TILT is a crucible for aspiring leaders. On 15th September when David Faria came up on stage to talk to around 50 odd TILTians, I was sitting behind wondering “what is David going to speak?” David started giving some statistics at the beginning of his speech. His question of how old was the world was a perfect opening. I had heard this before yet was not able to come up with a number. The answer was 110 Billion years. He said, “90% of people live in mediocrity and hence they do not know their life’s purpose”. He coined the theme of his speech as 4 key principles of a magical life. These principles had nourished him and he attributes his growth to these fundamentals in his life. The four success principles are the Power to Connect, Attitude is Everything, How big is your Footprint and Your best days are Yet Ahead.
It’s been a week after the session and I was observing how much of what I learned from David I could keep it as a goal and implement. In my terms, AI is Aggressive Implementation. The connection factor was about identifying your strengths and weaknesses, building your competencies and identifying your hobbies. He asked us to come out with 3 likes and 3 dislikes.
He asked us to track, every 15 minutes, what triggers our emotions? How do I feel? Why am I feeling that way? He asked us to do this for a day or two. I didn’t track my emotions every 15 minutes but I was aware of them. In my few days of the journey, I was faced with numerous situations where I was losing control of myself to anger and anxiety. The flip on my internal chatter was a good hack to get back my balance and center. He emphasized on having a strong WHY.
It was humbling to see his humility on display when he gave examples of washing dishes with an equally nice correlation to burning calories. I travel every week and he was mentioning about the quality time he gets to spend with himself while traveling. Also recommended conversing with people in airports, streets and also at every given opportunity. Reading was one of the important things he stressed. My life is magical, he kept repeating.
The next rule was on the footprint. 3 legs of the stool: Family life, Professional life and connect with humanity. Use every aspect of who you are you will get the best. Find your 100 whys. Create a stronger bond with family, profession, and society. The moment you have strong reasons for massive action plans you set yourself for answering your Why. I tested my “WHY” with one of my mentors. He asked me a couple of subsequent why’s and he was satisfied with my answer. My why was to make one meaningful impact on a person. So when I received a message from Hemalatha, I was very happy that I could impact one person with my blog, sharing her story with the world.
There were questions around: What else can I do when faced with adversity? How to manage a difficult boss etc. He gave some nice perspectives. “Look for the brighter side in everyone,” was one approach that he shared.
In the next session, it was time for us to introspect on the topic of respect with Ian Faria. Few nuggets I picked up for implementation are Give respect with no ROI, Learn something new every day and finally “Respect is a decision.”
During the fag end of David’s session, my friend Kavitha came up and told, ” Hi Vinod, Can you give a thanksgiving talk on David’s speech?” It was unexpected. I said, “yes”. Inside I was struggling after accepting the opportunity. I picked up some notes which I had scribbled. I went up and I gave the best thanksgiving session I ever regretted. I bombed and I failed. I was incoherent, ineffective and incomplete. There was no solace. The next few moments were very tough for me to make eye contact and recoup as I had to batter my ego. They say, ” Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening”. In my case, I fell like the Goliath in front of David. But TILT community has always taught me how to bounce back from adversity.
I learned from the David-Magic’Ian’ that it is important that the best days are yet ahead. In fact, I wanted to give my speaking one more shot. I wanted to see that my best moments are ahead. I spoke for 2 mins later that day and it was well-received. This time I could connect and leave the audience with a simple message. So what I learned from that session and my two speeches was to keep practicing the concepts. Fake it till you make it as a learning principle is good. David’s four key principles of a magical life embarked me on a journey of self-actualization. Last week I had the opportunity to live partially those principles and that made me realize that you will face adversities in Life. But your view can switch if you can switch to this question ” what is the best thing you learned from the worst thing?” In a similar vein if you are pitted against a metaphorical Goliath in your life the only way you can deal with it is to ” find your David” and it will take you off the beaten path.