28 Aug

We Need People to be Known and Loved

People Are Known and LovedWhen I asked Jenna Forstrom “What is the Change You Want to See in the World,” Jenna said “That people are known and loved.” Thank you Jenna for letting us know a little about you.

Jenna was one of the wonderful volunteers at World Domination Summit. As you can see by her amazing smile, she radiated energy and love!

We often fail to get to know others in society and to make everyone feel loved. Acknowledging each other is a simple thing we can do each day. A smile, a wave, a compliment – all things we can do to to connect to others around us. But this alone is not enough.

Let’s take time to really get to know people in our community, our families and our workplaces by asking them to share their interests, goals and dreams. Take an active interest in others and let them feel your love and support. Lift their spirits and encourage their dreams. A little encouragement will go a long way.

When we take the time to find out about others, we also discover a new understanding about what makes a person tick. This added insight may lead to finding common goals or helping one another with an issue. And, when you take the time to get to know someone, that person will also feel more valuable.  People may feel invisible at times but by paying a little attention to other, we can provide a boost of self-esteem and likely learn something interesting about the other person.

Take time this week to talk to someone you know little about. Help people around you feel known and loved.

 

22 Aug

A World Without Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Today was A & W’s Cruisin’ to End MS Day  – an annual fundraiser to raise funds to cure Multiple Sclerosis – a suspected autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (credit Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada).

Just a few short months ago, it is a disease that I learned to fear as I underwent testing for it due to numbness in my face. As I read more about MS, I was saddened to learn how much suffers are affected and the lack of a cure for this crippling disorder. Though my face numbness was eventually attributed to neck damage and migraines, the severity of MS has touched me deeply and I want to see a cure for those who are suffering today.

The cure for MS won’t be found overnight, nor will cures for many other diseases. As a global community, we need to encourage and support the science community to continue researching these life-affecting diseases in lieu of researching the next big diet pill. Big pharma needs to help too. Unfortunately, the money to be made from “trendy” medical pills and procedures can be much more attractive to researchers (and to big pharma funders) than underfunded scientific research on disease elimination and prevention.

But, through encouragement, support, awareness campaigns and fundraisers for medical research, we can conquer major diseases and help others live a long, healthy life. Together we can help find a cure.

No More MS

21 Aug

It’s All About the Dance

IMG_20140713_205418 Dance like no one is watching. Dream like anything is possible.

When you let yourself go through dance, you release negativity, you feel re-energized and you mind clears and refocuses. Dancing is something that can bond strangers even when language barriers exist. Some form of dance is found in almost every culture around the world.

Many of the Triigo Project posts to this point have been fairly serious topics but tonight’s answer is all about the need for dancing. It is a change my new friend Maureen and I both wanted to see in the world. Dancing frees the spirit and the mind. As you bounce, spin and jive to the rhythm of the beats, you start to feel uninhibited – you get lost in the music.  Stress and problems dissolve away. You smile. You may even forget reality for a little while. And, it’s exercise. Exercise of any type is bound to get the endorphins pumping and this evening certainly did.

The music at the start of the closing party for World Domination Summit was popular upbeat music most of us know and love. Your feet started tapping and you may even have sang along. Then, it became Bollywood dance party. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, add in colour party! Many of those dancing did not know each other. We were from different cities across the world but we all danced together. We all had fun, let loose and laughed. And danced!  By the end of the night, it looked a little more like this:

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See those huge grins? The laughter and joy we were feeling shines through in our smiles. Though we barely spoke to each other, we now share a bond – a common thread of a happy memory.

Dance unites us globally. It is a part of virtually every culture and a wonderful way to connect with people who don’t share your language. Get out and dance!

 

 

20 Aug

The Need for Clean Drinking Water Worldwide

wds 2014 1561Brandi and Jason want the entire world to have clean drinking water. Living in North America, it doesn’t seem like this should be such a hard goal to achieve.

But, many countries lack clean drinking water. Across Africa, women, children and men must walk long distances (as far as 8km) just to obtain a jug of dirty water full of contaminants and bacteria from a sources we wouldn’t let our pets play in. This dirty water is often filtered through old pieces of clothing to remove large particles but that doesn’t make it potable. The result is an increase in death and illness due to lack of proper sanitation and clean drinking water.

These areas also see a huge decrease in education of females as many females drop out of school at puberty due to a lack of clean water.

It was at an event a few years ago that I truly had my eyes opened to the world water issue. Living in a land of lakes, it was not something I thought of – I was living a first-world life without thinking of third-world problems.  Our plenary speaker, Scott Harrison of Charity Water, launched an organization that build well and water projects to bring clean drinking water to these areas.  Where this organization is different is how they raise and spend funds.  All personal donations go directly to water projects and donees can track the progress of their project. Back office, marketing and associated business costs are supported by corporate donations.

