What is your lollipop moment?

Check out this awesome TED talk. Interestingly, it is the exact same message that I share when I have speak to groups of students around Australia. I think it is kind of awesome - someone else, on the opposite side of the world (literally) who shares the same message, completely independently... the world is pretty awesome that way.  The message itself too, is pretty powerful.  


I often say to people (a little less elegantly than in the video) to not underestimate the impact they can have on the people around them.  Drew, in the video, says the same thing and links it to the concept of leadership.  He shares a story of how he was told he had affected a woman's life through a very minor action (in fact, she said he changed her life completely), but he didn't even remember that moment! 

Isn't it amazing to think that we can have the power to change the lives of the people around us by the smallest actions or words... and by doing so, in essence change their world, our world, the world?  Because, as Drew says in the video -- there is no world, just six billion understandings of it.


What is one of my lollipop moments?

I remember when I was about eleven years old, I entered my first ever public speaking competition, at around the same time I was asked to speak at my grade seven's graduation ceremony.

If memory serves me correctly, I spoke at the ceremony before the public speaking comp.  My parents recorded the speech and when we went home to watch it, we couldn't stop laughing...

Throughout the entire speech, I was reading from the paper on the lectern, which was fine. However, I was trying to add flair to the delivery, so I would change my facial expressions with the words. What I didn't realise though, was all that people could see were my eyebrows.  So for about 5 minutes of speech, all people could see and hear was an eleven year old reading from a piece of paper with eyebrows that were going crazy -- up, down, frowning, left, right, surprised...my eyebrows pretty much looked liked shrimp being fried -- jumping around all over my forehead.   I was mortified. I was never going to able to be a decent public speaker with such ridiculous eyebrows...

My mother continues to retell this story until today.

Nonetheless, with my ego firmly in check and my speech written on "the issue of obesity" (I was worried about great things as an eleven year old), I presented at the public speaking competition a little while later.

It was nerve wracking as all hell.  I spoke too fast, stumbled over words and did my best, but my best wasn't quite enough.  I didn't make it to the next round.

When I went to the judge for feedback though, she was in a rush, but said something very quick... and told me something I would never forget.

"Yassmin, you still have a way to go.  But realise, you have a voice that people want to listen to.  You can convince anyone of anything.  So use that"

...and with that, she walked away.

I took that in, and haven't forgotten her words since.

The lady probably doesn't even remember who I am.  I don't think I even remember her name to be honest.  But those words convinced me to give it another go, and alhamdulilah, now? Well, I quite enjoy public speaking and making presentations and do so on a regular basis.   The thing is, I would have probably given up if it hadn't been for a few words of a harried judge on a Thursday night in the early 2000's.

I sometimes wish I could thank her, and show her how much her words made a difference, show her that she really has changed the world in a way.  

I guess that for me, reinforces the fact that we can have a huge affect on the people around us, without even realising it - and without it being an enormous deal or action.  

So what about you, what is your lollipop moment? Have you ever had a lollipop moment happen to you, or been thanked for creating a lollipop moment for someone else?