#248 – Who Are You? With Sam Thiara

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the episode today, we have Sam Thiara. Sam, welcome. Thank you. I appreciate being on the show and being able to share some insights. I am very happy to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do?

I would love to, and I always take a unique pathway and that’s part of the whole idea of my background is I support and help people to discover who they are, not what they do. And the way that I can best do that is to say apply it to myself. Here’s how I introduce myself. I’m an individual who is guided by five core elements and the five things are servant leadership, story sharing, activator igniter, champion enabler and community do-gooder. Those five things have enabled me to help individuals, teams, organizations, educational institutions and non-profits to their pinnacle best, but it’s also enabled me to become a speaker and a storyteller, a mentor and a coach, a writer and blogger, a problem solver, educator, entrepreneur and community activator. That is how I can best describe myself in. It’s a very organic and unique way, because it’s really about understanding who I am and what what resonates with me and then really putting my efforts into that.

Well, thank you for the introduction. There’s an awful lot to ask you about there. Sure. I have asked the question, who are you before as kind of like a I wonder what this person is going to say, Have you got an answer which you think, you know, that’s the best one I’ve ever heard. I mean for myself or for other people. Can be either. Often times when I ask individuals and that’s whether I’m teaching at university or mentoring and coaching. It’s always interesting because people always describe themselves by what they do and you know, I’ll obviously never interrupt them and stop them. I’ll listen to them and I said, but that’s great. But you know, tell me who are you and in the sense of, you know, defining yourself outside of the realm of, of what you do and then they do struggle with that. And for me, I think the clarity emerged when I was in a corporate job where, you know, I could do the job, but it just never felt like it fit, it felt like an ill fitting suit, my career was an ill fitting suit. I could do it, but it just didn’t fit. The moment that I started focusing on, okay if this doesn’t feel right and the corporate job, okay, what is it then?

And then I started focusing on who I am and what resonated and my five things that I said in the beginning have changed over time. It actually made a lot of sense for me, and that’s when that clarity started to emerge to say, no, this doesn’t fit, okay, but then what does fit? And then I started exploring options based on having that as my anchor, those five key elements. And then as soon as I landed that position, because I started putting my efforts towards that, because it aligned to the five things that were important to me, that’s when clarity emerged, and when I landed in that position, it didn’t feel like a job any longer. It was fulfillment to say this really resonates and I’m really enjoying myself in that position. So going back to what you were just asking is the fact that, you know, often times people will define themselves by what they do, I’d like to help them define themselves by who they are, which relates to what they do. But let’s put the other part first.

So if someone wanted to use your way of answering that question, presumably they’d come up with their own five, would you say that’s about right? Yes, absolutely, absolutely. It’s about being a tailor and tailoring it to them and it’s all about reflection introspection because what I do is, and I often say what if you know whether me or anybody that you would find a coach is a great person to help you with this, is ask a lot of questions. So often times what I would do is ask, tell me about, you know, your your job, your current job or previous jobs, but tell me what you liked about it or like about it or don’t like or liked about it. And they start explaining it and then I keep saying, okay, tell me why and getting them to start thinking deeper. What about when you were in school, what courses resonated and you liked and which ones did you not like. And and the key thing to ask is why and what do you like to do in your spare time, your social life and then ask why and you keep asking those questions of why.

And for example, I mean I get this quite often, you know, ask people to tell me, give me one thing that you are uh not willing to compromise in life and career, not career, but life and career. And often times people would say family, family is really important to me and I said, okay, why? And they start explaining it and I’m listening to words and I’ll keep asking different wise and oftentimes I hear the words, connections and relationships and then, you know, then later on I’ll be like you used the words relationships and connectedness and this is where it’s really great to be listening to what they say and they said, yeah, no and they said okay, but does that apply to your work environment as well? And they’re like, oh for sure. Did it apply when you were in school? Oh absolutely. What about in your social life? Oh have to have it. I said can we replace family with relationships and connectedness? They’re like, oh and I said that will become, you know, one of your five core elements and then we go through this, there is fear that people have because they’re like, oh man, you’re making me pick five things.

