My Night at the Maverick’s Speaker Series

Two weeks ago Nicole sent me a link to this. It was an advertisement to  Lulu Lab’s Maverick’s Speaker Series featuring Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, the founders of Herschel Supply Co. I had no idea what the night was going to include but I thought it would be interesting to check out.

Since I had no idea what was going to happen, I like over thinking about stuff which I can control, in this case being on time and what I was going to wear. I was concerned about what was going to be appropriate, Nicole told me hipster casual and that this shouldn’t be a problem for me because roughly 90% of my outfits fits that description. Fair point, but I wasn’t intimidated, just curious and anxious for what was in store for me.

There was about 35 people, they had strawberries and cookies for the guests. It was an intimate atmosphere, it felt cozy and had a nice energy. Since there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of people it felt like everyone who was there wanted to be. The talk itself was roughly an hour followed by a 30 minute Q&A. In that hour Jamie and Lyndon had the opportunity to tell their story and how they started Herschel and a bit about their process. Sometimes these types of talks can turn into an advertisement or a lecture about what you need to do to be successful. My favourite part of the talk was that it didn’t feel like I was being ordered or sold anything. This was simply a space for two people to share their story. After they shared it, you take from it what you want. Nothing more, nothing less.

I won’t waste time to recount their story because it’s not mine to tell. However, there are things that I did take away from it and are important to not only think about but apply as well.

The main purpose of the night was to give Jamie and Lyndon an opportunity to share their story. The first thing which resonates with me is that it made me realize we don’t place a huge importance on being able to tell your own story. We sometimes get caught up in the momentum of life that we not only forget to check in with people around us but ourselves as well. The process of telling your own story isn’t about bragging or getting others to pay attention, it is to become aware of yourself – to remind yourself to look back to see where you are going. As well as asking yourself if this is the story you want to tell and if you want to continue or change it?

Of course, after sharing their story they also shared some life lessons their company values and personal ideas.  Some of the lessons are things I have heard before from other sources but they put their own twist on them.  Three things stuck out to me.  They are: always keep dreaming, what works today may not work tomorrow, and don’t count on coincidence, always be prepared.  Again, I’m not going to regurgitate what they said in regards to the statements just listed but share my views on them.

Always Keep Dreaming

People always hear this phrase packaged in one form or another every day.  It is a nice message, however I think most of us don’t really ask ourselves what do we truly desire?  Instead we dream of things that other people tell us to dream about.  Those things are mostly material goods and if you look at people you admire, you don’t admire them for the material things they have but their personal qualities.  The material stuff is just collateral and extra stuff. We admire our heroes not for the things they have but the things they have done and continue to do.  They make us realize that we can follow our dreams. It won’t always be easy and we might never reach the point we dream of, but they give us hope and a blueprint to fulfilling our them.

Another thought that this statement plants in my head isn’t a new one but it brings it into the fore front of my consciousness.  Everything starts out as a thought and it might not even be an idea, it could be a feeling or a hunch.  We should act on these feelings and ideas.  This blog began as an idea and I’m glad Nicole and I brought it to life because this has been the favourite part of my semester.  We don’t know what’s it going to happen to it or where it might lead us but we’re not worried about that.  We’re worried about sustaining our idea.  Isn’t that the most exciting aspect of life, to discover something you truly care about and invest yourself in it?  After finding it, wouldn’t your natural inclination be to find more that brings you that feeling?  It can only happen if you never stop dreaming.

What Works Today, May Not Work Tomorrow

If we don’t actively seek new experiences do we grow?  The answer could be “Yes”, but if you think about it the answer points to “No”.  I say the answer is “No” because life does teach us new things. There are elements which are out of control and things will just happen to us to force us to grow.  However, if we do not think of new ideas, we can sometimes get stuck in the same habits and become too comfortable.  I’m not saying comfort is a bad thing but being comfortable and fulfilled are two different things.  This idea reminds of me a quote I found on Tumblr. It didn’t say who the author is but it says:

“If you repeat something over and over again, it loses its meaning.  Our lives are the same way.  You watch the sunset too often, and it just becomes eight o’clock.  You make the same mistakes over and over; you’ll stop calling it a mistake.  If you just wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, and wake up, one day you’ll forget why.  Nothing is forever.”

I’m sure most people will agree with me when I say, I never want to be alive without purpose and the only way to do that is by growing.  The world doesn’t care if you stay the same, it is going to change regardless what you do – the only thing you can do is change too.  Hopefully, the change is for the better.

Don’t Count on Coincidence, Always be Prepared

As the hopeless romantic between Nicole and I, let me say I do not believe in coincidence and do believe that everything happens for a reason.  I also believe that life is smart, in that it doesn’t drop things into your lap but it does sprinkle things around you and it is up to you to go and discover them.  We can’t control everything in life, we’re never going to be able to.  A week ago, the only thing I could control was what I wore to this Speaker Series.  It might not seem like wearing red pants to Lulu Lab is a huge deal but what if I came across my 100% dream girl on the way there?  And what if I looked like a scrub, it’d severely wound my chances.  Of course, this didn’t happen because if it did, I guarantee I wouldn’t have made it to Lulu Lab and I wouldn’t be writing this post.  We don’t know when life will strike us next and we shouldn’t wait around for it to happen.  It strikes when we’re actively engaged, not being spectators.  You can plan for some things but no one really knows what’s going to happen.  Isn’t that the point of stories?

It’s Like I Have ESPN or Something – Nicole

This post is about guts.  It’s about courage.  It’s about that slightly itchy, gnawing feeling in your belly that reminds you that you are teetering on the curb of everyday comfort – it’s a reminder that sometimes it’s the seemingly tiny risks that can be the most rewarding.  Wearing red pants?  Not major.  Breaking out the red denim because it makes you feel confident and gives you that itty bitty extra kick in the butt to march into a room of strangers?  Gigantic.

Our little blog here, our tiny, unestablished corner of the unfathomably large and competitive blogging world?  It looks freaking awesome in it’s favourite pair of jeans (which are dark teal – our blog is a boy who appreciates a solid rich toned denim).  Every single time either Irving or I push that highly intimidating ‘Publish’ button, it’s risky.  Maybe even a little brave.  Sometimes it is flat out scary to throw something you’ve slaved over out into the world – to let go of that bicycle and let your little (denim clad) idea fly free.  When Irving says “we’re worried about sustaining our idea”, he couldn’t be more right.  We’ve started this project, and from here on out, it’s about writing about things that make us tick, that make us furious, disappointed, thrilled, or anxious, and then taking a deep breath to calm that nagging dullness that just won’t stop screaming “re-edit, re-think, more commas, less dashes, think about voice, clarity needs work”, throw on a little confidence, and hit that ‘Publish’ key.  Let’s do this.

Irving Chong (@Irving_Chong) and Nicole (@_nicoliooo) are co-creators of This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things even though it doesn’t make sense why they’re friends.


One thought on “My Night at the Maverick’s Speaker Series

  1. We Aren’t Any Closer to Having Nice Things: 50 – This is Why we Can't Have Nice Things

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