Dreams Do Come True!
In February I was offered a job as Creative Director of the recent Wired for Wonder event/experience in Sydney.
I cannot express how unexpected this was, I wasn’t searching for work, I did not apply for the job. My husband and I were going through some serious stress that included financial woes and I had, just days before, come to a place of rest. I had faced the fears that were worrying me and let it all go.
Then out of the blue came a phone call and the subsequent job offer.
Over the last few years many people have encouraged me to go back to event creation and I have always answered:
“The only way I would do another event was if I was Creative Director, it was designed to be life-changing, it had a big budget and I did not have to find sponsors.”
Who could imagine that a job exactly like that would come through a corporate?
Commbank was wanting to create an event that was ‘unlike anything seen before in Australia, something different’ and they had decided to call it ‘Wired for Wonder’ around half an hour before the woman heading up the event got an email from me (we share a Linkedin group) announcing my new website Goodness Gracious Me with the tagline ‘dealers of the wonder drug…”. They invited me to come as a speaker and next minute I am Creative Director!
How is that for miraculous? I am still in awe of it happening at all and yet it was only part of the many dreams that came true through taking this job.
Part of my role involved negotiating some of the speakers so of course I rushed straight off and contacted my most beloved speakers. In the tight time line we had (less than 7 months) it was unlikely we would get the people we wanted and, in keeping with all that happened at Wired, I was over the moon to secure my top two picks: Brene Brown (my hero!) and Shawn Achor (one of my favourite authors). Brene told me the only reason she had agreed to come to Australia was because I was obviously disobedient! I knew that personality trait would come in handy one day.
What a privilege it was to be in direct contact with these two and all the other amazing people who came to speak at Wired. I also got to work with a team at Commbank that were innovative and daring – again, not what one expects with corporates.
Brene and Me!
About a month prior to Wired I thought all my dreams had come true when I had to have a 40 min skype call with Brene Brown. Just Brene and me. On skype. My face, her face, us talking. 40 delightful minutes. Talk about excited, I could hardly believe it was happening.
As the event days arrived I knew that I would be insanely busy and that Brene had a very full few days so I didn’t imagine getting any further time with her… maybe 10 minutes if I was very lucky. As I’d already had more than most could hope for I had no expectations at all.
On day one of set up Brene arrived in Sydney and sent me an email asking if there was anything she could do (how nice is she?) and I replied that I would love to have a few minutes with her. Brene suggested a walk and so we met in the foyer and went off to find a health food shop that someone had recommended her.
So began a wonderful one and half hours of just Brene and me and she is exactly how she seems on her TEDx video. She is down to earth, funny, relaxed and casual so it was like chatting to an old friend. We talked about the wonders of gratitude – “Magic” she called it, what it was like having a TED talk go viral (surprising) and how hard it is to have a book signing when thousands of people want a book signed!
I managed to get us lost and it ended up with Brene, the visitor, directing me, the Aussie, back to our apartments. Brene topped her kindness off by signing a book with a lovely inscription (see below) and also mentioning me in one of her talks the following Saturday. I was quite overcome with emotion.
Shawn and Michelle
Another evening I was again over the moon to have dinner with Shawn Achor and his beautiful new bride Michelle Gielan. We discussed happiness research for hours so I was like a pig in mud. They are gorgeous people inside and out and we had a lot of fun with them.
I have so wanted to expose business people to concepts, ideas and inspiration that would crack through the outer shells we wear and let some new light in so it was one of my proudest moments to see Brene speak to 600 movers and shakers from the corporate world. After she spoke, and I had seen the reaction, I stood, punched the air, and said to myself “I have done something good today.” The earlier talk (fabulous) from Shawn had laid the scientific groundwork and piqued interest for Brene’s talk to be really heard.
Icing on Dreams
Wired for Wonder was incredibly life affirming, and very different to anything corporate Australia had experienced – a truly joyous and eye-opening event. The dreams that came true for me were iced and then iced again with both the response to my talk (and the fact I got to share on the same stage, same day with both Brene and Shawn) and the stories about what had happened to people at Wired, the many amazing comments, and the feedback emails we got after the event. I know many people had life-changing epiphanies at Wired and being part of that is the greatest of honors.
So that is my dream come true for this year and I am deeply grateful. I know I did not deserve this opportunity and yet it was given, pressed down and overflowingly given.
If you are waiting for a dream or frightened or worried then take heart because you never know if your dream is just around the corner… just waiting for you to let go.