How many of you remember the dream you had when you were 14?

I don't mean the children's dream of becoming the garbage man to be able to ride at the back of the garbage truck. I'm talking about a dream of naïve omnipotence, when you believed you can achieve anything. When I was 14, I wrote down my life mission. It was very simple: Leave a trail. At that time, off course, I thought by the time I'm 24, I'd be a published poet, successful businesswoman, mother of two and saving the world. Up until now, I haven't published anything and I hardly find time to see my boyfriend, let alone make babies. ;) Leaving a trail, however, stays an important part of who I am and what I do. How I got to be who I am and how I got to do what I do – these are the two stories I would like to share with you today. I've known for a long time I was born to be a soft-skills trainer. My dad being an actor and my mom being a doctor, it seemed the perfect career choice. It's all about helping others, but you still get to stand in the spotlight. Besides, I thought of myself as incredibly smart and immensely talented. When I came to the Train the Trainers Summer School to become a trainer, I was certain I was perfect for the job. I just needed everyone else to realize the same. You can imagine the trainers there didn't have it easy with me. Despite my potential, knowledge and skills, they gave up on me because of my know-it-all attitude. Apart from one. He cared enough to give me some painfully honest harsh feedback. I realized I didn't want to be that way – and that I need to be different. It wasn't easy in the beginning, but gradually, I changed. I developed. I became a better trainer – and what's more – a better person. My first message to you is this – dare to change. Change is never easy – but more often than not, it's worth it. My second story is a story of how I got to do what I do – soft skills training. It starts about a year or two earlier. I was a freshman in psychology and got excited by a work-group in our student association, which was to contribute to the quality of students' life by delivering workshops. I put my email on the list and waited for the first meeting. And waited. And waited. About half a year later, I emailed the group leader, and she replied: “Dear Katarina, you seem very enthusiastic about working for this group. Therefore I suggest you take over the management.” What? I can hardly manage myself, let alone a group of people doing stuff for more groups of people! I had no management skills, leadership skills, and to be quite honest, lacked basic communication skills, too. But there was no-one else. I had a choice between taking the challenge or letting an amazing idea die. So I took over. Was it easy? Far from it! I soon realized the group had but one member – myself – and that nothing has been established. I re-framed my initial response of “WTF???” into: “I have all the freedom in the world!” So I took this freedom. And made every mistake possible in managing groups. An assistant professor once kindly pointed it out: “In my language, a group has more than one member.” I knew it was true, but it was like a punch in the stomach. I needed to change something. And then, at the perfect moment, the story from before happened. My big change happened. It gave me strength – I wanted to make it possible for others to experience something this powerful. I decided to give it one last shot. I gathered a small team of people from different organizations to help me organize and deliver a trainer training event. I worked days and nights to make it happen, and on the day it was supposed to start I woke up with a fever of 39 degrees and voiceless. I called one of the trainers and on the verge of tears whispered, I can't. I can't even stand up. It's not gonna happen. I failed. Fortunately, he was overly optimistic. And I let myself be convinced. I couldn't let the idea die. I cared too much. And this is how I got to do what I do today. And I’m not saying you should ignore your body, no. My second message to you is, dare to care. Because even if it's not easy, more often than not, it's worth it. The trainers who attended are currently organizing a third edition of the event. The idea lives on.

he'd tell you my eyes sparkle to workshops. from dreaming big I would like to invite you all to join me back on Earth. Think about the steps you're taking. Finally. who care. Though. Dare to care. Use this opportunity today to share your idea. I know. They say. I thought by the time I'm 24 I'd be a published poet. is by showing everyone that you care – and that it's an idea worth spreading. If you asked my boss why they hired me. It's tough times we live in. Because looking back. I tried and failed. People. get on your feet and make up your mind. and again. until I saw it happen. People are homeless. Which brings us to my third message … Care to change. But I dare say grasping opportunities doesn't do it either.K. because there is nobody else to care about it. Together. who care to change. Because many small people who in many small places do many small things. who succeed in life.People I trained in several other events later on are reaching most of European countries. Look around you. Unless the trail you want to leave behind on the vast sand shores of time is an eternal print of your behind. jobless. People. Sitting on your ass waiting for the train to pass is a strategy of the past. I guess having a job counts as a successful career? People tell me how lucky I was to get this job. And care to change. because I know how it feels to see somebody change before my eyes. who are crazy enough to believe they can influence things in this world. Consulting made me ecstatically happy. Even though getting this opportunity in O. because I tried. . Today. we’re making an impact. And tried again. take the chance. Do they lead you to where you want to end up? Doing what is required is not nearly enough. And that they do! They sparkle to workshops. are the ones who create opportunities for themselves. and saving the world. I wasn't that surprised. Don’t let your dream die. every step I took brought me directly to where I stand right now. This room is full of people. and again. sleepless. I am 24 and haven't done any of it. successful businesswoman. mother of two. Remember the dream? How many of you have a crazy idea of making an impact? How many of you feel you cannot do anything by yourself? The only way you can change things. can change the face of the world. When I was 14. and find a few other crazy people. lifeless. Grasp the opportunity. dreamless.

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