What if they’re not the right words like no, no let’s pick these and then change them any time in your life as you know you encounter new experiences and things which I’ve changed mine as well. So you know, it’s not something you’re stuck with for the rest of life, but but think of it this way, what I’ve done is help them to provide a base to now compare their life too and then they can see does it hit five out of five or two out of five if it hits two out of five, what’s missing, can you incorporate that now? Go to your employer and say, you know, the lifelong learner bit is really important to me, I feel like in this job maybe it’s not so prevalent and then hopefully the employer will be like okay how I, and finally I always like to say have fun with this as well and what I mean by that is, you know, I shared the five core elements of mine and the last one was community do better according to Microsoft office, the word does not exist, I’m doing it, so it must exist.

A friend of mine knows she’s in Los Angeles and I’m in Vancouver, we, we were going through this exercise and she was telling me all about her things that are important and one of the things was the environment and she said, you know, the things that I work in and the things I do has to protect the environment and all that and remember kept asking why, and at the end I was just like, you know, you’re an environmental ninja and she was like, oh my gosh, I love that, can I use that as one of my five because I’d like to introduce myself as an environmental ninja, so that’s the process I try to go through to massage it and to help and um really it’s, it’s an opportunity for people to realize and appreciate the significance of the things that they’ve done, which sometimes we overlook, thank you for going into that, I have been like I said, I have been asking that question and I feel like I’m having this conversation with you is really good timing because it kind of, I don’t know if it seems like you’re, you’re an expert on this particular question, which I love.

So, but this next one is a big question and that is you got your five, did you call them values? Well, I call it the five elements and the elements. Right? Would you mind, would you mind going into each element and what it means to you? Oh sure. So servant leadership is the first one and this is where it was all about this experimentation and playing with it because the first time it was leadership because you know, there were things that I would be doing that I would take on and just jump in and start working on. But I found leadership was way too broad of a, of a scope and a title. Then I started thinking about it and servant leadership is really the essence of what I do. Where I roll up the sleeve, I don’t care who gets the credit. I’m there to support and guide when you need me or I can step back and and just do what I need to do. And servant leadership is all about the, the nonprofits I’ve worked with about 50 nonprofits to date to help them revision and think and servant leadership just sort of, it was one of those epiphanies I had to say leadership to broad servant leadership just makes more sense.

So that’s part of the first one. The second one was story sharing and that’s what I am as a storyteller when I’m teaching my classes and it’s a unilateral approach of me telling my stories or applying it to the theories and concepts. But story sharing again became more important to me because story sharing is I also want to listen and hear your stories, it’s not about storytelling, it’s about sharing. We sit in a car over tea and have a conversation and we just keep building on stories together and story sharing is all about this element that people have these tremendous stories that you know, they sometimes feel insignificant about but I want to listen to them and you know build and share stories with them. So story sharing became that the third one is um Champion and enabler and that changed actually from uh corporate communications or corporate community relations because that’s what I used to do and still do, but it wasn’t so prevalent anymore.

But Champion enabler is the fact that there’s a lot of noise out there of people telling you what to do. I’ve had about 5000 conversations to date. I do about 3 to 8 conversations per week to help people realize what is it that they want and instead of telling them, I’m a champion and enabler which basically means I’m going to support and help you get where you need to go but I’m not gonna tell you, you know, oh you should do this, I think there’s enough people telling you So Champion enabler is basically this idea of this person that’s there to guide and support like that mentorship and coaching that I do and um you know the Champion enabler, you know the activator is this whole piece of that pilot light, how do we um inspire and activate and get them to and provide them, you know, the fuel to get them to go. So we’ve got the check Champion enabler. Activator Igniter is the sort of the second part to it, which is okay, so you know, I’m here to support and guide you, but now let’s get you going and then, you know, building the things in there that just ignite them and community do good or never changed.

