatable and has walked a few miles in the shoes of those who are struggling to change their lives. He is engaging and leaves his audience with some simple ideas that will lead to big results."

Angela Kokott ( QR77 Talk Radio and Global News )

"I had the pleasure of seeing James speak at an event in Banff, and I was immediately impressed by his casual yet informative demeanor. He delivers the goods without being boring or repetitive, and holds your attention with just the right amount of humor. You take away more from the experience because it is legitimately enjoyable."

Meg Brown ( Expert fitness motivator )

"I’ve hired James on two occasions to present to our clients. He is articulate, engaging, and highly knowledgeable. Our clients are corporate, affluent, type A personalities. The only speaker I’ve had them repeatedly ask about is James Fell. He makes motivation to be fit and healthy simple. His no bullshit approach makes him outstanding in a field that is cluttered by junk science."

Sandra Bueckert ( One-on- One Fitness )

"Today I invited students to provide mid-semester, written feedback about the work experience preparation course you spoke to last week. I thought you'd be interested to know that yours was the presentation most commented upon, with students saying it was excellent and the best they've had so far."

Professor Mike Vernon ( Mount Royal University )

"James is an engaging and energetic storyteller who can be angry, funny, and compassionate — sometimes all in the same sentence. You can agree or disagree with his opinions, but you can never say you weren’t entertained by the way he expresses them."

Lou Schuler ( bestselling author and MC of The Fitness Summit )

"James is a dynamic and knowledgeable speaker who makes information easily accessible to the audience via an entertaining delivery."

Dr. Sue Pedersen ( Canadian Obesity Network )

"I have worked with James on several projects and presentations over the years, and he never fails to entertain a crowd! He is passionate about his topics, engaging with his audience, and extremely intelligent with his perspective. It is always a pleasure to work with someone with such energy and yet still maintain true professionalism. He is a fantastic speaker and offers real life scenarios that really hit home with his audience. Thank you, James, for all your enthusiasm!"

Lindy Kennedy, instructor ( Southern Alberta Institute of Technology )