“What drive me out of bed of bed every morning?”
– Khun Bhanu Inkawat
There is no typo in that quote, that was the first questions posed to the eagerly receptive audience by Khun Bhanu Inkawat at the first ever CreativeMornings event for the newly founded Bangkok chapter. All in attendance were eager to see what inspiration could be found to bring positive change into all aspects of our lives including personal and business relationships. Khun Bhanu proceeded to tell the story of how his passions of fashion and cuisine led him to develop Greyhound Co., Ltd which features a series of clothing shops and experimental cafes. He tempted the gathering to think deeply about what drives them out of bed each morning and I believe witnesses left pleased with what they discovered about themselves.
To fill you in…
CreativeMornings is a global breakfast lecture series which brings together the innovative minds of the community where each chapter is located. There are 129 “creative cities” that participate in CreativeMornings around the globe ranging from my first introduction to the event in Raleigh, North Carolina to Kigali, Rwanda and now in Bangkok, Thailand. Members who participate interact with each other shortly before the featured speaker comes out to give a lecture influenced by the topic of the month that all CreativeMornings chapters follow. Tasty coffee and breakfast snacks are typically provided and are usually more fun than your standard Nescafe and toast with jam.
Talking “to” others…
Your surroundings are so influential on how the mind operates and that is why most CreativeMornings chapters seek an abnormal setting for their meetings. Bangkok has decided to host their monthly encounter at the wonderful Bangkok University Gallery.
Just like with the Raleigh chapter it was great to see art created by locals as we listened. The topic of the month was Empathy and Khun Bhanu Inkawat had important words to say regarding the subject. The focal point of his talk was that the most productive way to interact with others is to speak “to” them rather than “at” them. Conversing in a way that affects people emotionally. He painted this picture best with the story of a business man and a blind, homeless child begging for money. I’ll try and summarize as best that I can.
There was a business man who was walking to work one day when he noticed a blind, homeless boy sitting on the sidewalk with an empty hat and cardboard sign which read, “I am blind. Please help.” The man stopped and offered a donation but also pulled out a pen and scribbled on the otherside of the board without telling the boy what it was. The boy thank him for the change as the man went on to work.
Later that afternoon the man was walking back home and as he approached the boy again he noticed that hat was now overflowing with money. He said, “Hello,” and the boy perked up remembering the man from earlier. Still shocked at the amount of money he’d received that day he asked the man, “Thank you so much for whatever it is you did. What was it that you wrote on my board?”
The man looked at the sign and replied, “Today is a beautiful day, but I can’t see.”
We all want to see how beautiful each day is but there are times that we can overlook this privilege. This simple story showed that speaking to someone’s emotions and showing that you are both human beings is an extremely positive and efficient manner of interacting with others.
Khun Bhanu continued to show how he has incorporated this concept into his business practices and used it to create fashion, food, and advertising that interacts with his customers while allowing them to find items they may have had ideas about but never had the means to produce themselves. As a teacher it is important to speak “to” my students and speak to them in a way that makes the subject important for them rather than it being another topic they just have to try and pass. They are far less receptive when I order them to listen rather than providing them the chance to show what they are harboring in their minds.
A Mental Reset…
I first attended a CreativeMornings event when I was still sitting behind a desk and making sales calls as we were required to attend a certain number of meetings/networking events per week. I never imagined that this event would have impacted me in such a profound way.
These monthly gatherings were no longer just a networking event but a way to absorb another’s thoughts and passions into my own. You can meet some of the most wonderful folk at these events and I’ll never forget my interactions with Gabi, the ear-to-ear smiling Executive Director of CAM Raleigh, or Yomi, a Project Manager from Atlanta, Georgia, now living in Bangkok, whom I had a great conversation about expat life in Thailand. Lindsay Moriarty of Monuts Donuts in Durham, North Carolina was the first ever speaker I heard at a CreativeMornings event and her story of riding around Durham on a bicycle with a box of donuts to sell strapped to the back building all the way until she had her own brick-and-mortar store in downtown Durham will stick with me for a long time coming. I was not listening to a practiced public speaker but rather a person fought through her obvious nerves as she addressed the crowd in such a revealing way. I stepped out of this event refreshed. My mind reset and ready to think of new ways to attack each day head on. It’s for this very reason I didn’t even think twice about taking a Friday off and hopping on the overnight bus to Bangkok for what turned out to be the best part of an entertaining weekend.
Getting the Experience…
If you happen to find yourself within Bangkok, or any other city with CreativeMornings, do your best to attend a session no matter the topic or speaker. I promise that the people you discover will be worth your time. The links for important CreativeMornings sites are found below.
*Header image provided by CreativeMornings
There are times when we all can feel stymied by our daily routines. What is your mental reset to get back on track? What opens your mind to be creative?
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