Well sorry, the activator Igniter did change because student development was really important to me is to help young people realize and discovered, but I changed it to activate or igniter because I found student development again, I still do it when I teach in university and I mentor and coach, but I found, but there’s a lot of young professionals, mid level managers, even senior people and organizations that approached me and I just found that student development was too narrow. Leadership was too broad. Student development too narrow. So then I became an activator igniter and finally the last one was the community do Gooder, which still remained solid to the state because it’s all about not being a bystander in life, I’ve been given so much in life, but the idea is I’m not allowed to hold on to it, I have to share it. And actually by sharing, I see the benefits of these organizations being able to become more streamlined, more entrepreneurial and you know, just going in and helping wherever I can, that just became the community do Gooder.

So that’s the five expanded. I love the last one. I you know, I think they’re all great in terms of, you know what, what you get from having that question answered. Clearly you’ve got your five elements. What has it meant to you to have a good answer to that question. Its fulfillment. I mean, the ideas that I’ve got about 12 projects I’m working on right now and none of it feels like work, even though it is work and they’re not independent and separated from each other. Um they layer into each other and it’s not like a big mush of like bubble and squeak, which is just sort of a mishmash of everything just piled into each other. It’s actually carefully layered. So the the storytelling and that that I do the definitely applies to my teaching, which applies to a retreat that I’m building in Zimbabwe right now. All of this just sort of layers in. Um so for me it’s it’s one of those things that it enables me to have clarity where an opportunity emerges.

I compare it to those five things and I’m like, oh my gosh, I have to do this, um so that’s where it provides me, that that tremendous opportunity, I mean 7, 8 years ago, I never even envisioned myself as a writer, but when that came forward, it just aligned to the five things and I had to do it same with teaching, I never saw myself as a lecturer in university, but I get so much enjoyment and it doesn’t feel like work, except when I have to mark papers, then then it is work um but that’s where it doesn’t feel like work when I’m standing in front of the class and sharing um it’s interesting and I’d like to share this with your, with your guests is the fact that, you know, oftentimes society says, what are your goals? You know, and I always respond back with, actually, I don’t have goals, that people are like, oh my gosh, you’re aimless, I said no, no, no, I have intentions and those are the five core elements that are my intentions and they’re like, okay, tell me expand, I mean, and not to say if you have goals, you’re wrong, I’m just providing another avenue to people who may not align with goals, but they have to, is goals to me are very absolute, I mean at a, at an early stage, we must have a pinpoint place where we start and then, you know, one year, three years, five years, this is where I will be, but you know, how do you know that that’s the end marker?

Because oftentimes we have just basically said that’s what I’m going to accomplish. So they’re absolute, and if an opportunity emerges that doesn’t align with the goal, do you give up the goal or the opportunity? It’s very absolute. Whereas with me, if an opportunity emerges, I compared to those five things that I’m not willing to compromise and it, and then it resonates, that’s where, you know, being a writer was never a goal teaching in university or building a retreat. Those were never goals of mine, but it hits the five out of five. So I live in the world of intentions, not in goals, but again, if people have goals, I’m not saying they’re wrong, it’s just another way that I can actually provide some insights to people who may not, you know, would be like, okay, I’ve got this opportunity that emerge, but you know, my goal is to do this. It’s like, okay, let’s pull that back. What’s important to you? Does this opportunity align and resonate with regards to something that’s really important to you, then let’s explore that, Thank you for that.

And incidentally, I did used to ask the question about what are your goals at the end of every episode, but what I found was that there weren’t, there weren’t that many answers that were compelling to the, to the question. So some people had, as you said, it is finite. So in the sense that it might be a revenue goal or a follower account or something like that and much better to have. As you say intentions for those who haven’t gone through this process of thinking about who they are and they could name their five elements. Would you expect them to get some clarity on those types of decisions that they have to make? Absolutely. And it I always say find someone that you trust that’s not going to tell you what to do but are more interested in asking you, you know and that’s where train, you know coaches come in where you know it’s all about asking questions. I mean people come to me looking for the answers to life. I mean should I do this or should I start this business?

