...but you have to have your eyes open and set powerful intentions so you can recognise the opportunities when they appear.
Seven months ago, after recently returning from teaching in Vietnam, I found myself between paid employment and visiting plenty of free workshops and seminars to fill in my time. One of those time fillers was a Facebook marketing group which was interesting and informative but the true value came from a connection I made, a connection which turned out to be an opportunity that would eventually answer many long-held dreams.
Anyone who attends workshops or meetups where they know no-one, will understand the pain of small talk with people you've never met, it's quite awkward and horrible. Yet as requested by the host of the Facebook workshop - is it bad that I can't even remember his name, I introduced myself to a co-attendee and talked about who I was and what I did in the 'real world' and so did he in return.
My co-attendee mentioned perhaps needing some change expertise down the track and would I be interested in having a look at a project he was working on and hearing more. I said yes but also guessed that I'd probably never hear from him again.
Two months later he contacted me to say things had moved quite quickly and was I interested in catching up for a further chat. Super busy and now back in the workforce, I figured I had nothing to lose but was conscious I had very little time to spare, so I agreed to meetup for a coffee.
Which brings me to that opportunity coming to fruition this week with both of us co-facilitating a workshop at the University of South Australia for a group of young people. The Thinking Fusion Launchpad program is a self-leadership program which provides young people with all of the skills and resources to better understand themselves, their values and behaviours and how to become their best selves in a business context and launch themselves into the workforce.
My fellow facilitator and I had never worked together before and due to his extended work commitments in another state for most of this year, we probably had 5-6 hours two days prior to the workshop commencing, to work out how we would facilitate this program. Plus, quite a bit of email communication and a couple of Zoom meetings (and lots of behind the scenes individual preparation)
We are very different people but with a similar passion to help others transform their lives. I figured it was going to be an interesting week to find how we worked together and whether we could engage these kids sufficiently. To be honest, I was mildly terrified. But teaching young people how to push their own boundaries and be brave obviously required a similar commitment from me.
The reality is that this week has totally exceeded my expectations, both personally and professionally. The courage and bravery of this group of students to push themselves, to be vulnerable and to stretch their comfort zones was one of the most inspiring things I have ever witnessed or been a part of. I was like a proud mumma bear watching them grow, learn and expand their consciousness.
The connections these young people made with each other, with us, with themselves will change their lives forever and I will be forever thankful for the opportunity to be a part of something like this. An opportunity that I was perhaps a little nonchalant about when it first crossed my path and I could have so easily turned away from, given how much I had going on at the time the second contact was made.
Initially this seemingly little opportunity has blossomed into a realisation that doing this, and helping and inspiring others is everything I believe and stand for.
Personal feedback like the following is what warms my heart and feeds my soul;
Thank you for hosting this program, it has changed my life.
Thank you for being so honest, insightful and helpful.
Your practicality and wisdom is immense.
Thank you for helping me to grow.
You honestly have changed my life by sharing such valuable information.
The changes these young people experienced are nothing on the discoveries and personal awareness I have achieved in actually facilitating the program.
Don’t say no to any opportunities which come your way out of fear…be brave, step up and take a chance on yourself and being all that you can be.
Thinking Fusion originated in South Africa and is brand new to Australia. For further details about the programs being run in Australia, both for young people and for businesses, you can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I can direct you to the right people to answer your questions.