Something I didn’t anticipate actually happened on February 14 as I was responding to Facebook posts – I saw my name and Posterous blog link on LeaderShape’s fan page and Twitter feed with these words:
LeaderShape grad Yasser Masood heading to TEDGlobal. Wow!.
I was just in awe, thinking how did they even unearth my blog (Could I attribute it to my tagging and mention of LeaderShape?). However, I was happy and glad of the short amount of fame I garnered; I manage to spread the word to certain people. It kind of helped to rekindle my purpose for applying to TEDGlobal and the vision I had set out in LeaderShape 2007 (It’s been that long, and it was the 1st international session outside the U.S). You can see the pictures as proof of my short fame.
I still have my large roll-ups from those 6 days, along with the participant manual and the large group photo. That photo alone reminds me why I chose to spend my Spring Break in 2007 away from all modern amenities and technology, as I had a renewed appreciation for social camaraderie and a “healthy disregard for the impossible”. For those of us who have gone to LeaderShape, we have all loved the small niche community that was carved out in our family clusters and even in the
large gatherings. Six days away from all the modern amenities, as your attention and focus is directed towards fostering the community that every participant is involved during those days of learning.
Ever since I heard about TED and began to watch their talks online, I had a splint of fire lit within me that beckoned me to take the next step. I felt I wasn’t ready, as I still wanted to make a difference here in Education City; the place seemed like being part of a Silicon Valley startup but focused on higher education.
Bringing back the synergy between LeaderShape and my journey to TEDGlobal, I wanted to share something that has been my motivation of going there. My initial vision may have sounded far-fetched but I managed to scale it down to a point that I felt could be realistic to attain – something that I could work on which would culminate with years of external and internal coordination. A vision that is laid out at LeaderShape isn’t necessarily one that you can expect to happen overnight – it takes perseverance, commitment, determination and much more to turn it from paper to reality. My vision was related to empowerment and opportunity, but one can go only so far in the role of a student. You need to know your limits and how you can scale your ambitions and efforts to keep abreast of your personal growth.
Larry Page’s speech (also a LeaderShape graduate like myself) taught me a lot, and combining that with my experience and vision from LeaderShape 2007 convinced me to take the next step towards applying to attend TEDGlobal. I’m probably the only one fresh out of college here in Qatar, maybe even fromt he entire Middle East. That doesn’t mean I need to rest on my laurels. I’m only pushing myself stronger and faster, so that I can leave a contributory mark for others to follow and expand upon. I’ve put myself on an ambitious goal of education the generation of my parents (the baby boomers as they would be called) about the changes we are living through and the opportunities we have, rather than sticking to the old age tried and tested formulae.
By the time this published, TED2011 “The Rediscovery of Wonder” will be happening in CA. I’ll be trying to keep up with the numerous tweets from the #TED topic, just to prepare myself for what I should be anticipating in Edinburgh come July 2011.
Just to wrap up… if you’re a LeaderShape grad, know that those 6 days should have helped you on a journey of self-discovery and the potential that has been locked within you. Unlocking that capacity would allow you to conquer and scale many obstacles that would have hindered you from achieving what you have set forth to seek out. Just as I had faced possible overwhelming odds of being accepted to TEDGlobal, I believe that each one of us has the willingness and determination overcome the odds. If you have ‘a healthy disregard for the impossible’, then Adidas’ slogan ‘impossible is nothing’ should get you off the ground and start sprinting.
Only another 134 days to go till TEDGlobal begins…