today i did something a little different from usual, instead of heading into cubicle-land on the early bus, i took a later bus/train journey to an event called “big think”.
this event was touted as a half day event for people who “think differently”, with 3 guest speakers and an opportunity to network.
it was organised by someone i consider to be a friend and mentor, and whose previous events i have enjoyed immensely. it sounded right up my street, so of course i booked a spot!
so how did things unfold?
upon arrival we had a polaroid photo taken, which was subsequently converted to a name/id badge on a lanyward. much more impressive than the usual piece of white card and safety pin!
as mentioned before, there were 3 speakers and a decent sized audience – which turned out to be fairly diverse and a very friendly, positive crowd.
the format was two speakers, a break for a bite to eat (with a chance to do a bit of networking), then the final speaker (who had been listed on the event page as “Mr X”). there was also a chance for further mingling and networking afterwards.
i had got speaking to the first presenter, evan, before things started; turns out he lives just down the road from me!
his session was interesting, and very much an ice-breaker with a practical exercise on something called “Click Colours”.
to cut a long story short, this basically involved us having 4 colour cards with some character traits listed – and we had to order them according to which personality type we most resonated with, to the one we least resonated with.
then everyone with the same colour as top card had to go stand in a corner of the room and discuss the main things that had stood out for them.
this was repeated for the second top card, and then the last card.
it was an interesting exercise, mainly highlighting that nobody is completely one personality type of another – but a mix. Also, my top 2 were very different.
i actually had a hard time choosing – because I identified with some of the “analyser” traits but nowhere near all of them, and certainly some of the player/entrepreneur traits but not things like “taking risks” so much.
it was all very left brain versus right brain etc.
i actually wound up in a conversation with a couple of people who were a bit surprised at my top 2, and they said it showed balance, but they asked if something significant had happened that enabled that.
nobody had a clue about my background at that point, and when I told them about doing some personal development work, taking up running, doing the marathon etc. I think there was a bit of an “aha!” moment.
overall that was pretty cool
the second speaker, dawn, was very much about examining habits, removing negative habits, building new supporting habits, getting clear on your vision, knowing why you were heading in that direction, being passionate about it (i.e. on a scale of 1 to 10 you needed to have a “why” that rated 8,9 or 10 or it probably wouldn’t be strong enough).
this session was excellent. for me it really clicked, and i could identify all the stages that i’ve gone through, and started to realise how i could pretty much do a very similar talk, only basing it on my running story. cogs began to whir…
a lot of this stuff IS the same, just people have different methods and different approaches to it.
for me it is very much “sort your sh*t out” via the running/fitness method, and the idea that “running changes lives”.
so this second session was very much confirmation that i’d gone through the whole process, and also that telling my story could easily be adapted to a personal development / motivation coaching / speaking platform.
we then had a brief interlude, ate, drank water.
i chatted to a couple of people, told a couple of people I had run a marathon – they looked at me as though I was a superhuman despite being a very slow marathon. honestly people, anyone really can do this!
the break seemed to go very quickly, and before i knew it, it was time to return to our seats for the third and final speaker…
tony is a photographer – not just any photographer mind – he was just named “2013 Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year”. talk about impressive!
he talked a lot about how we see things through our eyes but see things WITH our brains – perspectives, looking at things through other people’s eyes.
also about using all the senses to see things, and a lot of stuff about passion, getting clear, changing the way you think etc.
he was telling a story about meeting someone, asking them how they were and the answer was “I’m getting there” – and that’s when he started asking “where is there?”, “what is it you want to do?”
he asked the question of a few people in the audience at random, and I happened to be one them, and replied with “run from Perth to Brisbane”…
and that’s when he started homing in on that with “when?”, “what date?”, “how long is it going to take?”, “why are you doing it?”
he got a clear, concise answer to each; “May 2015”, “1st May 2015”, “3 or 4 months depending on pace”, “to prove that I can and that anyone can do anything if they want to”.
i vaguely recall there being a round of applause!
one of the key points tony made was giving space and time to your thoughts so they can gel and come together and then you “breathe life into them” by talking about them, getting excited about them, taking action in relation to them etc.
and i was just sat there thinking “yup” – that’s pretty much been the plan of attack for my run to brisbane!
so what did i get out of this event?
today i think a few things happened…
firstly i got a good healthy dose of positive energy
secondly i managed to tell a whole room of people I am running to brisbane (and even handed out a few business cards on the back of that)
thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, i realised that what i truly want to do is be one of the speakers not in the audience!
there were also a few references to going with “gut feeling” and “intuition”, instead of overthinking things. that is pretty much what happened when i put the perth to brisbane post out there.
it is very much something that i need to keep in mind every time i start worrying and overthinking it!
all in all it was an excellent event that provided many people with some serious food for thought, a chance to connect with others, and an opportunity to absorb some truly interesting, inspiring, good positive type stuff!
i look forward to the next “big think” event with eager anticipation!