And I’m like well I’m not going to tell you what to do. There’s enough people telling you what to do. I call myself the difficult monk and the difficult monk because you come to me looking for the answers to life, wanting me to tell you what to do instead. I’m not going to tell you what to do. But what I’m going to do is ask a bunch of questions because the answers you seek lie within you, you are the monk, you are the person that knows this. But I’m just going to ask these questions and it’s interesting because it’s like after the conversations we have and people get clarity, they’re like, oh thank you so much man, I have, I feel so much better. I know the direction I’d like to go, I’m like, all I did was ask questions. You are the one who laid out the plan now, now let’s get you going in that direction. It’s always interesting to see the, you know, the, the epiphany that people get when they’re like, okay, that makes sense. That’s what I gotta do, very rewarding as well. I would imagine you touched on something which I really wanted to ask you about and I haven’t in the prep, I hadn’t got round to the story where you went to India.

So I know that there’s an interesting story there, but I don’t know what it is, so would you share that? Absolutely, I mean, again, it was one of those, you know, I think oftentimes people struggle with, you know who they are and identity and journey. So I’m a british born Canadian, my parents are from Fiji, my grandparents come from India and visibly I look indian, but you know, oftentimes the question comes up, what part of India are you from? Like while I was born in England raised in Canada and they’re like, no, no, your parents, what part of India are you from, are they from? And I’m like, well they come from Fiji and then they look at me going like, okay, are you indian? And I’m like, well my grandparents come from India and my ancestors and then others who are like, well, no, no, you’re not indian, you’re Canadian. Which I mean that’s true as well. I mean most of my life has been in Canada. I mean, you know, we play hockey and you know, we eat hot dogs and when we skin our knees, we bleed maple syrup and not blood.

That’s how much Canadian. I guess we are or I am, there’s people who are happy to tell you what to do. Apparently there’s people who are happy to tell you who you are as well. So, oh man, tell me about it, you are this. And I think a lot of people struggle with this idea of identity. And I decided, you know, I had never been to India and I had traveled to other places, but I’ve never been to India and I thought, you know, I’d like to visit this place and it doesn’t matter how, you know, you go on this on to India, but I don’t think anything ever prepares you. So I went there. But also part of it is the fact that nobody in my family New our ancestral home where my grandfather, he left in 1905. My grandfather left on my paternal side India in 1905, he was venturing to Argentina wound up in Fiji, that’s where my father was born got married, my mom and then they moved to England and part of me is again I thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty.

I love that space and you know, nobody knew where this village was. And I thought okay let me start exploring this ancestral roots piece. And I just remember you know my, my dad’s older brother had been to the village many, many years ago but my father had never been and my grandfather never went back. But my my uncle passed away many years ago before we pulled that information. But what he did do was take a picture of people from our village so that it’s a faded photograph, 3.5 inches faded dingy orange or yellow. So I had a photograph in little information. We knew the name of the village. We knew the town, it’s sad about 5, 6 miles away and the district of airport which is in Punjab. So I thought, okay armed with a photograph, very little information, okay, we’re off and I went to India and explored and it was actually an eye opening experience because it it it’s a foreigner going to a land that should not be foreign to them searching for a needle in a haystack but not sure where the haystack was even located and experiencing India for its brilliance and magnificence but also exploring India for the poverty, the injustices that I saw.

It made me realize that I was a traveler, not a tourist, I wanted to experience India, not just see it. I wanted to experience it. And I had an epiphany while I was in the state of punjab and it was one of those side things that emerged because of this identity piece. It wasn’t the, the journey to find my grandfather’s house was the, was the pinnacle piece that I wanted to do. But my realization in in punjab when I was heading to the golden Temple, which is the holiest place for seeds is the fact that my life was always what I call it, tally. And tally is a platter segmented by dishes. So my life was a tally. I’m a platter with segmented dishes. I’m british, Canadian, indian Fijian. Um, well, plus I have a cabin behind me, I played in an irish military pipe band for five for 11 years, so maybe there’s a bit of irish chutney on the side as well. Um, but I woke up at four a.m. Just abruptly and I realized I’m not a tally.