Another aspect to Charity Water is it’s “Give up Your Birthday” program. Instead of receiving gifts, you ask people to donate for your birthday. My nine year old wanted to help give kids her age clean drinking water and recently donated her birthday.  She was ecstatic to donate $90.00 to the charity and has since received video and emails about the water project her donation helped fund.

We are so lucky to live in a country where clean drinking water and food are in abundance that we often forget that not everyone is as fortunate. Working together, we can change this worldwide through water projects and innovation.

19 Aug

We Need More Laughter in The World

I met Brandi near the end of the World Dominion Summit closing party. Brandi wants Laughter to be the change she wants to see in the world.

Laughter is the best medicine! It can:laughter

  • Turn a frown into a smile
  • Be contagious
  • Connect people
  • Lighten a dark event
  • Bring joy
  • Increase serotonin levels
  • Reduce stress
  • Ease pain
  • Encourage creativity and brain activity
  • Transcend language barriers

A world without laughter is a dark, dark place and not somewhere I would like to live. Spread it through stories, jokes, dance or silly actions. Open your heart to joy and welcome the love laughter naturally brings.

Enjoy life, enjoy love.  Share a laugh with your family or with your community. Dance, sing, frolic or play and enjoy life to the fullest. Laughter will add joy to every day!

 

16 Aug

What If Everyone Could See His or Her Own Greatness?

everyone to see their own greatnessWhat if everyone could see his or her own greatness? What if every community was positive and supportive of one another?

As I headed toward the airport the morning after World Domination Summit wound down, I had an opportunity to meet another attendee  who felt the above was what we need to see change in the world.

We had just spent several days in the company full of positive and supportive people and were high on the energy generated by same. When I imagine a world full of similar people, I think of the unlimited possibilities, the world changing, war-ending, poverty ending possibilities. We would all be more likely to believe in ourselves to move forward in life; to accomplish greatness in such a community.

This idea is not so far fetched. We all have greatness within us but many of us are unable to believe. Naysayers shoot down our dreams and ideas before they even have a chance to take root, let alone grow. Negative thoughts discourage us.

To find our own greatness, we need to block out these people and surround ourselves with a community of positive, supporting people who will nurture our ideas and gently guide us along our journey.

Remember that you all have greatness within you. Believe in yourself and watch the universe unfold.

 

15 Aug

Do One Kind Thing

What if everyone did one kinIMG_20140712_155731d thing once a week for someone? This is the change    many WDS attendees want to see in the world.

Think of it! Each person on this planet helping someone else just once a week. Imagine how that will help the world. An act of kindness does not have to be a huge act or an expensive act.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing how to be kind to someone else. You can mentor someone, be a driver for a cancer patient, volunteer at a wds 2014 1583food bank or community organization, pay for someone’s coffee or meal, take a senior out grocery shopping or simply hold open a door. Kindness also occurs when you offer support and encouragement to others.

Michael’s act of kindness on this day was to stop and help me with Triigo Project by answering a question and allowing me to take a picture. There was no cost involved, no extraordinary effort on his part – just 60 seconds of his time. Over 120 attendees joined Michael in answering my question.

Starting now, I challenge you to make the extra wds 2014 1548effort to be kind to someone every week by doing something you do not regularly do; cut your neighbour’s lawn, shovel their driveway, volunteer at a community event. Just get out there and be kind!

I also suggest checking out Pay It Forward, an organization dedicated to being kind to others.

 

 

 

 

14 Aug

Be Happy

wds 2014 1492Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world could simply be happy?

Today’s photo subject on What is the Change You Want to See in The World wants you to Be Happy. While some may say this is an impossible change, we can each do our part to make it happen.

First, start with yourself.  Make it a personal goal to be happy everyday.  Smile. Laugh. Live life to the fullest. When you project happiness, it becomes infectious. As it has been said many times, laughter is the best medicine.

Are you reading this thinking “How does she expect me to be happy when ________ is going on?” We all have moments in time where happiness seems to be missing, where the skies are dark, our future feels hopeless and we are full of despair. These moments come from many reasons such as job loss, disaster, death and so on. But, when we are at our darkest moments, take a moment to remember the good times, the special moments. If it is a loss of a job or another tangible object, it can be replaced; you can move forward. it seems I am full of cliches tonight but I truly believe that when one door closes, another door opens. We go through ups and downs in life in order to learn and develop ourselves. Our happiness is ultimately derived from how we view events in our life.

So, what’s next? How do we spread happiness in our community and around the world?

Smile. A smile is one of the easiest ways to spread happiness. Try smiling at everyone you interact with during the next few days. Step it up a notch and offer a nice greeting such as “Have a Nice Day” or offer an unexpected compliment. When someone is feeling glum, a smile can make a huge difference.  Smiles are infectious, as is laughter.

