Leaving a Lasting Impression
|Sam Thiara |
Article by Jasmine Leong
On February 12, the Vancouver Board of Trade had the pleasure of having Sam Thiara, Associate Director of Alumni Engagement at the Beedie School of Business at SFU, speak and connect with the mentees and mentors of the Leaders of Tomorrow Program. As each person proceeded to enter the room, Sam introduced himself to the guest and handed them a piece of a puzzle, claiming he would explain later as confused faces looked back at him. Titled “Leaving a Lasting Impression”, Sam began his talk with a memory of seeing footprints in the sand one morning, leading him to wonder about the person who left the footprint. Who are they, what do they do, and what makes them happy? – or, better yet, what is their story? He was then led into the epiphany of the fact that these footprints in the sand would wash away the next day – but how, he pondered, would one be able to make an impression, to make their ‘footprints’ in people’s hearts and minds, last forever?
Sam identified four main themes of consideration in leaving those lasting footprints: Vision, Choices, Limitations, and Persistence. Firstly, Sam emphasized the significance of having a Vision – at any point in life, one must always be able to envision, plan, and strategize for the journey ahead. To reach these goals, one must also have the perseverance to achieve their visions. Life, Sam had reiterated, is full of choices that we make and we mustn’t ever be afraid of taking risks. Sam shared his story of his decision to leave a position at one of his favourite first jobs; even though not a single person supported his decision, he knew it was the right thing to do. The following two weeks after he had made his decision, an even better and bigger opportunity presented itself because of the choice that he had made – had he been afraid to leave his position, he would have never been able to experience the next stage of his life. He instructed the audience on how to deal with their Limitations. Words such as ‘shouldn’t’, ‘wouldn’t’, and ‘can’t’ were emphasized as being barriers in life. “Accomplishments are bound by the words that you use”, Sam had stated. The important aspect of experiencing setbacks is the ability to pick yourself back up and to try again.
Sam shared an inspiring and heartwarming story of his search to find his family and his village in India with only a picture as a reference for his last pillar of ‘Persistence’. “Understand that there are opportunities all around you,” Sam emphasized. Be more aware of people who are able to motivate and uplift you, and take you where you need to go.
“Life is an autobiography – make yours one worth reading,” Sam expressed. In order to build such autobiography, one must remember CARPE Diem:
C – Curiosity – go through life with a curious nature
A – Appreciation – appreciate people, situations, and things for more than they are
R – Reflection – be reflective of situations and add purpose and meaning
P – Perspectives – we all have our perspectives and they add further meaning
E – Experience – capture the ‘CARP’ and understand it is a life experience
As Sam wrapped up the evening, he brought the audience’s attention back to the puzzle piece. “You now have a piece of me that connects to me, and that same piece connects to everybody else here in this room.” Truly, Sam had left us with the framework to write our own autobiographies and the onus was now on us to leave our footprints upon each other’s hearts and minds.
This event was presented by the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program.