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← What if there is no tomorrow? | Shashwath Vummidilakshman | TEDxToulouse

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Showing Revision 27 created 01/13/2020 by Leonardo Silva.

  1. (Phone ringing)
  2. Oh!
  3. Hello?
  4. Sweetheart sorry,
    I'm in the middle of a TEDxTalk.
  5. I can't talk right now.
  6. Okay, bisou bisou, ciao ciao!
    (Laughter)
  7. Sorry.
  8. Girlfriend problems.
  9. I want you all to close your eyes.
  10. Come on, man.
  11. Imagine a night has just passed by.
  12. Open your eyes please, don't fall asleep.
  13. (Laughter)
  14. Some of you wake up,
  15. and some of you don't.
  16. It is estimated that two hundred thousand
    people don't wake up every morning.
  17. It is said every second two people die.
  18. I want to take you back
    to 2005, April 20th.
  19. I was a student and I was
    working a part-time job.
  20. I had a call from my work.
  21. I was asked to cover a shift
    at the petrol station.
  22. My shift usually runs
    from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  23. At a quarter past nine,
  24. since it was a really busy day,
  25. I decided to pull a chair, sit down,
    read my text messages.
  26. As I was replying to some text messages
    and looking at random bullshit,
  27. (Chuckling)
  28. I heard the door click.
  29. Usually when a person comes inside,
  30. the door clicks.
  31. So I stood up, I looked,
    and I saw a person kneeling down.
  32. And the person was having his back
    turned towards me.
  33. And then he got up.
  34. As he was walking towards me,
  35. I realized he had
    a black mask on his face.
  36. I said "Hello, good evening.
    How can I help you?"
  37. (Laughter)
  38. So ...
  39. Next thing I know,
  40. he pulled out a black bag,
    kept it on the table,and he said,
  41. "Put all the money inside,
    no funny business."
  42. Hmm, we are in April.
  43. Maybe it's a late April fool's prank,
  44. you know.
  45. (Laughter)
  46. So, I was smiling and I was thinking
    the cameras are going to come out
  47. and somebody's going to say, "April Fool!"
  48. So ...
    (Laughter)
  49. But this really annoyed the person.
  50. Trust me.
  51. Don't do this, trust me.
  52. And the next minute,
  53. he took out a gun from his pocket,
  54. loaded it,
  55. pointed straight at me.
  56. (Sigh)
  57. This was the time I believed this is real.
  58. It's a real gun.
  59. I was doing exactly as I was told to do.
  60. My mind was completely blank.
  61. I had my eyes on the trigger,
  62. and I hoped the guy would not push it.
  63. I was panicking.
  64. The whole ordeal lasted
    for about 120 seconds,
  65. and trust me, this was the longest
    120 seconds of my life.
  66. What happened after was a lot of stress,
    anxiety and sleepless nights.
  67. I would often go inside my room,
    lock myself up, turn the lights off
  68. and just think about,
    "What if there was no tomorrow?
  69. What if that guy had pushed the trigger?
  70. What if there was no tomorrow?"
  71. I did this for a few days,
    months, and so on.
  72. Luckily, I had some friends
    I could talk this over to.
  73. Sooner or later, I realized
    I needed to go out of this.
  74. So, pondering upon this question,
    "What if there is no tomorrow,"
  75. I didn't get an answer.
  76. I took three fingers, pointed at this way,
  77. and I asked myself again,
    "What if there was no tomorrow?"
  78. It made me realise I had to go
  79. and chase things
    that meant the most to me.
  80. I had to go after what was meaningful,
    because time is limited on this planet.
  81. First things first:
  82. I was in the UK, I had a stable job,
  83. I had a job offer after my graduation,
  84. and I was well settled there.
  85. So, I had a choice to make.
  86. Was I really happy with what I was doing,
  87. or should I go?
  88. I discussed this with few
    of my friends, my parents,
  89. my family and my relatives,
  90. and the often discussion was,
  91. "Don't go, you have a job,
    you have everything."
  92. But I was not happy with what I was doing.
  93. Let me tell you a small story.
  94. So,
  95. I don't know how many of you know Airbus,
  96. but we are in Toulouse,
    so we have nothing "to loose."
