Friday, 30 March 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Today I spoke on a panel at the Digital Parents Conference in Melbourne on working with brands. I started the session with this ad from Apple in 1997 because it is so inspirational and it still rings true today. The only thing that is a little different is that genius is no longer only found in the ranks of famous people.
It is found in the true story of someone's life, the humour that keeps someone else going, the drive another has for a good cause and the courage they all have to share part of themselves on their blog. Social media is a revolution, it gives nobodies a voice and it moves influence back to many rather than few.
That passion and influence is worth more than a bottle of moisturiser, and I hope from today we will realise that when we choose to collaborate with brands that we love and are passionate about, we'll remember that.
I dedicate this to any one with an internet connection. You can change the world and if you are not certain well you can be certain that some of you have already changed at least one life today.
I have listed the twitter handles of those who moved me today below, please add your gamechangers too!
and of course Maria @mums_word Trae @glowless Kirrily @shortn_tweet and Brenda @mummytime who made it all happen!
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
|On the day of Jim Stynes state funeral an edited version of this post was published in the Tele|
"All those moments lost in time...like tears in rain...time to die"
Last year Sarah Watt died of Cancer, a month before her, Steve Jobs, weeks before that Gavin Larkin, a few months before that my cousin, and the list goes on like a morbid game of Chinese Whispers that leaves only grief and sadness in its wake.
We are surrounded by death, a day does not go by in which we are not confronted by mortality. Whether it be a car accident, a suicide bomb or an illness, the TV beams it to us daily. Not surprising really, given over 150,000 people die each day. What is surprising though is how we manage to ignore it, mainly because it is not our own and for years and hopefully whole life times we carve a path through life without looking death squarely in the eye. We live as if immortal.
Even when my Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I managed to shelve the situation in the “she’ll be right” category of my brain and luckily she was. Today though my delusion is showing cracks and I don’t know whether it is maturity or just that the people threatened and dying now are peers, but my "eternal" existence is being challenged.
Jim, Steve and Sarah had children, so have I, they were happy, so am I, they were in their 40s, so am I, they were needed, so am I. There it is, the unfamiliar face of death taking someone my age, at my stage of life. It is despicable, wrong and absurd. But most of all it is insanely confronting.
It is an understatement to say I am not happy about this happening. The injustice of it is driving me quietly mad. I am sad and angry and desperate at this interruption to such brilliant existences. “It is NOT fair! this is not how it is meant to be” I scream as I try to return death back to its abstract box, miles away from me. But as I spin hopelessly in my new world without infinity, I realise I need a new way to look at this or I would be of no use to anybody.
Then I remembered what I had heard last year. When it became apparent that Steve Jobs was gravely ill, I watched his speech to Stanford graduates. It left me a blubbering mess then and compelled me to write about his life, but his words were like oxygen for those grieving his loss after he died and I so I share them again as we grieve again today for Jim Stynes:
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…”
Steve Jobs, 2005
And when Jim Stynes was asked whether he thought what was happening to him was incredibly unjust he responded:
“Life throws up challenges, life is unfair.
When you understand that, you can get on with your life”.
When you understand that, you can get on with your life”.
Jim Stynes, 2010
He also admitted to being too busy to get a sizable lump on his back checked despite his wife urging him to go to the Doctor. Sound familiar? “Living” does gets in the way of life and if on the day we die we want to look back without regret, listening to those that have at last faced their own mortality is key.
So maybe instead of seeing a seething monster when death reminds us it exists, we need to see a motivator with a light shining through our material and superficial trappings to our soul and heart. A filter that tears away the unimportant and uncovers what it is we want from our very finite life.
Unfortunately these inspirational and wise words can’t reduce the intense pain of losing someone we love or the thought of our own self ceasing. But maybe if we accepted that one day our spirit will end with one final synapse firing in our brain. Maybe then and only then would we truly learn how to live, grateful for the things that matter, and looking for ways to find inner happiness and share it with those we love.
When life gets in the way and I forget what really matters I am going to stop and remember the great ones that don’t have the chances I have, to cherish their gorgeous family and friends and to stop sometimes and just be.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam Jim Stynes
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I was meant to write here yesterday but my content got nicked by The Daily Telegraph. So here's the embarrassing back story instead.
|Do you like the professional shot? |
Note the strategically placed sunglasses and perfectly coiffed hair!
Sitting minding my own business in a library courtyard on Sunday I was unknowingly about to be rocked to the core, just by clicking play on Steve Jobs’ 15 minute speech to Stanford graduates in 2005. Despite being someone who can’t sit still without a tweet or two every few minutes, I was mesmerised from the start. A lady sitting next to me was also I realised, after she asked me whom I was listening to. "Steve Jobs", I replied, suddenly overwhelmed. “What a nutter!” I thought, “bursting in to tears in front of a stranger!” She was lovely and offered me a tissue. How embarrassing, but really when faced with words such as these below, probably the most logical reaction.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs
This man had already made my life more beautiful and more effective and now he was telling me to follow my heart. Should I have expected anything less? And then I find this out because he is close to the end of an all too short and brilliant life. I wanted to rage against the gods, “why him, why take him when there are lesser men who you could take”, but he has an answer for that too.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.” Steve Jobs
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs
So I dried my eyes and started to write about this man that I don’t know. And I took his advice literally and with my heart in my throat, I summoned the courage he talked of and sent the finished product off to a major newspaper. And the next day as I was telling myself I had lost nothing by sending it, except maybe a little pride, I read an email asking me for a photo of myself and that my story was to be published the next day!
I will cry again for this man I’m sure, his life’s work has been a part of my life for 17 years and his absence will be felt acutely. But today I am just thankful, not only for him giving me my favourite products in the world but for inspiring me to have faith in myself and be brave.
He is truly the architect of our lives and our futures.