When the offer to speak at a major international event in New Zealand presented itself recently, I didn’t see how it was possible. “I don’t have the time and can’t spend the money. New Zealand is a long way away. It takes almost 24 hours to get there. I have a ton of work to do and my clients are waiting for my time and attention. My family needs me.” And, as I usually do when something new presents, I decided to take another step anyway.
I used to spend a lot of time filtering out opportunities because they looked impossible or inadvisable. If they didn’t contribute to one of the goals I had set for myself, or they seemed to be inconsistent with what I thought I wanted, I ruled them out and drove on. I now know better. If something presents, I usually investigate further, confident that if it’s a great idea for me, it will pan out. Otherwise, it will eventually become obvious that this is not a fit for my life and, in that process of investigation, I will have had the opportunity to grow by having a difficult conversation, clarifying what I DO want to put in my life, or otherwise expanding my sense of what my life is about. The obstacles are actually opportunities for me to resolve an issue that was probably holding me back from experiencing greater happiness.
As I took more little steps, the New Zealand opportunity got better and better.
The speaking event involves delivering an eight-minute TED-type talk and a 90-minute workshop to as many as 5,000 people in Dunedin, New Zealand, on May 4th and 5th as part of a fund-raiser benefitting the Sophie Elliott Foundation. The foundation is focused on Violence prevention through the education, awareness and empowerment of young women, a topic that I covered in my first novel, Shades of Teale. The speakers include a roster of transformational leaders from around the world who are coming together for a two-week travel experience that will include many extraordinary opportunities for personal growth. And we will be delivering 200 water filters to local communities whose quality of water interferes with their quality of life. Organizers are making a documentary of the trip, which is the last of three in a series (the other trips took people to Liberia and Ecuador), and a book featuring each of the speakers and their speaking topics, among many other benefits.
The more I learned about this trip, and the more little steps I took to see what happened next, the more I realized I was a big fat “YES!” and everything fell magically—and incredibly quickly— together. In less than a week. I’m booked and I’m excited about the people I will be meeting, the beautiful country I will be exploring and the stories I will be absorbing as I adventure through the first two weeks of May. Who knows what is going to show up next?!
Stay tuned for more news!