SELF. Write about ‘self’ and what you are doing to rise to ‘self’. That’s what my boss said when he themed July the month of ‘Self’. Sure that’s easy. I can just ramble about myself, stick a few selfies and call it a day and a blog, right? WRONG! My boss was asking for more than that.
He was asking for ‘self’ to ask itself “What are you doing in your own capacity to rise and influence the space around you”? So I went to the only place I knew I’d get the right answers from.
No, it wasn’t a self-help book (although I was tempted). I went to my friend GOOGLE. Typed ‘TEDx talks about self’ and this is what Google came up with.
Caroline McHugh breaks down the concept of ‘self’ and explains how she teaches people to ‘be themselves’.
“Be good at being you as they are at being them” – Caroline McHugh, TEDx Milton Keynes Women
McHughes’ Ted Talk did not answer my question but what it did was spark a conversation between me and myself that went a little something like this:
ME : Self are you there?
SELF : Sometimes.
ME : What happens the other times?
SELF : I’m ignored so I shrink.
End dialogue. This is the ME, MYSELF and TED conversation.
And with that dialogue, TED’s vision started to brew inside of me. TED’s vision is all about the sharing of ideas. TED was about individuals like you and me who used ideas as paint for the canvas of their areas of expertise.
TED was about calling people in business, science, anthropology, medicine and all areas of influence to rise to ‘SELF’.Once these individuals had risen to self, through TED they would share their findings with the world.
Like TEDx, Africa is an idea worth sharing
Since TED’s inception in 1984, TED has continued to echo its motto of ‘Ideas worth sharing’ even in the African continent. Through TEDx, the independently run TED conferences, the brand has managed to gather thought leaders and create a platform for the exchange of ideas.
Watch South African-born visual creative storytelling trio ‘I see a different you’ speak at TEDxSoweto conference in 2012 here:
Watch Award-winning South-African born Puno Selesho deliver a poetic talk at a TEDxPretoria conference in 2015 here:
And Finally watch, Ghanian born-business entrepreneur and financial expert, Arnold Ekpe give an exceptional talk at a TEDJohannesburg conference here:
We seem to be looking for salvation from outside of Africa…No foreigner has ever developed a country. The nationals develop their own country – Arnold Ekpe, African business entreprenuer.
My conclusion is this. We are all ideas waiting to be shared. But how can we start sharing who we are if we expect little or nothing of ourselves? Just like TED, you are an idea that’s waiting to be shared. I am left wanting to raise the bar in my life.
For me, it started with organising the mini-library in my bedroom. Yes, sometimes rising to ‘self’ can be a small step, but just like TED, you are an idea waiting to be explored!
What are you doing to become the best ‘self’ you can be as an African?
Did you enjoy this article? Leave a comment in the comment section.