From 40 to 400

Months ago, I was asked by a wonderful teacher to help her out in addressing young students, since she believes I can help her motivate them into pursuing their goals and consolidating their life projects. I must admit, I did not believe I was the right guy for it, or at least good at it. It started with a video call with up to 40 students while I was overseas; it has progressed so far by addressing over 400 young high school students in person. What started as a way to give a fresh voice of advice to others ended up being a priceless self-awareness session.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to talk about since I was just a Colombian guy, like many others, living his dream overseas. There were so many nights spent trying to get ready, trying to consolidate an attractive speech for a challenging audience. I did not want to be a regular guy just talking about how I travelled overseas, telling them the importance of studying English, or even worse, the guy talking about how “wonderful” it is to live in a foreign country. I tried my best to look for something attractive to them; however, I was digging so far away when the answer was just in the mirror.

Living abroad is an exciting adventure, but rather than talk about that, I decided to challenge myself and instead went deep down into my feelings to look for what I have truly learned over this time, not about my studies or specific knowledge, but rather about those priceless lessons you get when being out of your comfort zone.

As a result, I managed to sum up three years of a never-ending learning process in a colourful and photo-filled presentation. I have to admit that recapitulating all these events and experiences made me realize something we normally forget. Over time, human beings usually take for granted all that they have been through and fail to feel proud of themselves for everything they have achieved. Every single life battle, even if it looks unremarkable, must make you feel proud of who you are.

Addressing young students and opening my entire life to others made me feel afraid of doing it, but when I took the stand, every doubt went away, and I managed to have one of the best times of my life. Thinking that my words could positively impact at least one of these students made me feel the responsibility to speak from the bottom of my heart. Because, as a matter of fact, everybody was there once, at their best young ages, about to finish high school, deciding what to do with their lives, starving to grow and wanting to get everything, but with no idea about what being an adult means.

Even after the first session, I kept thinking, “Is it really interesting to hear me out?” But when I started getting random messages on social media from students who heard what I said and wanted to know about my experiences, I realized that every second I was up there was completely valuable.

2 responses to “From 40 to 400”

  1. Diego you’re an amazing guy. Im not surprised that you inspired other people with your story and your voice. Im sure in no time you could be anywhere speaking on a Ted talk or in any stage.

    Liked by 1 person

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