Whenever I go to a conference I make sure that I attend at least one motivational talk as it fills me with warm and fuzzy feeling and energizes my mind to the extent that all the hard core sessions that I attended will just flow easily in my mind, these talks removes the blockages from my blood stream and so the blood will flow easily. 

EAIE was in Prague this year, and no, I didn’t join the run as I had a knee injury, so I opted out, although I would have loved to, knowing fully well that the Scandinavians will win again similar to last year.  I didn’t attend the ball either, so I missed on the nice masks that were distributed to everyone, but then again, I am not a dancer.

The first motivational talk with Mr Jan Mehlieft, the chairman of Microsoft in Europe, a young man with an eight year old daughter, left us with the impression that he is more inspired by her than her by him, which is fine, as we all got inspired by the little eight year old at the end of his talk.

He mentioned that Mercedes is not a car anymore, as it has more computers and software than mechanical stuff so they are now in the software industry and not in the car industry

He also mentioned that the news these days talk about the sensational stuff, for instance, 150 die from a coconut falling on their heads but no one reports it as it’s not sexy to die from a coconut but sharks killing two or three and the media is flooded about these news!
Real Madrid fans 400 million!! ok, what are we doing about it? is someone using those fans and selling them anything? I wonder!
Jan also mentioned the Small rabbit story who wins in running not in swimming so the teacher want him to focus on swimming, the little rabbit cries his eyes off, sad really as we focus on weakness not on strengths
Jan says that he did a search on all the studies in universities, he found only 45 studies on human happiness and 45000 on human sadness! I wonder.
We should not be obsessed with what is wrong with the people instead we must be obsessed with what is right,
Talent can be discovered in the first three years of our lives so we must grasp that to Unlock human potential
Jan thinks that in Education science and art should be taught together and we need to follow Khan academy in school teaching.

His daughter who is eight years old, needed help in Mathematics, so she collected a team in two minutes on skype from the internet to help her in learning what she didn’t understand

His final remarks were: Decide,  act, notice and correct
Never stop
We have to push our idea, Connect to people and must never wait 
The closing ceremony champion was Sebastian Terry a young Aussie who started to wonder what to do with himself after graduation, and started a website called 100things.com.au


He did a degree but didn’t know what to do with it 
He realized he was disconnected to who he was as person
He was unhappy
He took a piece of paper. And wrote on it  a list of what will make him happy!
Why the career adviser didn’t tell him that he must do that prior to studying??

What do we need from life? Is it financial security vs self fulfillment 

The red carpet made him powerful 

Permission? Don’t wait until you know you are dying to do the things that you like

Make a list  that challenges you, fulfills you, comfort you, scares you

Something physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, experimental 

Set Clear goals to yourself, commit to it, be proactive and not reactive, then tick that goal as done and move on

He wanted to deliver a baby as a goal. He got a contact from someone following him online that she wants him to do that. But after he reached she delivered without him. But he made the news. Few weeks later he did deliver a baby
Just make a decision and be accountable for it

Perspective, belief, open attitude and will (the powerful triangle) 

The flow : it happens after one makes a decision 

He was on a week silence. So someone was inspired by that and offered him money but instead of taking the money to himself he donated it to his charity organisation.

He says that there is a list of excuses that we mustn’t fall into its trap:
No money
Commitment 
Failure
Success
Opinion
Time
Comfort

One must Go full circle 

Selfish vs selfish 

Look after yourself and then help others (we must stop the charity thing now help ourselves and then help others)

He helped someone on a wheel chair in the marathon 

Beyond 100: helping people to help people 

At the end he asked us all the question: What’s on your list? there were 5000 of us, imagine how many bucket lists where written that day!



My thoughts: it is so Typical to bring motivational speakers to a bunch of academics? do you have an interpretation for this? well, all I can say is that we must be a boring bunch, so they need to open our eyes to reality.
2 replies
  1. Finnfield
    Finnfield says:

    I think this is still a fairly new thing at the EAIE. We have had some excellent speakers in recent years. Personally, when Leymah Gbowee was keynote speaker a few years ago, her speech affected me so deeply I made a firm commitment to her to help African education and do something each year to that end. I have kept my promise.
    I think having a speaker from a company such as Microsoft is valid as it is a big employer of our graduates. Also, I sometimes quote content from these speeches in class. However in the second speech above I did feel rather uneasy with the shooting/bullet-proof vest example.

    Reply
    • Suad Alhalwachi
      Suad Alhalwachi says:

      i did feel uneasy too with the bullet shooting scene, as i am against guns in any form. what i liked about this conference is the very advanced way of conferencing, very refreshing indeed. thanks for your comment, glad to know that someone is reading my blog.

      Reply

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