I’m not a segmented dish of cultures. I’m kitty kitty kitty is a rice dish with a blend of spices and flavors and vegetables etcetera. So, and you mash it all together and it’s a, it’s a mash of it and my cultures should be blended together as opposed to segment it and it’s a message that I think a lot of people can resonate to because they were like, oh my gosh, yeah, I mean I’m kitchen too. So I get, you know, british people going, I’m Kittery or you know, I get people from Asia going, yeah, no, I’m Kit 32. So it, that I think was one of the highlights of the journey and to express this in the book that I wrote called Lost and found seeking the past and finding myself and the fact that people who read it say, oh my gosh, I’m and I can appreciate that the journey to find the village was much more intense and much more difficult than the epiphany that emerged as a result because I was open to that.

So a day before I left for India, my step cousin had contacted me and he said, look, I understand you’re looking for the village And the village name that you have is wrong. I made it to which is the town six miles away. But the name of the village is something else which sounded like the name of it. So chado tea is the name of the village. He said, it’s Jon odie. And I thought, okay, now I didn’t find a gene ot, but I found it Jandali five miles away from which is the town of. And I told my dad, I said, look, do you think that might be it? He said, well maybe we just, you know, the names either changed a bit or maybe we didn’t hear it correctly. So we found Jandali, we arrived there and people were in a courtyard and showed them the photograph and they were like, well let’s get the village elder. And he came and he looked at the picture and he goes, you know, I think there’s a guy in the back, he looks like so and so and you know their houses up this way, so he gets in our vehicle, we drive to a house and I’m with all this anticipation going, oh my gosh, I’m just gonna be reconnecting with our ancestral roots.

And people came out looked at the photograph and said, no, this isn’t the right house. And I remember my enthusiasm sank a little bit, but then it’s something perked up again, He said no, no, but that houses up the road this way. So again the elder came with us, we drove to another house, people looked at the picture and they were like, no, this isn’t the right house. And this happened about five or six times where you get the anticipation and deflation because it’s not the right house. What I love though is you know, we came back to our original spot of this courtyard and you know, they were all anticipating, we were gonna find this village or in this house and you know, they said it’s okay, you know what, just come back tomorrow and have dinner with us and be a part of our family and I thought, wow, that’s brilliant. Like, you know, you know, just that sense and feel of welcoming because prior to India and when I was in India, people are like, well why are you searching? I mean you’re not gonna find it.

You know, it’s not that important or you know, even if you find your village, you may not get a good reception. So, but I never I put that aside. I’m like, no, no, I’m not going to listen to the noise. I went back to my hotel, phoned my father and I said, look, it just didn’t work. And he said, that’s okay, enjoy India. Like you’ve done what you can just enjoy India. And when I hung up the phone, he thought that that was it. I said, no, no, I’m gonna give it another go. So when my driver came back the next morning, my wife thought we were going shopping. I said, no, we’re just going to get to the town of, let’s talk to people. And again, we’re talking to people in Carson ca and and again, why are you looking for it? It’s not worth looking for? You’re not gonna and if you find it, you’re not going to get a good reception. But eventually one person said, oh, you’re looking for cello. T it’s up the road, I think this way about 56 miles. And again, I’m really guarded at this point.

Did I hear you right? And he was like, yeah, yeah, no, it’s up the road this way I think. So we drive up a road We get to this archway and an old man is sitting there and he’s just staring at the ground. So we sort of say hi and everything. We showed him the photograph and he looks at the photograph and he goes yeah I think I know the guy in the back and I mean if if you look at the guy in the back, I mean you can’t even make him really. And I’m going like he’s like 80 years old, no glasses, come on like I’m guarded, I’m really guarded at this point. But he gets into our vehicle, well we drive up to a house and we get there again very this is just common place. People come out of the house now he’s got the picture, this old man and he gives up to this the people there and this lady there. And what’s interesting is you know if you look at this picture here, this this woman right here. So one of the people in the house looked at the picture and said wait that’s me in the picture.

