Make It Count

April 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This short video makes quite a statement. The theme, the adventures and the quotes that tie it all together encourage the viewer to themselves imagine how they can make it count. But what is it? And what does it look or feel like for an individual to make it count?

“It’s the choices we make, not the chances we take, that determine our destiny.” – Unknown

Each day we have choices. These choices then drive our action or inaction around the many elements of our lives. The it that is referred to I believe are our daily thoughts and actions. Our ability to then build connection to self, others and the world around us through these daily thoughts and actions is I believe the how an individual can make it count.

In our technological world, that is bombarding us with images and messages constantly about what success looks like, it is important that individuals reflect on what is real for them. Equipping yourself with awareness and appreciation, exploring the possibilities that exist and discovering your true potential can assist in the process of empowering your authentic daily thoughts and actions. What footprints you leave throughout this journey are up to you, they may as well be your shoe print that is there when you look down on them.

“Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.” – Proverb

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Breaking through

April 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have watched Drew Dudley’s talk about Leading with Lollipops on quite a few occasions, showed it to many friends, colleagues and students that I have worked with. It reminds me of those daily thoughts and actions that can have such an impact on ourselves or others, sometimes we may never even know what that impact may have been. This Drew Dudley talk though illustrates something even more powerful. It relates to something that is core to the human experience. Something that I believe is key to building an informed  connected and empowered global village, an important part of the Explore Discover Act vision.

Too often we as human beings suffer in silence. Like in Brene Brown’s talks from previous posts about vulnerability and shame, we as humans all experience feelings of perceived disconnection at various times because of something we don’t want others to find out about. A real courageous honesty is required to overcome these feelings, an awareness and empathy in the way we deal with ourselves and each other. Mental illness is one of those issues in our society that is still developing in the way that we communicate about it and between each other, our individual and collective awareness and appreciation.

As Drew talks about, stigma still exists, those feelings that if people are honest there will be an adverse reaction from others. Many experience isolating thoughts, beliefs and actions to save embarrassment on friends or family, and the perceived lack of opportunities if others in their networks found out. We need to change this storyline.

Reaching out, creating true interdependence where we support and celebrate the diversity that exists in our global village, the uniqueness and importance of each piece of the puzzle, should be our goal. Engaging in honest dialogue about who we are, our issues, hopes and dreams, opens pathways to each individuals potential. Seeking assistance is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of strength, that understanding that we are all human, not needing to be perfect, just real.

We have all been inspired by others who have overcome adversity in their lives, whether that be illness, lack of opportunity or tragedy, standing tall as they achieve feats of true potential. This extraordinariness is within each of us and does not have to be world records or gold medals, those Superman feelings that Drew talks about, simply daily thoughts and actions that move us towards our own potential, through connection to self, others and the world around us.

“Our aspirations are our possibilities.” -Robert Browning

Appreciating Extraordinary

April 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday was the start of the 2012 Youth Week. Many events and activities are planned right around the country under the banner this year of ‘Imagine, Create, Inspire.’ This is a great time to reflect on how young people can become involved in things that they are passionate about and some inspiring examples of youth making a difference. We all go through this vulnerable time in our lives, trying to figure out who we are, what we want out of life, and why certain people or society as a whole may not understand what matters to us. At certain times the disempowering feeling of being anonymous can wash over individuals but interdependent networks, communities of anonymous extraordinaries as Natalie Warne speaks about in her talk, can inspire and support us during this time. Each and every one of us are extraordinary.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

This talk from Natalie Warne at a TedXTeen conference last year illustrates her passion to make a contribution to society and the discovery of self in the process. This is a snapshot of so many examples of youth who engage in actions and initiatives that mean something to them and can inspire others on their own journey. Despite experiencing issues that are universal, family issues such as illness, school issues such as diversity being used as disconnection rather than celebrated, personal issues such as questioning what makes her extraordinary and can an individual possibly make a difference, she was able to navigate through her youth and make a positive contribution to effect change. She makes the powerful statement of discovering what you believe in, what is personal and real for you, and chasing after that. Those daily thoughts and acts, regardless of the small or mundane nature of them, rather than the ‘Oprah’ moments are of most importance as you journey towards your goals.

Imagine, Create, Inspire are words that can represent daily thoughts and actions, these thoughts and actions can make a world of difference. The process of feeling empowered involves having awareness and appreciation of the incredible potential that we each possess when we reflect on what’s important to us and make conscious choices that move us closer to these goals. Consider the way that we engage in our own and others life creations, what makes our life sing or our life dance as Natalie spoke about, the language, attitude and attention we use and demonstrate can have a huge impact on others within our spheres of influence. This process is ongoing, with the successes and challenges following us throughout our lives.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world!” – Ghandi

Find ways to be extraordinary each and every day!

This week on our Facebook page we will be highlighting various ways that young people are making a difference in our world. Check them out as the week progresses.

Enjoy this talk from Natalie Warne and enjoy Youth Week 2012!

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