Olympic Fever

July 28, 2012 at 7:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So many people throughout our global village are experiencing Olympic Fever as they watched the Opening Ceremony and prepare for London 2012. Four years have passed since Beijing, twelve since Australia last hosted the games in Sydney but lots of us could recall many specific moments that stand out as memorable or inspiring from past Olympic competitions. This iconic event provides the stage for athletes that have dedicated themselves to reach the pinnacle of their sport.

The next month and a half, including the Paralympics, bring together our global village, celebrating health, competition, sportsmanship and participation. We will witness personal bests, overcoming adversity and incredible examples of connection. As we cheer and shout at the television to support and encourage our favourite athletes and teams, we consider the magic that is the Olympic ‘spirit’. This spirit brings together and connects our world, with 204 countries represented at this years games. This sense of celebration, inclusiveness, hope, joy, competition and fairness will be lived not only in London but in living rooms or bars in all corners of the globe.

These themes represent our shared humanity. Regardless of any differences an individual may choose to point out within the athletes village, the shared humanity completely outshines these. This ability to honour and celebrate difference and the unique gifts and talents present within our global population is an inspiring element of the Olympic movement. Good luck to all the athletes involved, may their hopes and dreams be experienced by fulfilling their potential. May this sense of our shared humanity reverberate through the global village.

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A message of hope and belief

July 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” – Winston Churchill

Identity plays such an integral role in our life journey. As we age we spend time exploring, discovering and questioning who we are, including our connection to self, others and the world around us. Many elements of these connections can influence, consciously or unconsciously, our sense of self and the daily thoughts and actions that shape our journey. Our awareness and appreciation of this process, along with the compassion and courage we display throughout our experiences can affect the attitude and belief that we carry with us each and every day.

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

How many times do we hear while we are young that you are special and loved? This affirmation for young children that their uniqueness and identity is valued and celebrated can be very powerful. These can become moments of hope, like in this video attached, as Bryan Stevenson recalls being pulled aside by his Grandma and told he is special. These messages can stay with us throughout our whole life. Maybe for you it came verbally or non verbally from a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach or other significant person in your life but that belief in our potential can positively influence our interactions with self, others and the world around us.

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts” – Aristotle

Unfortunately, sometimes this affirmation doesn’t arrive early in someone’s life or isn’t heard at all for many different reasons. Our challenges, what we are exposed to and socialisation can alter our ability to appreciate the amazing contribution that each of us is capable of making. Part of our human experience is making mistakes as none of us are perfect, how we learn from these opportunities for growth and remain aware of authenticity and celebrate it is a continual journey. As a society we must maintain our belief in the potential of each individual, providing support and encouragement to continue moving forward when we experience personal insecurity or uncertainty.

“What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful” – Mother Teresa

Bryan Stevenson shares learnings from his life experiences. As we have discussion and debate over issues that the global village faces it is important we consider some of these points that he raises. Poverty takes on many forms in our world, with some being lack of food, clean water, education, shelter, security, medical care and love. The opposite of these as Bryan discusses is not wealth but justice. Access to opportunities to meet our basic human needs requires all of us to consider how our daily thoughts and actions are moving us closer to creating the world we dream of living in. How we treat the poor and vulnerable in our global village is as Bryan discusses, what we should be judging ourselves on.

 “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

His message of keeping our eyes on the prize is an important one. Opportunities to reflect on your own potential, the daily thoughts and actions required to journey towards it and the contribution we can make by believing in each other can be very powerful. We each have the opportunity to make someone else feel that they are special and loved, what a gift that is in our everyday lives as we encounter successes and challenges together.

Listening

July 7, 2012 at 12:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So much of our lives involve noise. It happens all around us. At different volumes. At various urgencies. All the time. What noises we tune into depends on many factors. Sometimes it feels easy to really listen, while other times we are overwhelmed, tired or distracted and miss out on moments of connection.

This past week again provided inspiring participant’s sharing experiences, thoughts and actions that allowed for connection to self, others and the world around us. Those teachable moments can be very powerful in the lives of the participant/s and also for us as facilitators. Listening involves not just hearing the noise but active and engaged processing of verbal communication and also lack of noise or non verbal. This awareness and appreciation of the opportunities that arise to reflect, learn and grow is an essential element of experiential learning.

We as humans don’t need all the answers. Just being present, open and empathetic in our interactions with self, others and the world around us can provide a world of difference in our own lives or those of others. Choose to be conscious of the noises that surround us, considering those that are inspiring and empowering, those that require our full attention and engagement, and those that are distracting us from our authentic potential or ability to make a difference. We have many gifts and talents to share. As the passage below describes, don’t underestimate our ability to connect and positively affect the experience of others within our global village.

 

The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.

Leo Buscaglia

Celebrating what’s right with the world!

July 1, 2012 at 2:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week I was meeting with a Principal and the conversation was much more than just how Explore Discover Act can support the learning and leadership journey of his students. In discussing Explore Discover Act’s programs, vision and values, the Principal was able to describe his vision for the school and the daily thinking and actions that were being implemented to support its realisation. This open discussion led to a sharing of ideas and resources, like inspiring videos and books. Opportunities to connect like this with individuals or groups is a motivating element of our shared journey of potential with our clients and other members of the communities in which we work.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

The Principal suggested I watch one of his favourite videos on YouTube. He described how it resonated with his way of thinking and guided for him actions that he was implementing within the school culture. He made connections as to how what I was outlining about the programs, vision and values of Explore Discover Act resonated not only with his own thoughts and actions but also this video. As I am constantly on the look out for inspiring resources, I was eager to watch ‘Celebrate What’s Right in the World’ by Dewitt Jones when I got home that day.

Dewitt Jones is a professional photographer who spent 20 years working for the National Geographic. He describes in this video his experiences, interacting with the natural environment and human beings from all corners of this amazing planet. These experiences were a powerful teacher for Dewitt and formalised his thoughts and feelings around the way he views life and vision. The energy, passion and creativity that is evident within this video is carved out of the maxim, Celebrate What’s Right in the World!

So much of our own programs, vision and values did resonate as I watched. Explore (the possibilities) Discover (your potential) Act (authentically) goes with us each day as we walk out into the global village. This and our belief in the potential of each individual through connection to self, others and the world around us guide our daily thoughts and actions as we move towards our vision of a global village of informed, connected and empowered individuals. Dewitt Jones uses his experiences, belief and vision as a way to inspire others to formulate their own authentic vision and engage in positive thoughts and actions to journey towards it. We too strive to fulfil this mission.

Enjoy watching this inspiring video and consider what fuels your energy, passion and creativity. How can you celebrate what’s right with the world each and every day?

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”  – Ivy Baker Priest

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