Sunday, October 20, 2013
Holy Cow... life is moving so fast. This past week... WHOOOSH! hahahaha... seriously. I gotta slow down. Maybe because it was a short week because of our trip... yeah, that's it... hahaha. Most likely, it's because of last night and the lead up to it. Last night, I had the privilege of hosting the largest TEDx Youth event in the world. Now let me put that in perspective. In the TED world, there are TED talks and TEDx talks. About 3 years ago, TED licensed their brand out to independent organizers who had to apply for the right to create their own TEDx talks. Well, this idea EXPLODED. Last year, there were something like 6,000 TEDx events worldwide. Within the TEDx universe, a TEDxYouth galaxy began to grow, with events specifically for kids, by kids, with kids, etc. That is the realm I found myself last year when I walked out on stage as a TEDx speaker telling kids in that auditorium and online all about music therapy in 7 minutes.
What I didn't realize was that the community that the organizers were building right in my back yard just happened to be the largest TEDxYouth community ANYWHERE. Just a really cool and lucky break for me to be a part of something like that and have some fun with bragging rights as to being the biggest TEDxYouth community in the world. It's cool to say that, but look, having 8 year olds sit and listen on a Saturday afternoon to 14 speakers give 7-10 minute talks about all sorts of inspiring topics and ideas... what an amazing nutrient-rich environment for their minds and spirits! If they are attending TEDx talks at 8,9, or 10... what will they be doing by 20? Getting to create the energy in the room for the audience and speakers throughout the event was the greatest privilege, because one thing I've learned along the way is that the second most valuable currency, besides time, is attention. Each of us chooses what we do with our time and our attention... we can invest it, spend it, waste it, but we can't save either, and we can't get either back. So, when I am on a stage, I recognize that a large group of people are choosing to give me their time and attention. Last night, that was about 600 kids and adults. Knowing that the MC is the source of the energy for the event... meaning if the person is lame, the energy in the room is lame, if the person is fun and upbeat, it totally changes the tenor of the whole event... I was really honored to have that responsibility. Also, since I'm roughly 11 years old mentally and emotionally, I fit right in!
There were so many great moments, too many to mention, but I collapsed in bed really grateful to be a part of such an amazing movement. If you haven't gotten into TED talks, I recommend checking them out; they are really inspiring. Just got to TED.com and click on a topic that interests you, and listen and learn!
On a different topic, I wanna tell you about two people that make me a better me:
The first person is my wife, Angelique. I am so proud of her. She loves what she does, excels at it, and is continuing to grow as a leader each and every year. It's really great to watch. Ang is more introverted than I am, but when it comes to laying it down at work, she doesn't hold back. She is POWERFUL, and not in an egoistic way. I can comment on this because we both share our home office on a part time basis and I get to hear how she leads conference calls, meetings, interviews, reviews with direct reports, etc, and you can just hear clarity, poise, confidence, commitment to quality, and "I know my Sh_t and if I don't, I'm gonna track it down no matter what" in her voice. The best thing is what you don't hear. You don't hear, "I know more than you," "Listen to how smart I am," "I don't like you so I don't care what you have to offer, I'm not listening."
Have you ever 'heard' those phrases in the words of a colleague? It's like reading between the lines... or hearing what's behind what's being said... I don't know the best way to articulate it, but I think you recognize what I'm talking about. I never hear Ang's ego talking. I hear her knowledge, experience, and/or wisdom talking, but not her ego. It's not about her. That's a pretty refreshing thing to be around, right?
Another person in my life I get that same vibe from is our praise band director, Dean. Dean is a world class musician, teacher, conductor, and producer, but there is NEVER any ego present when interacting or working with him on music... only golf. HA!!! (Sorry Dean, couldn't resist!) Seriously, though, when our praise band meets on Sunday mornings before worship, we come in, read through the music once, maybe twice, and then we're ready to rock. Dean let's each of us pretty much add whatever we hear in the music and is supportive no matter what. He keeps it fun. Our banter is always light, goofy, and silly while rehearsing, and I'm always joking that I can't get over how it's 'legal' for us to have so much fun and crack up so much rehearsing for worship! It's genuinely UP-LIFTING. I think (hope) that comes across in the music during the worship service. We genuinely love being there and seeing how we can best offer up the music to lift our congregation. Our attention is totally on the music... no egos. It's so refreshing. The musicianship of the group is really high; most of us are professional musicians and we can still jump in the sandbox on Sunday mornings and play like kids.
Who do you work/play/live with that is like that? You know, just totally committed to the matter at hand...
Ang and Dean make me a better me. Who makes you a better you?
Enjoy... these are from one of Bella's physical therapy sessions... check her out reaching for our PT's watch on my head... working on getting those hips to support her upright... Bella LOVED Eleanor's watch more than any toy!