The Playful Parents

Love at Play

Voyage of Dreams Talk @ ITE College Central

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In what would seem like a last minute boon to our community event, Voyage of Dreams, a class of 32 business students from ITE College Central has come forward to volunteer their help in the project.

These students are currently doing a module in Project Management studies, and they will be supervised by their lecturer, Mr Benjamin Kwek.

Come this weekend, these youths will be involved in various aspects of the Festival – from creating cardboard sculpture, prepping for the big day, interacting with guests at our key event and other miscellaneous, but still important, things to ensure the event runs smoothly and succesfully.

I am just so excited to have these energetic youths on board because for one, they are Y.O.U.T.H.S. (Read: People with the energy I don’t have as much now. ) And as I told the class today, I see their participation as very significant in helping me pull closer to my vision of having the Festival as one that is truly about having a community-for-the-community. Youths have a very dear and important place in my appreciation of Life and the Future. They are critical not just to our country’s future but to my own future too. They are the ones who will influence the sort of world you and I live in.

Today, I was thankful to Mr. Kwek for giving me an hour-and-half to share with them about how I began my journey of kickstarting this community project, Voyage of Dreams.

I shared with them my vision and inspiration for Voyage of Dreams. To do so, I told them the amazing story of Caine, the 9-year-old who built that first awesome cardboard arcade. I also let them watch a short video by the filmmaker who first discovered Caine, Nirvan Mullick. As they watched that 8-minute clip, I could see smiles spread across their faces and eyes lighting up. I just hope watching that video would have sparked off something in them that could lead them to acting on their dreams.

ITE College Central Business students being inspired by Caine’s Arcade

I am not a project and event expert. The reality is, as I told the class, I have a great phobia of events and project management. And I’ve not EVER done any other project of such big scale. So who was I really to be championing such a cause and organising such a Festival of this scale?

To the seasoned project and events organiser, Voyage of Dreams is easy-peasy. For me, it’s a monumental task. Really it is because I am THAT bimbo who forgot to book rooms and inform the relevant personnel when I invited storytellers to my school while I was teaching. I am THAT bimbo who in my first job as an account servicing executive in an ad agency missed ad copy submission deadlines TWICE in a month, resulting in missed print runs in the papers for the same big clients.  (However, perhaps all that being a mother business has done me some good in terms of organisational skills and memory! It’s not ALL that bad, I’ve discovered.)

So, when I finally got the offer to run the event from NLB, I was totally excited yet petrified at the same time. Afterall, I am now a homemaker, with no live-in helper, and two young boys who do not go to daycare or school. But after much prayer, and much encouragement from my husband, I took the plunge.

Sharing about how Voyage Of Dreams first began under the name ‘Cardboard Dreams’

And so today, as I stood before the students, I told them exactly what I just shared with you – That I am standing proof that you should never be scared off your own dreams by your own fears.

From these short months organising this event, I believe I have learned quite a few important lessons which I would like to also share with you. Here are some of my preliminary thoughts as I review these past weeks.

I hope you will find some of these useful and relevant to your life, whether or not you’re thinking of running your own events.

LIFE LESSONS LEARNT FROM EVENT ORGANISATION

#1. Don’t be afraid of your own fears.

#2. Don’t be afraid of obstacles. Even if you encounter obstacles as you pursue your dream, don’t let those put you off your course. When you hit a road-block, don’t waste time complaining or on negativity. Pick yourself up. Pull yourself together and focus on your BIG picture, and the task at hand. Perhaps it’s time to get creative in seeking alternative solutions. Or perhaps you have to reassess, regroup and re-strategise. But obstacles are NOT often meant to kill your dream. Rather they help you refine your dream and position you for success if you handle them right.

#3. You need others to support you on your journey. It’s not always easy to work with others, but the diversity of skills and talents of others can strengthen how you are able to realise your dreams. Look for the strengths in others that are able to help address your shortcomings.

#4. Build relationships with all you meet, work with and work for. You cannot underestimate the value of a person. It pays to treat others respectfully and kindly. Not because you want to get something out of them, but because everyone deserves to be treated decently and kindly. And you never know just how one kindness can lead to another.

#5. Keep sharing your dream with others. You don’t have to worry about others stealing your ideas. If someone does, then you know you have what it takes to find something bigger and better for you to do. The act of sharing your vision, your dream and ideas with others helps you to clarify your dreams and game plan for yourself. It also helps you begin your networking process with people – some of whom may just be the ones who share your vision, and believes in you enough to want to work with you to help make it a reality. This is the principle that led me to ITE College Central, and to them eventually sending a team of students to support our event.

#6. When one door closes, you can keep knocking on it or you can look for another door. Just don’t give up. Be creative. Be resourceful. Be persistent. I knocked on some doors more than 5 times in the span of 3 months. After which, I had to think of ways to getting in by looking for alternative doors. There are more than one door into the same house if you care to look hard enough.

#7. Believe that no one or no effort is too small to make a difference. You don’t a big fish to give you the vote of confidence in order for you or your event to succeed. Sometimes, many small fish working together to achieve a common goal can become a fish that is bigger than the original big fish. If you believe enough in your own dreams, just do whatever you can within your means to start making that a reality. You are NOT too small to make a difference to your community.

Just look at the many, many individuals who have helped to contribute to making the Voyage of Dreams possible. Homemakers who took time to come and help me cut egg crates for the craft activity. A working mom who sacrifices her nights to help paint signs for our photo booth. Friends who print out flyers for the event to distribute to others at their children’s schools. A little 8-year-old girl has been asking her mom to print flyers for her to invite friends to the Festival. These may seem like small efforts, but they bear a significant part of making this event closer to success.

#8. Choose your attitude. You ALWAYS have a choice even in situations where you seem to have no options. That choice is your attitude. Even when things seem to stink, and when meanies come you’re way to tell you how much they think YOU and what you’re doing stink ( yes, it happens),  choose to put on a good attitude and see everything as a learning opportunity, a chance for you to grow and do better. Yes, even when it isn’t your fault, you can still learn something about yourself and life.

#9.Finally, this is the principle that I am learning most now, and it’s got something to do with my journey of faith. I’m learning that when God calls us to do something, in spite of our fears and inadequacies, we must remember that He will always be able to provide all we need to do it well. All we need is to continually trust Him and obey Him.

Thanks again , Mr Kwek, for giving me this opportunity to share my journey with your students.

If would like to find out more about Voyage of Dreams, and how you could your own Voyage of Dreams event at your school or organisation, I would be most happy to discuss further with you. Just drop me an email: sarah.wong@theplayfulparents.com


With great thanks for volunteer support from ITE COLLEGE CENTRAL.

4 Comments

  1. Go, Sarah! Very inspiring, and I’m sure the students learnt a lot from you even though it was only an hr plus of sharing.

    • Thank, Agatha! I just hope that my sharing can help them in some way to see that they can also do what they dream about doing. I think i was more excited being there than then having me. Hahahah. Cos I always have a soft spot for such students.

  2. Amen! SARAH u really deserve a great pat on your shoulders. Your passion, zeal through this project has already make u a winner. An awesome mummy, never undetestimate this housewife with big, passionate dreams!

    • Marcia, hugs. You’re so sweet. Come to my house and then you will know I am not that awesome. I have an Awesome God… awesome hubby .. and awesome parents who are doing so much to support me. Come Monday, after the event ends, I really have to focus on being the best housewife… and clean up all my garang guni supplies! hahahaha

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