This past Saturday, 3,300 people (including The Vancouverite) descended upon Rogers Arena to participate in TEDxVancouver, an independently run TED event that brought together speakers from various walks of life to discuss the conference's main theme: identity.
The audience heard compelling stories from Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian journalist who recently returned to Canada this October after being arrested in December 2013 and incarcerated for over 400 days alongside ISIS terrorists. We learned how Chin Injeti, a Canadian record producer who survived polio as a young boy went on to produce Juno and Grammy Award-winning albums for the likes of Eminem, Pink and Drake. The crowd emptied Kleenex boxes while listening to 23-year-old Matthew Williams talk about how sport helped him conquer social struggles from his intellectual disability and successfully competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in basketball. We also learned from popular TV host, Scott Jones, that it's not enough to just have a Bucket List, but a Fuck It List - things that you will no longer do. And in between sessions, a yoga instructor led the crowd through several series of yoga stretches and breathing exercises to help clear our minds.
It was a long, exhausting but fulfilling day of learning, exploring, and challenging ourselves to think beyond the box, color outside the lines and always run above 80 percent, as John Herdman, Head Coach of the Canadian Senior Women's Soccer Team exclaimed. The running theme and key takeaway - at least for me as an attendee - was to get a real good understanding of who you are, what you are passionate about - be crystal clear about that - and go do it. Just do it and do it really well. Get rid of the clutter, the excess, the things you know that no longer add value to your life. Clear the road and make way for the path you were meant to be on.
Not hard, right?