May 26, 2016

Create and Attend

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So after what seems to be an eternity of tossing and turning, I finally succumb, my pillow has it in for me, and that perfect angle of alignment to provide some blissful sleep will not be granted.

I shuffle my weary bones into the bathroom and in my sleep deprived state, I mistakenly turn on the lower faucet which turns on the handheld sprayer in the shower and cold water releases itself upon me. Every muscle in my body tenses immediately as I begin to cop an attitude, at whoever put that faucet there, thinking they must be cruel. From the shirt I wanted to wear having a missing button, to the self absorbed driver in front of me consumed by an apparently life altering phone call prohibiting them from hitting the accelerator, as the traffic to my right and left flies by me. With every continuing moment the odds of my situation improving seem to drastically decline.

I know we all have days like this. I remember one time going through a similar story, it involved a plane being delayed and my friend who was kind enough to listen came back at the end and said. “So I understand you were extremely inconvenienced, and you have alot of evidence to support your conspiracy theory, however how do you account for the other several hundred passengers that were also affected by this delay? I roll my eyes and that sinking feeling comes up on me and I come to the realization it’s not all about me.

I have found this willful thinking can wreak havoc on every aspect of our lives especially during in event productions. The direction our thoughts can go in two ways. The first is of doom and conversely, the second is when everything starts to come together the way we had envisioned, we assume everything else should follow in the same path. It is like thinking that because the first half of riding bull went well the second half is a guaranteed success.

Through my experiences as an event designer I have been humbled by this process. Today I am a firm believer of that there is a significant difference between expectation and reality. This is a challenge for me because I am a dreamer, and my craft is turning dreams into reality. The good news is that I realize that if I don’t hold my expectation so tightly, that reality more often than not will deliver something better.

When designing an event I take this concept very seriously. My philosophy is, put together a wide range of options that can be timed and executed in a great variety. Most importantly, not all of the options need to be executed in order for the Happening to be a success. If I were to use a beanbag toss game as a metaphor, and it was known that five beanbags were required to make it in the bucket to win the game. And lets say I would have on average one out of every two beanbags thrown would make it in the bucket. I would request 15 beanbags ensuring that I am well above my average to have success.

When running an event, I try to be focused on the goal of the experience, and not bogged down in the ever-fluctuating details of the production. Always making sure to deliver on the experience, and not get hung up on my preconceived expectations. By applying this process myself, my clients are able to relish in the moment. They are not dictated by our expectation but experience reality heightened by our efforts. As time goes by I have become so much more aware, that it is not so much what I do, but how I choose to react to situations that dictates my success. I try to apply this humility in all my affairs.
Create and attend the miracle together!


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Tom Noel • Event Guru • Happenings.Events

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