Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Role in my TEDx Talk (and Life)

Ever taken a step back to think about your life?

Or even noticed the little miracles taking place everyday around you?

I think that everything that has happened in our past is directly connected with what is happening to you us in this current moment, but we must take the time to recognize this truth. Most of us don’t. Most of us are too caught up with our fast pace lives to even take a second to appreciate ourselves and the things taking place around us.

I’ve found that magic happens when you slow down and look back at the past through a lense of appreciation. Or I should so, we notice the magic that happens.

I have always wanted the same in thing in life. I want the people around me to be happy. In fact, when I was 2 years old I used to follow my mother around all day asking her the same question. “ Mommy, are you happy?” Even today, that is something that has always stuck with me.

A decade after following my mother around with a genuine concern for her happiness, I fell in love. I was in a bookstore in one day and I came across a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The quote read, “To know one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” It was direct, it was attainable, and it was perfectly aligned with my desire to make those people around me happy. This quote has served as a guidepost throughout my entire life, and here is how.

When I graduated college I moved to San Francisco and joined Americorps. The salary was $12,000. Actually, it was $11,800. During a lunch break one day, without realizing it, I “slowed down.” I looked at the teachers mailboxes because I wanted to learn their names. On the side of the mailboxes there was a newsletter, and at the bottom of it there was quote…By Ralph Waldo Emerson. “To know one life has breathed easier,….”

Seeing that quote, I know I was in exact right place.

After Americorps I moved to New York City and attended law school. When searching for schools, I knew I wanted to go to The City University of New York, but needed to figure out the financials. As I sat in the financial aid office and crunched numbers. I wanted it to work, but was not sure. It was a stressful situation. So, I slowed down, and on the wall, there was a quote. It was by Ralph Waldo Emerson and it read, “To know one life has breathed easier (you get the point)…”

I got the money and went to New York.

I am not sure where Mr. Emerson will show up next, but I do know this. I will slow down.

Slow down to look for it.

Slow down to search for it.

Then maybe even slow down to write about it.

International Speaker and CEO of a Life in Shorts. Daily Vlogg’in my journey on YouTube @brianrashidglobal. Helping brands of all size tell stories that sell.

International Speaker and CEO of a Life in Shorts. Daily Vlogg’in my journey on YouTube @brianrashidglobal. Helping brands of all size tell stories that sell.