“I moved on to bigger stories.”

“I moved on to bigger stories.” ~Shirley J. Thompson

On October 27 I had the pleasure of attending my second TEDx event of 2012, TEDxJamaica. It was truly exceptional. Every speaker had a powerful and rich message to share. I was touched several times. The speakers were all of Jamaican heritage and pioneers in their respective fields of business, medicine, conservation, music, sport and dance.

The theme was “Accomplish What You Will.” This was both a statement and a call to action.

The great thing about TED is that it’s often about real and honest failure. Most speakers have overcome challenges to get to where they are today. It’s humbling and reminds you that success is not based solely on talent, it’s based on hard work. I left buzzing with possibility. Highlights were:

Jon Robertson taught me that success requires ADAM: Ability, Discipline, Attitude and Maintenance. He also encouraged having a vision of your future and quoted Helen Keller to emphasize this message: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Donna Duncan-Scott reminded me to recognize greatness in everyone and that you can create of culture of love in any organization. She said Marianne Williamson was the basis of her inspiration while she transformed a corporation through building genuine, caring relationships: “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (She also found her soul mate at 39 and now has two kids!)

Shirley J. Thompson said that when she realized she wasn’t written into “fairy” stories and that her dreams were being sabotaged (she experienced blatant racism growing up in England), she moved onto bigger ones.  She is now one of the most successful women composers of our time.

Paul Ramphal created a simulator to replicate the full operative experience of cardiac surgery without the need for people or live animals. His brilliant idea came to life from a team in Obscuristan (his nickname for the developing world) and is being used widely in Megabuckstan (the developed world).

And, of course, Donovan Bailey. He is now a successful business man in Toronto and spends time giving back to sports and charity in both Canada and Jamaica. His homeland. His smile is still so huge and warm.

Falling more and more in love with this beautiful island. I’m moving on to a bigger story too.

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