Monday, November 29, 2010

Turning small talk into big dreams

Last week I went to two different sessions with speakers who were talking big. A friend of mine bought tickets to a guy she had been raving about - Sebastian from who has been traveling all over the world for the last year and half ticking off items from his bucketlist and raising money for charity and his friend Dave who has a knack for breaking records. The second talk was a gathering of volunteers for St Vincent De Paul's Sparks Program. There were three speakers at this session - a media officer from Amnesty International, a volunteer who had stayed at Christmas Island detention centre for a month and the creator of an after school program catering to newly arrived refugee children. Suffice to say two nights in a row I've been given a lot to think about.

What was common to all the talks is that they wanted to change the way people thought about the world, they wanted to get people talking, thinking, rethinking the way people viewed their role, position and relationship with the world and with other people. What I found most inspiring was that all the speakers weren't just talkers, they were 'doers.' They spoke from the experience of turning thoughts into words, words into action. From Louise from Amnesty or the volunteer who had visited Detention centers in Australia such as Christmas Island, Curtin and Darwin or Dave who had traveled across Australia over 4000km on skateboard or Seb who was aiming to raise $100,000 for Camp Quality by promoting Life in his own way.

Everyday we're confronted by so many messages, streams of news and hoards of information. We participate in small talk and sometimes we listen. What I've learned from these speakers is how to turn small talk into big dreams, how to turn big dreams into huge change. What struck me is that none of the speakers did what they did because other people expected them to. None of the speakers said things like 'Everybody supported me in the beginning' or 'Every decision I made was rational and calculated' they didn't say 'I never made a mistake' or 'It was easy and nobody every opposed me'. They were faced with opposition, criticism and skepticism and you know what? They did it anyway (I'm starting to think that might just be the secret).

Often times in order to succeed in changing the way people see the world, we need to start by living that change. No change comes without resistance, and to get people on board you need to give people a reason to change their way of thinking and living; you need to be a living example of that kind of change. I've said it before, and I'll quote it again (Thankyou, Ghandi) - 'Be the change you want to see in the world'. So, that's where I'm starting - with the Man in the Mirror (Thankyou Michael Jackson). I've got some big plans for next year in terms of mixing a few of my favourite things together - traveling, fundraising/volunteering and online videos! Let's just say I'm working on it for now, but all will be revealed. I've been inspired by a lot of good people and I can only hope to make half as much of an affect as they have.


  1. Inspiring post! Looking forward to reading about your plans as they develop :)

  2. THanks Kathy! I look forward to sharing them as well... little bit nervous but here's hoping!

  3. What a super blog. Thanks for coming to the talk the other day, and thanks for thinking about it so deeply - it's got me thinking some more!
    Dave Cornthwaite

  4. It means a lot for you to say that so Thank you! It was really a pleasure to go to the talk and of course, reading your blog made got ME thinking so I'm happy to return the favour, good luck with all your adventures I'll definitely be reading up on them!