Last summer I received an email from a country I have never visited nor ever written on my countries-I-wanna-visit-list. I guess the reason was simple – I didn’t know anything about it. But when I read the first sentence of that e-mail I instantly made my choice: “Dear Mr. Sixtus Körner, we would be delighted to have you speak at TEDxUniversityofNicosia in Cyprus.”
Of course I said yes although I remembered the blood I put in my first TED Talk in Berlin and the sweat that I sweated for being a nervous wreck before finally entering the stage. “You have done some talks in the meantime and you wrote a book and you have told your story in plenty of interviews…should be allright.” was what I thought when I wrote back an email: “thank you so much for your invitation, it is a great honor and it would be a pleasure for me to visit the TEDxUniversityofNicosia Event in Cyprus.”
Of course it wasn’t allright. Three days before the event I started to panic. I still hadn’t found a storyline that I was happy with and I started to swear at myself pacing around the 5 meters in my hotel room, tossing around at night in bed. “Why didn’t you start earlier, you lazy dumbass?!” It was the exact same situation I had been experiencing two years earlier during my first talk. But…
…of course it was allright. Like always when I start to panic during the end of a project. I guess I just need that whole workflow when I don’t do anything for weeks and then starting almost too late but wrapping my thoughts around that one topic constantly, even in my dreams. Because right after that night when I hated myself for not being more structured I woke up and had the idea of making that struggle part of my talk.
I am probably the laziest person I know and that’s why the more honest book cover would have to look like this: Journeysloth – 1 man, 5 continents, not at all in a hurry – click photo for bigger size.
The best thing during such an event is always the dinner after the talks. It’s the time when you finally relax and you’re surrounded by a group of extremely inspiring people who also finally start to relax because the pressure is over. The time when people giving you insight in their new projects or their private thoughts on your own project. The later the evening the more cosy it gets until you finally share the secret stuff, the private odysseys and the obligatory gossip. For those nights and the overwhelming feeling stepping off stage accompanied by applause it will be always worth saying “yes” again.
Big thank you to the whole TEDxUnic Team for being a wonderful host. Hope to see you again some day.
Here is the trip in 5 pictures
on my flight back to Berlin I sat next to a guy who randomly brought a transistor radio to the airplane trying the whole flight to receive something other than acoustic noise ( I think it failed )- click photo for bigger size.
Here are some of the other inspiring talks from that day.