Who are you? Wait did I hear you? Right lady that’s you in the picture. She goes yeah that’s me in the picture but who are you? So I explained who I was and oh my gosh she just suddenly said your home and you know because now it was the realization that what I’m doing is standing where my grandfather left India, I’m standing where the house where my ancestors are from. And it was that important to me to search for this. That because I know my father has never been to India. He won’t go to India because of his age and he’s got a disability. Um I went out into the fields right where our fields are in front of the house, I scooped up dirt and I brought it home to him. So he’s got the village with him and saying with all my relatives who had never been to the village. Everybody has a little piece of that village now because of the, the soil that I brought back. But that was the journey and the book lost and found seeking the past and finding myself lost and found everything my identity and the village was lost, found both of them by seeking the past and finding myself, which people have encouraged me to say it’s a beautiful story.

Now, I’m working on a screenplay, which we’ll see if that becomes the movie. Well, I was going to say it’s an amazing story. So, thank you very much for sharing it. The interesting for me, the interesting thing that I want to ask you about is you put a lot of effort into finding this place. How did you feel on the way back? And how do you feel now about the effort that you put into going through that journey. It was mixed because part of me is like, did I really do this and the euphoria of actually finding the village? Um, that’s what the sense and feel was. And you know, for me it was more like capturing the essence of it in a, in a book now that I share with people. And the idea is because part of it, it was. And the benefit for me is the fact that, you know, it’s also about helping other people realize their own personal identity. I mean, yeah, I was able to trace and find exactly where my grandfather’s house was on the paternal side.

But I always tell people a couple of things, if you are ever looking at your roots, you have to start early. I mean, my parents, my uncles are all older and the information becomes very sparse or you’re not quite sure equally what I appreciated from it. When I now when I talk to people about it is, you know, the fact that, you know, you talk to people, like for example, I talked to a gentleman from Sicily, it was like, oh, you know, he lives in the States, but he was like, I’ll never find my roots, you know, because we don’t have any information. We don’t know that the house, the town, the district, none of this. And my thing was. But have you been to Sicily and he goes, oh no, I’ve been to Sicily, but no, I’d never find it. So, but didn’t you feel a sense of connection to this place? And he was like, well yeah, that I did feel because knowing my ancestors there, I said you just did the same thing I did. I just was more micro focus, but you know, you can embrace and appreciate that piece of you that you’ve you’ve been able to realize is this connection to a place where your ancestors have come from.

So it’s about sharing with people. Um and you know, that’s why I said, I mean to sometimes sometimes I just sit back going like, man, did I really do that and then put it into a book to share the journey, which was a really interesting journey to write the book because it was reliving the entire trip and the processes. And you know, I guess there were some parts where I laughed, some parts where I cried and some parts where I was just reflective and you know, it’s just it’s one that I think I was given as a gift to provide, not for myself, but to help other people realize their identity and to put it in a way that becomes an enjoyable journey. And is it something that you would encourage others to do? Let’s say someone says, I’m not sure if I have any interest in doing that. Is that something that you’d recommend based on how you felt about it? I think it’s got to be coming from within that, you know, somebody who says, you know, I’m not sure if I want to do it, you know, there’s there are people who will basically say, well that’s the past.

The past doesn’t really matter, I’m more focused on the future. It’s a it’s a very personal thing, but more and more people are interested or looking at their own respective personal journey, but also wanting to reflect back on where they come from. It’s not for everybody, so I will never push or encourage someone to do it if they’re not interested. I mean, it’s interesting because even for my, for my wife, she actually went to her maternal grandparents or grandfathers place and she was like, yeah, no, I mean we went there and the journey was much easier than mine because they knew where it was and she was like, yeah, but you know, that didn’t really matter to me as much. So I think they embers need to be burning within you that, you know, I really want to do this and then, you know, see where it guides and supports you. So I think it really depends on the individual and if they really want to do it then please go for it and, you know, seek out people that may help you on the journey. Well, big congratulations of going through it and finding it and persevering and then putting it down into a book and the book that you mentioned, what would you say the biggest challenges were in getting it all into that format.

