Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sharing gyan on personal development!

I was pleasantly surprised when Dr Chika asked me if I could speak at a workshop for singles between the age 18-30 on "personal development"! Of course I said yes and soon received an email invitation from one of the coordinators. It was an event organised by the International Church of Christ Nigeria for about 200 singles on "career and personal development".

You know me, I have to have a plan for what I have to say since I had only 25 minutes...if I attempted an extempore I would go on and on! When I started thinking of what to say so many things suddenly came to my mind...it was like tapping into different memories and experiences. I scribbled on two pages and attempted to create some sort of logical flow! The disjointed scribblings got connected in a word document in about an hour......after which I had to not look at for a while to get a fresh perspective....I shared the document with my colleague, Ike, who gave me a heads up! Then it was in the hands of my most trusted critique (when I am in the right mood to understand and accept his constructive comments!), Parth! His comments made me think about how to make it sound appealing to such a large group, get a few laughs, and pass on few but powerful messages....The word document transformed into a powerpoint which was more focussed and precise! But there was just so much I felt I wanted to share and say....anyhow after a final ok from Parth I was ready to deliver.

The workshop started on time with a prayer and electrifying songs with congo drums....Besides me, there were four other facilitators who talked about resume development, workplace skills, skills of a craftsman and how to stay fit! They were all very dynamic, articulate and made an instant connection with the audience! After a humbling introduction, I began...knowing full well that I would be saying many things that I didnt plan to and that I would go over time. And true enough I went over 10 minutes....but I did manage to build a connection (as I could make out from the constant nods), make a few jokes (especially when I talked about my experiences living in Naijaland), and answer all the questions. And one person actually remembered something I said I couldnt cover and asked me to share what it was..... It was an amazing experience...it was as if I was there and words were magically flowing out...I felt so engrossed in those moments....

Many people came up to me and shared they felt really touched. One person actually also asked for my advice on how she could develop her emotional quotient at work! One person said "here's to the crazy ones" is just like my life's story! So I will see many of them again in the days to come...They gave me a beautiful gift, two candle stands, small bowl and three paper weights all in traditional design! They look lovely on my coffee table.

I am very happy that I was able to think and articulate this way...I basically shared about what has helped me in my own personal development over the years...starting with looking inwards...I want to mention so many who have influenced me and led me on my journey of self awareness ...Bhai (questioning my conscience when I least expect it and our many unconventional conversations); Swati (your sessions on self.and you as a person who is so connected to your inner self..); Rohi (for explaining the reasons for my erratic behaviour and she is always bang on); my OCF program gang (for pushing us to be aware of and attempt to make sense of the unconscious)...and Parth (who is my mirror)....Thank you, I still have a long way to go....

Note: I am trying to figure out a way of attaching my ppt to this post...and my camera battery died so you will have to wait for the pics....

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