11 things I learned at The Do Lectures

1.  Fear is powerful – emotion is powerful
I learned that many, many people are scared to camp in the rain and that even more don’t want to be cold. But I also learned that fear can drive you on and once you push on through, the feeling joy and success on the other side is immense.

2.  Thinking differently is essential
People become jaded. We need to think about new ways of thinking. I learned that very few people like to peer outside of their comfort zone. Staying within your comfort zone won’t help you think differently. Meet new people in new places. Think differently. Think that every action has balance, a consequence; in sustainability, in the world and in the way we live in it.

3.  Sean Carasso
If you went to Do 2012 you already know him. But if you didn’t, please, I urge you: find his story and listen to it. His story is amazing, his achievements humbling. There are very few people in the world who can tell stories of such darkness with energy and positive light.

4.  Humans need the outdoors
Walking on grass is fun. Constant rain is OK. Outdoor showers are invigorating. I learned that brushing your teeth, outside, every day, looking at rolling hills is soul restoring. I also realised that the frosted glass in my bathroom window blocks our fabulous view over the English countryside. Little things.

5.  People are amazing
People want to make a difference. They just need to be shown a way, a direction, a thought and given permission to stop and think about it. And about how they can help. You can start by giving people an opportunity to talk and by showing them how you want to make a difference. As the saying goes: be the change you want to see in the world.

6.  Tim Smit for Prime Minister
If creative thinking will enable effective change, then Tim Smit should be Prime Minister. Simple.

7.  Do speakers
An inspiring, world-leading, game-changing, future-designing, life-saving, creative, powerful, passionate and exciting collective. Every one had a different story, each one inspiring and in its own way, moving. All very different, but each left me with a new thought, idea, or skill. I learned to listen to everyone with an open mind.

8.  You can never have too much Welsh food
I learned you cannot have too much homemade Welsh bread: fact. Don’t argue with me, dieticians… Welsh cheeses: I learned that they – and their Welsh chutney friends – taste divine. Welsh beer: OK you can have too much. And your head will hurt. But you’ll be glad you did.

9.  Banish negativity
Young brains are more effective, more open to change and more alive. By banishing negativity and opening your mind to possibility and opportunity, you’ll reap the benefits. Remind yourself every day and do a 24 hour positivity-only challenge. If you fail, start over again.

10.  Stop
Take time out to do nothing. Take time to be still. Christians would say: Be still and know that I am God. Meditationalists (just invented it): Be still and find your inner zen. Parents: Be still and find you have yoghurt in your hair. I’ve learned that whatever approach you take, it all works. Be still.

11.  Ideas change things
The Do mantra. Live it.


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