Soness Stevens is the Head Speaker Coach for multiple TEDx events and has coached over 109 TED & TEDx speakers. She represented Japan for TED Worldwide, spoke at TEDxFukuoka and TEDxWasedaU.
Soness has a weekly nationwide broadcast TV show on communications and is an Associate Professor of business presentation skills at YNU. You may have seen her on NHK TV and Fox TV Japan, or heard her as the official English voice of Hello Kitty. She lives near the beach and practices Zazen Meditation at her local temple in Japan.
I’m so grateful to have Soness Stevens on the show and I’m so thankful for her willingness to share with us her intimate and very personal life journey living with a mother who was suffering from mental illness.
For a good half of her young life she lived in a car with her mother and brother. They were constantly on the move, running from landlords because her mother didn’t have a job and could not afford to pay rent. Despite growing up in such a difficult circumstance, drifting from place to place, Soness went on and became a beautiful, positive and successful individual. Her ability to see life in colours as a child is truly inspiring!
I’m borrowing today’s episode title from Gordon MacKenzie, an American artist. He used to talk to school kids from kindergarten to year 6, asking the same question: “Anybody an artist?”. And while everyone in kindergarten was enthusiastically raising their hands, as he progressed from one year to the next, the number of hands raised dropped. By year 6 hardly any kids put their hand up.
So Gordon Mackenzie asked the sixth graders: “Hey! What happened to all the artists in this school? Did all the artists transfer out? Did all the artists go to art school? I don’t think so. I think something much worse. I think someone or something has told you it’s not OK to be an artist. If you don’t remember anything else I say today I want you to go home and remember it’s OK to be an artist.”
I am so glad that my guest today – Brian Robinson – was not afraid to remain an artist even though some of his loved ones advised against it. At times it was a lonely road, working long hours, not knowing what the future holds, but that was the sacrifice he was willing to make.
Brian is the 2013 Recipient of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, the nation’s richest Indigenous arts prize for exceptional achievements by an Australian Indigenous artist. His works are displayed across Australia, at the Monaco Palace and at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. He spent more than two decades perfecting his craft and never once wavered in his pursuit.
Brian constantly challenges himself to create unique and amazing masterpieces. He uses a variety of methods from printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and design. His work embodies the customs and traditions of the Torres Strait Islander people whilst also referencing mythological narratives from global cultures.
In this interview Brian gives us a glimpse into his life as an artist, the work involved, the unusual materials and tools he uses for his art work. He also shares a bit about his life journey.
Before you listen to our conversation I highly recommend you follow this link to see his talent on display.
I’ll end with another quote from Gordon Mackenzie’s amazing book on creativity Orbiting the Giant Hairball: “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.”
Today I’m interviewing an exceptional young entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 15.
He’s full of dreams, enthusiasm and big ideas and works unbelievably hard towards his goals. He also has great mentors and peers to support his journey. Keep an eye on him, I have no doubt he will become successful.
I love talking to young and ambitious people. They give me that incredible feeling and urge to go out there and chase my dreams. I can’t wait to see this young man achieving all his dreams and set a great example for all of us to follow.
The clock is ticking Reiss :)
As always I welcome your feedback. Please post your comments online or drop me a line at [email protected]. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you are interested in Reiss’ book follow this link and use the UGLY1 code to get a 50% discount.
He was a world-class elite cyclist. He competed all over the world. And then two years ago, at 21 years of age and with Google Translate in his pocket he moved from Slovenia to the UK to follow his life’s purpose, determined to make a difference in this world.
He walked away from his professional cycling career to follow his calling and to become a life and high performance coach. He’s now one of the top coaches in the UK.
It’s so refreshing to see a young person with such clear vision, great wisdom and deep understanding about life in general…
People my age and older do not take Gen Y too seriously. We tend to think they had it way much easier compared to us or our parents’ generation. Their biggest problem seems to be wifi coverage. And then someone like Tim comes along and blows your mind away!
If you still struggle and have not found your life’s purpose or simply just curious on this awesome young man’s perspective on life you must listen to our conversation.