I have talked to about 15 people who were at TEDx Austin yesterday and the reactions are mostly the same: Blissful Awe!
What happens from here on out is a bit harder.
See, in a number of previous, “peak” experiences, I have traveled to the mountain top, to share and grow with a group of people, and then made the long journey back, to attempt a return to my “pre-mountain” life. And I can tell you, my dear TEDx friend, we will not ever be the same. So that’s the good and the bad part.
The Butler Brothers’ video on the creation of the TEDx program:
On the UP side of the coin, many were touched by the performances, the connections, the sheer magnitude of the day. I said it yesterday on my blog, and repeated it several times today — when asked, “What was your favorite part?” — that after the first three speakers, I could’ve gone home fulfilled.
Done! Cooked! Full! Of course I would’ve missed many of the other moments… But I’ll share in a future post how the alignment of those three speakers struck me, if not mute, then deaf and dumb. (grin)
On the DOWN side of the coin — and this is a challenge not a reality, it does not have to be this way — there were fewer than 400 of us who got to experience TEDx LIVE. And the streaming audience trended between 150 – 400 for the entire show, so lets be generous and round UP and say that 800 people were blessed to have been a part of TEDxAustin Numero Uno. (That’s a fairly small tribe/village.)
Well, that leaves a whole boat load of folks, even here in Austin, that will have some skepticism, ambivalence and perhaps even irritation at our gushing about TEDx. Even our friends won’t really be able to grok our enthusiasms. And that’s okay. But it’s hard.
In my experience there are also two ways to deal with the flatlands, as I refer to the un-enhanced, un-enlightened, un-BIG places we often inhabit in our daily lives. Tomorrow we go back to work. The next day we exchange only a few TEDx emails, tweets or FB updates. And in a week, well… I stop. It does not have to go this way, but usually does.
In a few weeks many of us TEDx alumni will be hitting SXSW and SXSWi trying to glean the same high. But those are rough waters, and made up of very different agendas. And so many others won’t have the “next thing” to go to.
And so what do we do with ourselves until TEDxAustin 2.0?
Here’s what I think we do:
- Never admit that we might have been a bit touched by the moment, and that the experience of TEDx was remarkable, but it was only kinda remarkable. It WAS huge, it WAS BIG. And while there was coffee and tea and wine and beer, the rush you felt was REAL. Don’t deny or belittle PLAY BIG day ONE.
- Hold fast to the ideas you gravitated towards at TEDx. These touchstones may very well be your connection to a deeper life. (I refer you to Care of the Soul and Artist’s Way for further explorations of this topic.)
- Hold loosely to the new friends, colleagues and visionaries you connected with. (Because the #4 is the key!)
- Strengthen the CORE relationships of your life.
I am certain that there will be another TEDxAustin. I am hopeful that I am worthy of a seat in the audience. I am certain that I will kindle and open up new opportunities with many of the people I met and many whom I reconnected with.
But what each of us as individuals must do is focus on what is important and what has the most impact in our lives. To change and better the lives of others we first have to get right in our own lives. And much of that starts with the relationships that are right here in front of us.
IAMACONNECTOR.COM has a growing TEDxAustin page: TEDxAustin Connect (please join and ask for admin rights, and you can add your connections from this masterful event!)
The official Flickr stream of Kirk Tuck images from TEDxAustin is UP!
- The Sparkers List from TEDxAustin (yes I misspelled that on purpose!)
- Jon L’s reflections and notes on TEDxAustin
- John McElhenney’s uber.la: TEDx Austin: Aftermath of a HUGE EVENT: Playing Big Forever After!
- Eugene Sepulveda’s TEDx reflections
- A Flickr photo collection from TEDxAustin
- NetImpact: Big Ideas at Inaugural TEDxAustin
- Kirk Tuck: Things I learned photographing a TEDx conference
- Mark Ralston’s Future of Computing Presentation on SlideShare
- John McElhenney’s uber.la: Notes from TEDxAustin: Scribblings and Sparks in the Dark
- A sticky notes take on TEDxAustin
- TEDxAustin: an Event Planner’s perspective….pause…process…CONNECT!
- Kala Philo’s Mindmap of the TEDxAustin event
- Cesar Torres’s drawing of TEDxAustin on Flickr
- Thom Singers’ TEDxAustin 2010
- Carla Thompson: Next year, I vote for a drum circle
- Conjunctured’s TEDxATX rejects post
- Ashley Brown’s: TEDxATX: Play Big 2010
- AAS day after coverage: Big local names ponder big ideas at TEDxAustin event
- Digital Savant: TEDxATX wrapup: good vibes, say attendees
- John McElhenney’s uber.la: What’s Next for TED? How Do We Get Even *More* Open?
- Adrian Taylor: Small is the New Big, What I Learned at TEDxAustin
- Susan McElhenney: TEDxAustin Artist’s Rendering – Susan McElhenney Draws BIG
- Sunni Brown’s: Producing TEDx Austin at KLRU Austin City Limits
- Honoria Starbuck paintings from the day: tedx-austin-2010
- John McElhenney’s uber.la: #TEDxAustin and 7 Connective Practices