Sunday, November 11, 2018


Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Heron Lake – Okabena FFA Chapter for their greenhand night, where I got to see 25 members receive their greenhand degree! I was asked to give a speech to the members and guests present, but leading up to the event, I wasn’t sure what to speak about. As I sat in an airport the afternoon before, my mind wandered, and I kept asking myself what idea I could share to help these members succeed in the FFA. Each one I thought of didn’t seem like “the one.”

            Regardless of if I’m in a quiet space in my room or in a busy airport, I can never seem to focus on actual work. Instead, I often end up visiting is the TED website when I need inspiration. For those of you who have never watched a TED Talk, they are speeches given by people from around the world, bringing together years of thought and research for the audience. It’s like having access to thousands of retiring addresses all in one place! While I end up watching TED Talks on many topics, I love the underlying slogan of “Ideas worth spreading.”

Sitting in the airport, I visited my trusty inspirational website. A couple TED Talks later, my ideas were finally flowing. I had a little more confidence that I did have an idea worth sharing with the members of Heron Lake – Okabena FFA. Driving to the event, I went over why I wanted to share this idea and how it would help these members succeed in FFA. By the time I arrived at the school, I was emotionally invested in this speech, and I was ready to talk to members and share my message.

After being introduced, I began talking about my experience going shopping with my family on the weekends. I loved going grocery shopping, but hated putting away the groceries when we got home. As a solution to doing all this work, I decided to pretend to be asleep when we got home in order to get out of putting away groceries. This worked, until I realized that my parents had a stash of snacks hidden in the house that I didn’t know where to look for because I never helped put away the groceries. I looked at it like it was work, but it was really an opportunity. Needless to say, I benefited from knowing where the snack stash was until I graduated last spring. It is amazing the benefits we can find when we look at work as an opportunity. After the event, I could tell I had done a pretty good job and brought my idea to life, however, I was still thinking of the “Ideas worth spreading” slogan from the TED conference.

          Often, when we are asked to be creative, we doubt ourselves. The truth is, even if it’s not “the one,” we all have ideas worth spreading. When it comes down to it, people connect with the ideas we believe in so much that we bring them to life. Really, there is no difference between you, a TED speaker, or me; bring your ideas to life!

Stationed by the plow,
Kegan Zimmermann

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