My journey to the TED stage required a series of now, seemingly serendipitous events. Each one important and each one, absolutely necessary.

I received the email that I had been accepted at around 5am on a Saturday. I was to sub a yoga class that morning and spent the first part of my morning weeping in an amount that, satisfied the joyfully worthy circumstance, so about an hour. The imperative events that occurred in order to bring me to that moment were:

  1. An incredible professor said, “Make a mission statement for your life. When you have a decision to make, see if it aligns with it. If it does, you must do it. This creates a path for your life that you want it to, rather than a path directed by fear.”
  2. A vulnerable presentation on being plagued by perfection and making goals in a way that gets rid of that expectation had to occur. Additionally, people had to be impressed with it, and even before that, my very dear and critically generous friend, Anna had to observe and give feedback on a practice presentation.
  3. A supportive environment created by the professor allowed for a girl in the class to mention that TED Talks was coming to Metro. And various people in the class had to tell me that I should apply.
  4. Lastly, my buddhist-esk roommate, Nathan commented on the opportunity with, “I think public speaking would be the best job in the world. You go around helping people and changing lives. If you have the chance to do that, I say go for it.”

The elements required, wrapped up into a neat little package, include these 5 things: great teachers, a support system, vulnerability, criticism and willingness to listen.

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