  97. So, let me tell you a small story.
  98. In 2005,
  99. there was an aircraft that took off,
  100. and the way they described this aircraft
  101. was that the wingspan
    was the size of a football field
  102. Wow!
  103. I was in ninth grade in school,
  104. and that caught my fascination
    that I wanted to join Airbus.
  105. So, how do I go there?
  106. Somehow, I had given up on that dream.
  107. After this incident, I said,
  108. "Well, I am going to France,
    I am going to Airbus."
  109. So, growing up in India, as a boy,
  110. you're given two options to study:
  111. either engineering ...
  112. or engineering.
  113. (Laughter)
  114. So, I decided, "I'm going to change
    the course of my studies
  115. and also apply for a job with Airbus."
  116. On graduation, I came to France,
  117. I graduated,
  118. and upon graduation,
    I had to apply for a job.
  119. So, the only place
    I applied for was Airbus.
  120. When I did my first application,
  121. I was so excited I kept checking
    "Refresh," "Refresh, "Refresh, "Refresh."
  122. Did I get an answer? No.
  123. I waited for a few days,
    and the reply was,
  124. "Thank you for applying.
  125. After careful consideration,
    we have rejected you.
  126. Ooh!
  127. OK!
  128. So, I said, "Let my excitement not die.
  129. I am going to try again."
  130. I applied again.
  131. The result? The same.
  132. I applied again.
  133. The result? The same!
  134. After 10 applications, I said,
    "Well, You know what?
  135. I have some self-doubt.
  136. Maybe this is not what I want."
  137. But then,
  138. I found myself in this dark room again,
  139. thinking about this question,
    "What if there was no tomorrow?"
  140. I had to pursue what I wanted to do.
  141. After 75 applications ...
  142. (Laughter)
  143. Guess what?
  144. I got in!
  145. (Laughter)
  146. (Applause)
  147. So ...
  148. (Applause)
  149. Thank you.
  150. (Applause)
  151. OK.
  152. So, after I got in,
  153. I was always fond of meeting the CEO.
  154. Ask me why: because we shared
    the same birthday.
  155. So ...
  156. (Laughter)
  157. Also Emmanuel Macron,
    but don't tell Jilly Jones outside.
  158. (Laughter)
  159. So ...
  160. So, I decided to write
    an email to him to say,
  161. "Hey, I want to meet you for a coffee,
    because we share the same birthday."
  162. (Laughter)
  163. Yeah.
  164. So ...
  165. I discussed this with few of my mentors,
    my teachers, my boss,
  166. and the answer was, "You're crazy."
  167. (Laughter)
  168. "Why would you do that?"
  169. And I said, "Well, because
    we share the same birthday".
  170. (Laughter)
  171. So ...
  172. Anyway,
  173. my hands were trembling
    when I was sending this email.
  174. Trust me.
  175. I was really scared.
  176. I thought, "I am going to be in trouble."
  177. But the minute I realized,
    I am in trouble,
  178. Again, I took three fingers out,
    pointed to my head, and ask myself,
  179. "What if there is no tomorrow?
  180. Can I do this? Or can I not?"
  181. And the answer was:
    30 minutes with lovely time,
  182. having coffee and lots of advice.
  183. So, it was amazing.
  184. What if things don't go your way?
  185. These were the examples
    where things went your way.
  186. Suppose, say, somebody
    kept a football here.
  187. Ask me to kick here all the way to India.
  188. I can't.
  189. Even if I had a gun
    to my head, I just can't.
  190. I don't have the
    physical constraints to do it.
  191. More importantly, what I want to say
  192. is that the gun question
    helps you focus on things
  193. whether you can do it or you can't
  194. or you just don't waste time
    and you move on.
  195. So, with this, I like to tell you:
  196. next time you have a difficult situation,
  197. ask yourself this question
  198. by taking three fingers, pointing here,
  199. "Can you do this? Or can you not?"
  200. I will leave you
    by asking you one more time
  201. "What if there is no tomorrow?"
  202. Thank you.
  203. (Applause)