It’s always safer any authors and I give of myself to authors as well because I know how difficult the journey is, there’s a there’s a two parter, but people only realize the first part, it’s an arduous journey to write a book, and people are like, when they receive it in their hands, they’re like, oh my gosh, it’s so amazing. That’s it. The book is not gonna fly off the shelf. And the second part is the first part is pushing a boulder up a hill to write the book. The second part is promoting it and getting people interested, that’s pushing the boulder up the hill and hopefully it doesn’t crush you as it rolls on top, you know, But but the whole pieces to the fact that we all, you know, it goes back to one of my favorite signature taglines is everyone’s life is an autobiography, makers worth reading. We all have stories, were living stories and uh a need for people to learn from you and to share. And that’s the importance of all of this is the fact that we are living stories and I was able to capture it and put it in there.

The first book that I wrote was on personal storytelling that one was difficult to write because it’s like, okay, I need to write this book, but then it was more like, okay, it’s on storytelling and I had to, you know, rethink how do I tell my stories and break it down and pull it all together. Lost and found was an interesting book which emerged out of my first book, the story about India because it’s chronological. So then I went back into my diary because I kept a diary, a journal while I was traveling. And it, well on the one hand, it was easier because it was a flow through of information. It was actually more difficult than the first book because just writing the descriptors, writing what how was I feeling and trying to capture that into words was actually really difficult to do. But either way, it’s uh it was a journey on the first book journey on the second book. But you sit back going like, wow, I can’t believe Number one I did the journey.

And second thing is captured it and now, foolishly I’m trying to make it into a production and working with a screenwriter in Los Angeles. So, but the only thing I’ve said to him is is if this should ever become a movie, those people said, okay, who’s who’s gonna play you? It’s like, I don’t, it won’t be me because I’m older now, I just want to be the drywall, I want to be the tea stall guy who serves the actor who plays me. So it’s me serving me, nobody’s gonna know except the people who know me well, it won’t be foolish if it gets made. Right? So if that does ever happen, please let me know because I definitely want to see it. And as a side note for feedback, as you were telling the story, I was literally visualizing it in my head as you were telling it. So that’s probably a sign of a good storyteller. Right, Thanks. I appreciate that. I referenced the Ted X talk previously.

Have you got any anything you would like to share in terms of if someone wanted to give a Ted X or the process behind it, what would you, what would you share that? Yeah, I mean if if somebody is a speaker or really have a compelling story to share or insights, there are so many t rexes around, I’ve been fortunate I’ve been able to do to Ted X is the first one was on personal storytelling, discover the extraordinary in the ordinary and the second one was on activating the voice within to be louder than the noise around. The idea is that if anybody wants to do a Ted X is explore TX the website because there may be an opportunity to register as a speaker. They do open calls for Ted X is, and Ted X is a franchise of the ted conferences, so they’re spread out throughout the entire world, so apply. But you have to have something that’s compelling or um something that the audience is going to take away from it.

And I remember, you know, I’ve helped a couple of people on their texas. I mean I remember having a conversation with a friend and he was going to be speaking and you know, I said, okay, so tell me what’s the essence of your talking? He was saying it’s this, this and this or you know, just not even that, it was more of, you know, here’s what some of the things I want to share, it’s more like you want to capture a really great title. And then I said, what are the three key takeaways that someone is going to capture as a result of your talk or what’s the essence of it? So for example, when I did my first one on personal storytelling and I broke it down to how can you tell stories? I came up with Carp as in Carpe Diem. Carpe is how I come up with my stories, because I broke it down and that’s what I gave to the audience. And what card stands for is curiosity appreciation, reflection, perspectives. And experience curiosity is I walk around with my mind and my eyes and my senses open and curiosity will stop me if I see something that, you know, it’s obvious, but it stops me appreciation is appreciating something from more than what it is, so it may be a stream.

