Do you ever wonder what your purpose is on this earth? Does Passion + Purpose = Potential? It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you have purpose and meaning in your life, you want to jump out of bed, rather than crawl back under the covers. We all need purpose. We all crave passion and when we have these two things, we can create our potential.
Ellen began by recalling a story about a recent visit to a class in Keswick. There, she met with wonderful students and she spoke about Jake and why finding your passion matters so much. Ellen shared her passion, and in the end, students opened up to her. They said that they felt like they made a new friend and told how she made them want to share their own stories. That’s what passion is all about, igniting that spark in others.
Our first guest understands this idea all too well. Erica Ehm is a host, entrepreneur, thought leader and creator. She consistently re- invents herself and leads with her passion, of which she has many. She is one of the original ‘Much Music’ television Hosts, an author, a journalist, an award-winning song writer, a sought-after speaker, and even a playwright. Currently, Erica is the co-founder of the ‘Inside Out Initiative’, a new program designed to help teens discover their passion, purpose and potential.
Erica has lived her life by finding the thing that compels her; making her feel good, fulfilled and happy. Erica says she comes by this instinct naturally, as her parents provided her with an unconventional upbringing. When she was young, Erica’s parents bought a summer camp which she and her sister helped run. They lived in Montreal, until one day when her parents announced that they were moving to a horse farm outside the city, all because her father wanted to follow his passion of horseback riding! These life lessons taught Erica that anything is possible and to always listen to her heart.
Next, Erica shared a story about a stand-off she once had with her parents. When it came to ordering pizza, her parents were determined for young Erica to do it, pushing her to go out of her comfort zone. It taught Erica that in order to live the life you want, you need to speak up and ask for what you want.
Today, we find Erica pursuing a new path by launching ‘The Inside Out Initiative’. The program was designed to help young people understand what lights them up. She says it helps teens to build a ‘Me Map’, understanding how to make ideas come alive. Rather than empower, the program provides ‘ME Power’. It encourages youth to think differently; to become critical thinkers, problem solvers and to make choices that are important to them.
Traditionally, we are taught to go to school, follow the rules and get a job, but we are not taught to do what we love. Erica’s goal is to reverse this idea. She is looking to work with educators to put this program into schools and with parents to shift their thinking about what success looks like for their children. Instead of focusing on marks, the idea is to focus on impact! When we find people who are like ourselves; friends and community who tap into our passions, it will help others to discover their purpose. The Inside Out Initiative is just getting started;check it out at ioi.live.
How many young people crave to be a professional sports athlete; a hockey player, a basketball player, a baseball player? Well, our next guest has truly fulfilled this dream as he is now a professional baseball player, having recently been drafted as catcher to the Texas Rangers! And we are proud to call him a PGB alumni. Meet Liam Hicks.
Liam grew up playing both hockey and baseball. He knew that he always wanted to do his own thing and by Grade 9, he decided baseball was it! Liam gave up hockey and knew he had to go all out, playing baseball year round. There were major sacrifices to be made; giving up summers at the cottage and having weekends be consumed with practices and games. It left little time to hang out with friends and family.
For Liam, walking out on that field as a true Professional player for the very first time was a dream come true. It is still hard for him to believe it’s real. He never thought it was a realistic goal, but each year, with more practice and determination, Liam saw the results starting to pay off. All the sacrifices he made were well worth it and he wouldn’t change it for anything.
Liam’s advice to those who are hoping to follow their own dreams, is to have no regrets! Do the hard work and put in the effort. Do as much as you can and don’t take your time for granted! Great advice, Liam!
Our performance tonight was by 18-year-old pop singer/songwriter, SAGE. Sage is also a Tik Tok and You Tube Star attracting over 2 million views and now a following of 575,000 people. Sage performed, an original motivational song, called ‘Finish Line’. Its message was that you may reach your goal, but there will always be obstacles along the way. Listen to Sage on all streaming forums.
Last season many of you met Author Sharon Neiss Arbess. She spoke about resiliency and her book, ‘Me and My So Called Friends’ as well as her program ‘Brave the Waves’. Sharon recently released her second book called, The ‘Get Up Book’. It was written together with David Newton and produced by Lisa Borden. The book targets readers age 11 years old and up.
This helpful book assists us to get up when we are feeling down. As Sharon describes it, it’s like a warm hug that helps you thrive. The book is filled with short funny stories, and exercises to follow which help with physical and mental health. Other features include commentary from mentors, who share the advice that they would give to their teenage self. The book concludes with a place for self reflection. Find it on Amazon.
Closing words came from Lindsay at One2GiveTo who highlighted the need to donate gently used winter gear for children. They are currently working with teachers who have created shopping rooms in their schools, providing winter clothing and items such as boots and gloves for those in need.
Thank you to all our special guests who have followed their passion, found their purpose and achieved such great potential!