The Ripple Effect
Last year in 2012, I set a goal of being a TEDx speaker in 2013. I did not know where it would be nor did I know when. However, being a speaker on the TEDx stage was a vision I woke up to one day in mid-September 2012.
What is TEDx?
TEDx is a global series of day seminars where invited speakers share content in 18 minutes or less. Often, 5-8 speakers are allowed to speak who each have knowledge on various areas of science/research, new inventions or perhaps just a creative ‘idea.’ The motto of TEDx is ‘ideas worth spreading.’
In the spirit of TEDx, I felt a passionate conviction to share my concept of ‘The Ripple Effect.’ In its most simple and organic explanation, ‘The Ripple Effect’ is about how one person, one idea, can create societal positive change. As Mother Theresa said, “I may not be able to change the world, but perhaps I can cast one stone that can create a ripple.”
It is important to note that when I envisioned my TEDx goal that September 2012 morning, I truly saw myself mentally on stage. Now, to reemphasize, I didn’t know where, when or how; but that didn’t matter to me. I believed in, and followed, my vision. I didn’t let the ‘how’ stop me from pursuing a goal that to most would seem unattainable.
After I wrote this goal down and did some research on how TEDx speakers are selected by various committees across the world, I also declared this goal to several friends of mine. I asked them to hold me accountable to the goal. I then continued to ‘work it’ and I made contacts with TEDx organizers across several states. This took hours of research and meticulous emails and phone calls.
I tailored each and every speech topic to match their respective TEDx theme. I received ‘NO THANKS’ after ‘NO THANKS’ emails, if I even got a response at all. However, I still remained confident that somehow, someway, I would get an enthusiastic ‘YES’ someday.
My ‘expectant faith’ and resilient confidence finally came through when TEDxWakeForestU returned my speaker application with an affirming “Yes, we were looking for an inspirational speaker just like you!” I was thrilled and ecstatic beyond explanation.
I was privileged to speak at TEDxWakeForestU on Saturday, February 23, 2013! Not only was I a featured speaker, but I was also asked to Co-MC the event and was asked to provide a 1-minute marketing video to promote the event! Click here to watch that video!
The ripple has now brought me to you. Now you know the best way to do something for the first time is just to START DOING IT! Once you have a vision for something, just start ‘working it’ and making resilient effort. Eventually, your overnight success will result from your persistence!
The greatest inventions ever created all started somewhere. No goal should seem too far-fetched for you. Never give up on a goal because you don’t know where to start! JUST START NOW! Sometimes the ‘how’ just shows up!
Kevin Snyder, author and motivational speaker, is a 1998 Delt from the Zeta Tau Chapter at UNC-Wilmington. To learn more about Snyder, visit his website.