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  • Writer's pictureJoe Danis

The Ebb & Flow of Our Experiences – The Lessons They Teach Us

365 new days, 365 new chances – that’s what’s lying ahead of us in 2018! Another year passed by! Once we start reflecting on the great things that happened to us in 2017, it should feel like several years put together in one since there were so many unique moments taking place. Instead, one year feels like a tiny moment that just passed by like this – from 2016 to 2017 to 2018! One year feels like one moment feels like one second.

When it comes to the end of a year, people start reflecting on their lives, start questioning their decisions and start thinking about what could have been done differently, using the word differently as a synonym for better. But is it really about living a good or a bad life? Is it really about making things better? Or is it simply about trying to accept your own path, accepting oneself and getting closer to finding true happiness?

I would like to encourage everyone to make the best out of each decision, each day, each week, each month, each year – make the best out of your life! No one can choose the circumstances he or she was/is/will be born in to, but anyone can take the decision to live life to the fullest. It is your life, so live it for yourself – not for anybody else!

Let me share two of my most remarkable 2017 moments with you: Working in Barcelona and organizing TEDxUniPaderborn! Why did I choose these experiences? There were so many more that I could have chosen, but these two seemed to be the right ones. They show that quite often one idea, one experience can lead to the next one!

Working in Barcelona. In 2016, I started an internship in Barcelona. From the beginning, I noticed that it would be a phase of my life where I can learn many things about myself and about possibilities for my future career. I decided to work hard and apparently my boss noticed: After three months of the internship I was offered a full-time job starting as soon as possible. This offer has been one of the most valuable acknowledgements I had ever received until this point in my life. I was really honored and happy at the same time. So, I thought about the offer back and forth. It’s not been easy to decide between coming back home to Germany and starting a Master program or staying in Barcelona and starting a job. At the end, I rejected the offer and it was the right decision – it was the right decision considering my current circumstances, for me and my age and my personal development. So, I finished my six-month internship in Barcelona, finished my Bachelor degree in Germany and started my Master program in October 2017 – and I’m totally happy about it. Choosing not to pursue an opportunity was not a negative thing. It only lead me to other new opportunities and experiences that I am equally excited about.

Organizing TEDxUniPaderborn. While living in Barcelona, a friend of mine introduced me to TED Talks. I’d heard about them before, but it never occurred to me that I would eventually participate in organizing an official TEDx event. Anyway, from that day I watched TED Talks quite often, basically every week. By chance I suddenly found out that there might be a TEDx event taking place at my university in Germany very soon. I knew that I definitely wanted to experience this in some capacity – decision made! I returned back home and went to a friend’s party the first week in Germany. I ended up talking to someone about TED Talks and TEDx events. We were about to finish our conversation when he told me that he was the one initiating the TEDx event in Paderborn. I couldn’t believe that such a coincident just happened. Obviously, I was very excited about this conversation and maintained contact with my new friend. As a result, I ended up being one of two head organizers of the TEDxUniPaderborn event that I initially wanted to experience as a guest. To this point in my life, it has been the biggest and most significant event I had ever organized. This meant a lot to me in that it was something I truly put all of my heart and soul into. Leading up to the event, we were in constant contact, meeting, planning, and coordinating in order to make the event a reality. Even though we had very limited resources we can now say that the conference was a great success – not only for us as head organizers, but for our team of volunteers, for the guests and most importantly, for the speakers. The speakers were the ones who made the event such a unique and unforgettable experience. So, let me encourage you to be brave enough to accept big challenges. I never knew how we could make the event happen until it finally happened! It was quite a big decision to take on the responsibility of organizing such an event, but I knew that every day, every hour and every minute spent on TEDxUniPaderborn would be well-spent and worth it. So, say yes to new challenges and always remember: What could be worse than not trying? Taking on the challenge of organizing an official TEDx event helped me overcome my fear of something so big and to just jump in with both feet. Once the idea was presented to me, not doing it was never an option!

2017 – What were your most remarkable moments? Think about it and reflect on how they taught you lessons!

By Norina Poetter

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