My name is Guillermo (Yes, I know it is difficult to pronounce!), but my friends call me William. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and when I was eleven years old, I moved to Quito, Ecuador. Growing up as a quiet, introverted boy, I always had difficulties with socialising; therefore, I pleased people to fit in. I remember not feeling happy about my life since I was afraid of pursuing the things that I wanted to do. However, attending the Seed event “Finding Purpose in your Playground,” made me realise how much my life has changed since I left my home country.
I was so inspired by the story of Tesh Randall and the way she has been able to transform her business into an award-winning environmentally-conscious brand. Yet, what really stuck with me was the first insight that she shared for finding her purpose: Follow Your Curiosities.
Before I came to study in Hamilton, I was determined to get out of my comfort zone and do things differently. Because of my apprehension of speaking in public, I missed out on so many opportunities to make new friends and get the jobs that I wanted. That changed, however, when I began to go to networking events where I approached people and initiated conversations. As challenging as it was sometimes, it was so rewarding when I met someone who I was able to relate to. Consequently, I realised that I had to overcome my fears to attract meaningful people into my life. As an example, Seed Waikato has given me the opportunity to meet amazing individuals by attending events and be inspired by the stories of the incredible speakers.
When you stay on purpose and refuse to be discouraged by fear, you align with the infinite self, in which all possibilities exist. ―Wayne Dyer
As a result of these new experiences, whenever I doubted myself to do something, I wondered: what would happen if? Since attending networking events was only a small step towards my desired goal, I followed my curiosity for improving my public speaking skills by joining a local speech club. The result? I won a special award for the best table topics speech at my second meeting (which felt so good!). Not only that, but I also became an official club member that night.
In addition, I could relate to Tesh’s story of finding a publishing company to launch her children’s book. Earlier this year, I took the initiative to help others pursue their dreams by approaching a website and telling my experiences as an international student in New Zealand. The outcome? I fulfilled my long-term desire to write a blog for an international student site. I was even contacted by two prospective students who read my articles and were thinking about studying in New Zealand (how awesome is that?)
Most recently, thanks to the entertaining speech by the fun and unconventional Shelly Davies, I volunteered to be a class representative for my master’s degree class. At first, I was unsure if I would have the time and skills to accomplish the responsibilities of being a class representative, or if people would even vote for me. However, after listening to Shelly’s speech, a sudden fire emerged inside me. So, I decided to say YES and added my name to the list of volunteers. The result? More than half of the class voted for me and I was chosen by my fellow classmates to be one of the class representatives! My search for new experiences and adventures, even led me to participate as a model in a fundraising fashion show (another cool experience I must admit!), and I also went to my first mountain hiking trip (with the muddy soil, the wind, and the scary rock climbing, it was definitely a challenging experience!)
No man or woman is an island. To exist just for yourself is meaningless. You can achieve the most satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life, something greater than yourself. ―Denis Waitley
I couldn’t agree more with Kendyl Morris’ introduction speech; people spend so much time figuring out their life purpose that we forget to start living. Through volunteering at not-for-profit organisations such as Epilepsy New Zealand, IHC (people with disabilities), and Arise church, I have found meaning in my life by giving a helping hand to anyone who may need it. I began to see things differently, and after many years of feeling secluded, I’m fulfilled by all the experiences that I have lived so far while being here. Just like Andy Mannering mentioned, finding purpose in my playground doesn’t have to be a mountain.
I just have to be myself, enjoy the things that I love doing, consider challenges as opportunities, take leaps of faith with my decisions, and everything will fall into place.