When I first moved to my new home in Harrow I had to make do with what I had. This seems rather pompous of me to say you would think. But the fact is and may I add this fact I have realised, embraced and which has led me to be grateful is that I was born into home that provided everything in a country where many children often do not have this luxury. From this protected and provided for life I moved out of my comfort zone, at first to study and then thankfully to ‘live’. For me, at this stage in my life, studying and living are tow very very different things with the potential to co-exist. However, this potential depends on the individual and your courage in engaging with its co-existence in a world that is currently working very hard in separating the two.
Television is one such medium that has been classified somewhere within the studying, learning, living, leisure spectrum. I was reminded of my experiences of T.V while I was watching videos on the TED – Ideas Worth Sharing website.
So in Harrow now. The deal was that I got the box room and the kitchen. I could use everything that was in my room and a few things that were in the kitchen. So far so good. Later I realised when you look for accommodation in London it is good to sign a contract and move into a house that also includes an internet package or atleast a land lord who is willing to get that organised. Unfortunately I had not organised either and it turns out the land lady was not keen on organising the same either. At that time, although I was short changed I decided to plough through, for the time being. Later I got the internet sorted, thanks to the availability of Dongles but was still having a tough time in keeping myself occupied. There is only so much one can read in a day and sometimes that too can become a chore if it is not interspersed with other activities. So I tried going out, exploring the city and meeting up with friends. I mentioned this day to day challenge of mine to a friend who suggested that I should check out the TED website. Lots of interesting and inspiring videos to be viewed. Just what I needed I thought, inspiration to keep going and a wealth of new ideas that I may have opportunities to use at work and play. It did wonders to how I managed my free time, something I had plenty of during the job hunting, volunteering and interning days.
Many thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams emerged from these viewings. I realised I have a fascination for commencement speeches. I found some on the TED website and some on Youtube, some were emailed to my friends and some I recommended to friends. It was the messenger, rather the message of these speeches that sparked the serotonin rush. This was not only a way to make good use of time but a wonder-filled (my new word for the day!) way to make good use of time.
What messages/inspiring thoughts did I learn? Here a few from among the many that I will strive to remind myself every day.
1. Steve Jobs – I am very proud of finding this speech because it was a good year or so before Mr Jobs passed away. After he passed away it went viral on social networking sites. It felt good to know that I was lucky enough to have found it while he around. I am grateful that I was given a year more than a lot of other people to live the way he suggested. I caught the bus early. It is special because I value remembering people with respect when they are around rather than suddenly realising what wonderful human beings they were when it may be too late.
He ended his speech with this phrase that was printed on a magazine that he used to subscribe to, ‘ Stay hungry. Stay foolish’. It was their last edition.
All the hours of volunteering, networking and seeking opportunities was sanctioned by someone who did and succeeded. An encouraging message for a roukee in life.
2. JK Rowling – At her Harvard Speech Ms Rowling mentions the success of failure and the role of imagination as one of many tools that will help place yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Important, especially if they are later to be used as instruments to improve.
My favourite line from her speech and that I have often shared with friends when the discussion at the table turns to the current course of our lives is this (paraphrased)- “There is an expiry date for blaming your parents for your life not going the way you would like for it to go”. Personally this quote helps me remind myself that I have a sense of agency and that at 26 it should be at its peak. Now is more than perfect a time to act.
3. Amy Poehler reminded students at her commencement speech in Harvard that while we embrace that agency we don’t have to feel alone. Parents can be your confidents, your companions. So take action, but if you were to fail you know that you will always have a good listener in your parents or whoever it is you seek guidance from.
4. Neil Geimann – Even if the times seem tough, make good art.