Other ways we can spread happiness are positive thoughts, comedy, helping others and hugs (*warning: please don’t hug strangers without permission – this could get you in trouble with the law).  A friend of mine, Jean Leggett, a Joy and Laughter Coach, actually hosts free hugs days at local events and around the world. She sure helps a lot of people to be happy with her infectious smile and laughter!

Are you having trouble finding your happy place? Try this: Make a list of all the things that make you happy and a list of the things than make you sad, frustrated or angry. Keep doing the things on your happy list. For your other list, rate these items from most unhappy to least unhappy. Think about how you can change each thing on your list to reduce your non-happy time.

What can you do to reduce or eliminate the issues causing unhappiness? For example, if you are unhappy with your weight, can you change your diet to eat healthier or add exercise (exercise also releases endorphins and increases serotonin levels which help you be happy!).  If your job is the stressor, can you find different employment or change your work environment to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction. In most cases of unhappiness, there are steps that can be taken to turn that frown upside down.

What else can we do to encourage world happiness? The options are truly unlimited but here are my top 10 in completely random order.

  1. Smile and laugh often.
  2. Share good news with family and friends.
  3. Share accomplishments and good news of other people.
  4. Take what makes you unhappy and pivot it. Move forward, take action and make positive changes in your life.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Get involved with your community.
  7. Take time to play with kids and enjoy youth.
  8. Surround yourself with positive people.
  9. Keep learning.
  10. Step outside your comfort zone and try new things.

We are the ones who must decide for ourselves if we will live a positive life and be happy, or watch the world go by as we grumble to ourselves. The latter option drives unhappiness as negativity brings down the happiness of others.

 

12 Aug

Finding Your Inner Light

Finding Your Inner Light and Let Go of Self-LoathingOn a day that has suddenly turned bleak with the passing of a bright light, I am reminded of how important it is for us to love ourselves, to find our inner light.

Holly’s answer to my question “What is the Change You Want to See in the World” seems to be right on target – we need to “see our amazing, beautiful, inner light and let go of self-loathing.”

Many of us forget to see ourselves for the wondrous, beautiful beings we are. We forget we have done and/or are capable of amazing things.

Some of us (ok most of us) will loathe ourselves at one point or another. We are too fat, too thin, too ugly, too dumb, too young, too old, too broke, too useless. We don’t deserve love, or happiness, or that raise. We can’t stand ourselves. This is not right!

When we are unhappy with ourselves for one reason or another, we need to ask ourselves what we can do to change or accept our point of loathing. We need to remember the good things about ourselves; we need to remember our inner light.

The point is, whatever the problem, we can usually work to fix or overcome it. We can eat healthy to lose or gain weight. We can study to improve our skills. We can find or create a job where we can make more money.

And, most importantly, we all deserve love and happiness. Be open to love and by loving yourself first, you will find love.

I want to ask everyone reading this to ask yourself to name something special or unique about you. Reach deep inside and find your inner light.

Think about what you can do, what you have already done and what you will do. Today is the day to move forward to your future by taking the first step towards a goal or dream.

Love and value yourself and let your inner light shine.

 

11 Aug

Helping Students Find Their Passion

When I reflect on lessons learned when launching a business, I think about how I chose my original business. That business was based on what I knew (or what my husband knew based on a long work experience) rather than based on our passion.

Why did that matter? Truly, I didn’t love what I did – it was just a change. I wanted to be self-employed but did not think about all the options available to me. In fact, it wasn’t until I took out a loan and started a business that people asked why I didn’t start a bakery or other business – choices based on things I loved and things I was good at – that I realized I really didn’t think about my passion at all – it was simply an option. Would I have been successful in a different type of business? Maybe, maybe not. But, following my passion would have led to a more fulfilling life.  I must admit that although I started the wrong business for me, it led me to find my passion through networking and events I attended as I built business relationships and learned about all the amazing possibilities I had never even considered. I am now following my passion to help others through this blog and other activities. My passion is to help others, to connect them, collaborate with them and finds ways to create sustainable change.

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Marli Williams also sees Education that helps students find their passion to be the change she wants in the world. This is a topic near and dear to my own heart as I feel every budding entrepreneur needs to consider why they are starting their business. It should be a mandatory part of any start-up loan process and ingrained within the education system. When you feel passion for your work, you will feel more content, more excited for the day to day activities that as an entrepreneur consume you. Choosing the wrong path may lead to contempt for the very business you started and will make running your business successfully that much more difficult.

When you follow your passion, you will live for each day and feel more rewarded by your success. You will be excited to share your (and your company’s) story. The long, hard days spent doing what you love will make it all worth while. You will be happier following your passion than spending your days doing something you come to hate.

It is time for educators, mentors, parents, friends and family to encourage each other to follow their passion and apply it in their every day lives.