But okay, maybe there’s something here, reflection is where I’ll sit down and then I’ll start thinking deeper about it, perspectives, We all have perspectives and we bring in our perspectives to add to the reflections, but the last one is really important, which is experience if we don’t capture our story or that is an experience. Our story dies in a timely death. Like we could do curiosity appreciation, reflection and perspectives, but the idea is the experience becomes that hook that anchors it now as something you can share in the future. So that was something I gave to the audience as a process of storytelling. Um so you have to make it where it’s easy, straightforward and compelling to use descriptors and to use the ideas and thoughts of something that just captures the essence of why you’re up on stage. Thank you for that. I do think that your experience is going to be beneficial to other people, so appreciate it. And I’m interested to know what you say about the next one because you’re a man has done a lot of reflection, introspection.

So what does success mean to you? Success for me is it’s interesting because it’s not financial success for me is watching an individual, um persevere go through and they accomplished what they really set out to do. It’s why I do 3 to 8 conversations a week. Success for me is the ability or the opportunity to watch other people thrive. And it’s always interesting cause people said, oh, you know, does it ever bother you that, you know, you know, they’ve been able to accomplish all of this. Um you know, and I’m like, actually it’s the biggest compliment where, you know, um you get to watch people realize what they should be doing in life and it’s them, not me, but you’re on the journey with them and you build these foundational relationships. I mean there’s the word that is often tossed around us, Oh, I’ve got to go to a networking session.

I don’t like the word networking, I love the word relationship building. I build these, you know, foundational relationships with individuals that are life long. I mean, and the benefit of that is, you know, and success to me is somebody who I haven’t talked to in 20 years and it’s because you know, they got busy, I got busy maybe, and just something maybe pops up on linkedin and you’re like, oh, or they see, oh wait, And that happened just actually recently, after 20 years, haven’t talked to this individual, but you know what it wasn’t awkward. We just picked up where we left off and you know, I get people saying, well I haven’t talked to someone in three months, it’s awkward, How do I get back in a conversation? I’m like, just reach out to them. Um success to me is watching other people thrive and other people grow. Um it just energizes me to see that, and again, it really lines up to those five core elements that I gave right at the outset. Well, yeah, picking up on what you said, I haven’t heard one person say it’s the most amount of money, so having the most amount of money in my bank account and yet I do feel like um activity or people’s actions sometimes reflect that opinion, but no one ever says, you know, success to me is just the most amount of money in my bank account.

So worth highlighting, I suppose, is there anything that I should have asked you about today? You know? No, and I think there’s just, you know, two things that I really emphasize with people and the first one is one I’ve already shared is everyone’s life is an autobiography makers worth reading, you know, really embrace who you are and the stories that you’ve done oftentimes, people would be like, you know, well, well who cares about my story or it’s insignificant and I’m like, no, if it’s important to you, it needs to be shared. The second one is a quote I live by obstacles are the necessary bricks on the road to success in other words don’t fear the obstacles, embrace them because they are there as learning opportunities and growth opportunities that get you where you need to go. So embrace the obstacles so that, you know, you have to have setbacks in order to realize the importance of the journey that you’re on.

So those are two things that I just think are really important as cornerstones for what’s been very important in my life. Thank you for that. I think you’ve given an awful lot of value today and I’m gonna enjoy watching this one back, so I appreciate it. If people want to connect with you, where do they go? Yeah. So I got a website with, you know, I got about 190 blog posts on it and they’re all free for people to read of insights and things. And that’s www.sam-thiara.com. I’m also on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, so people are always happy to follow me at those places or drop me a note and tell me I heard you on your podcast and would be happy to just either connect with them or have a conversation with them. 190 blog posts. You’ve been a bit busy then, basically. And the last one was, was a significant one because I just turned 60 and I kept calling myself, oh, I get senior’s discount. People said no, no, you’re an elder, you’re not senior.

And I did a blog post which were 60 reflections on turning 60 and they’re all little mini kits and I think that’s one that a number of people have said, oh my gosh, I got so much value out of that blog post. So now I’ve never done TikTok. Somebody said we should maybe make all 60 of those into small TikTok videos. Okay, maybe that’s the next thing I tackle now. My opinion is that TikTok needs more information like that, so you might be doing the world a service. Sam, thank you very much for being a great guest today. Thomas, thank you so much for the opportunity to share. And I think you’re providing a great service to your audience as well because of all the minds that are coming together to share their insights. So thank you for that.