This past weekend I attended a TEDx conference and it blew me away! Have you attended a TED conference? Go now and find one in your area. You will not be disappointed.
TEDx San Jose contacted NAWBO SF Bay Area (National Association of Women Business Owners) to see if we would sponsor the upcoming TEDx for Women. Though I had not attended this event before I saw it as providing good visibility for our organization and agreed to sponsor and promote the event. Have you ever heard the saying, “Just say yes!”?
As it turned out it was a great experience personally and professionally as well as for NAWBO. During this one-day event I heard and met ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I say ordinary people because they are just like you and me. The only difference is they think big and that nothing is impossible if I can get enough people in support of your idea.
The latest meditation series I conducted for business owners and professionals just was coincidentally on “Don’t Do It Alone!” No matter how strong, determined, independent, shy or focused we are it is not possible to manifest your vision fully on your own. It is simply not how the world works.
Let me tell you about a few of the people who I met. You can read about others on my other blog Women Achieving Goals.
Let me begin with a quote I heard that day, “Say yes to something outside your comfort zone.” The more times we can do this the greater our ability to experience who we are.
I met Super Sylvia, an eight year old who learned welding at age five then learned that she could make anything using this skill. Her enthusiasm for this was boundless. She now shares her passion for makings things on her WebTV show Super Sylvia. Her last words were “Go Make Something!” This was the best advice I heard all day because when we make something it stimulates our creative energy and self-expression in a way that inspires us. She also quoted one of her mentors from Myth Busters, “Failure is always an option.”
We heard Preetha Ram who created Open Study, a free online education for anyone worldwide. Seth Shostak, Sr. Astronomer from SETI who said in the next decade we will find a partner planet, have ability to live off Earth, create new levels of artificial intelligence and, of course, find extraterrestrials. Paul Bennett, IDEO’s CCO, whose company is trying to make being healthy fun, sexy, appealing and motivational. Bryant Austin, photographer, who takes life-size photos of whales! Jonathan Trent from the NASA Omega Project which is creating biofuel without competing with the planet.
I was most impressed by these two speakers. One was Jack Andraka, a fifteen-year-old boy who was so affected by the death of a friend from pancreatic cancer that he decided to do something about it. Currently the diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer is 60 years old, costs thousands of dollars and can only detect late stage cancer. Jack created what he describes as a 3-cent test that detects pancreatic cancer with nearly 100% accuracy in its earliest stages. His journey from an ordinary 14-year kid who knew nothing to making this discovery is nothing short of miraculous.
And finally, Adam Steltzner, lead engineer on the NASA Mars Curiosity rover. Adam spoke how people working together for a common goal, giving up their egos, making mistakes, being determined, including everyone’s perspective, etc. was the only way they could have created and landed a rover of this size on Mars. Think about this. The rocket carrying the rover traveled at 10,000 miles an hour. How do you slow it down so that it lands like a feather on Mars to protect the delicate equipment inside? They all cried when it landed successfully as did we listening to this story of collaboration.
At the end of the day I was reminded of something I tell everyone and now I am sure of it. “You are never too old and it is never too late.” I have added to this. “You are never too young and it is never too soon.” These are ordinary people with big ideas, a strong vision and the knowledge that if they could get enough people in agreement they could make it happen.
Each of these individuals had a very strong vision of what they were creating and that strong vision is manifesting in expected and unexpected ways. Create your vision and share it.
Best wishes on your success,