It's amazing the fulfillment one can get by helping those in need.
The last three years, I've been involved in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event. Relay for Life is basically a huge fundraiser that takes place at different times in the year at various locations all around the world, and is a 24 hour event to raise money for the fight against cancer.
At first, I hesitated to jump head first into the cause. I've never known anyone close to me personally to be directly affected by cancer, so the cause didn't resound to me. Then, after watching the luminaria ceremony honoring those lost, and finding out that 1 in 3 people are directly affected by cancer at some point in their life, the cause became much more important.
Odds are, you or me, or someone we're extremely close to will get cancer. It's high time we get our charitable booty in gear!
So this year, I became the Team Recruitment Committee Chair and Events Coordinator for the San Diego Downtown Relay for life. I've previously posted about my first relay, last years relay and the beginning of my involvement this year which have all been great experiences.
This year, we made HUGE progress! We went from 18 teams to 46, from 200+ participants to 600, and from $18,000 raised to $80,000!
As team recruitment chair, I actually made the "Big Catch" of the event by getting the Fish Market restaurant to have a team! How did I do this? By way of a little Social Charm :)
One Saturday morning, while walking around Sea Port Village to secure any possible donations, I walked into the Fish Market and requested the manager. After explaining exactly who I am and that I'm not selling anything, I proceeded to butter up the manager with some smooth talking and a bat of the eyes.
Putty in my hands.
Before I knew it, they had not only donated a dinner for two to auction of for charity, but lead all Relay teams in team members, fundraising, and even agreed to provide food for part of the event.
Sometimes I even impress MYSELF with my charm! (ok, ok...the fish market restaurant manager will contend that I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and neither my charm nor devilish good looks had anything to do with their participation, but rather the cause of the event. I still maintain otherwise!!!)
Being such an integral part of the event this year, I couldn't let our Relay for Life be just ordinary ;) It had to wreak of awesomeness and debauchery!
You see, most Relay for Lifes take place on high school tracks (BORING!). We already had a head start because we were at the North Embarcadero in San Diego, right on the water with incredible views of Downtown! Additionally, most Relays don't have a ton of events or entertainment.
We are the complete opposite.
But, to boost the awesomeness to Arun levels, I of course had to incorporate a little "Arun flair."
As you know, I like competitions, so I made sure the event was littered with them. We had the good ol' fashioned 3-legged race, the balloon toss, wheelbarrow race, and my personal favorite, and the event I've been hyping to team captains for the last 4 months, the Hot Dog Eating Contest! (see the videos)
So after 24 straight hours of games, various musical entertainment (I opened with a little performance), a LOT of walking and eating (we had amazing food donated all day from various downtown restaurants), and socializing, it was time to rest....which is exactly what we DIDN'T do! (common, you should know this by now)
Instead, we went to "Dick's Last Resort" who opened early for us to have our after party. Since we can't consume alcohol at the event, we proceeded to drink our sleepy delirium away...at 10 in the morning.
Suffice it to say, come 8 o'clock, I was feeling all types of loopy and exactly radiate good looks. I proceeded to crash for 12 hours.
Thank God this event is only once a year...I don't think I'd be able to take much more in my old quarter-century age :)
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Ok...first of all, yes, I know I've been awful about posting recently. I've been pretty busy with a few things, and more relevantly, I've actually had a tough time thinking of anything worth posting.
Part of the problem is, I don't like posting half-ass single paragraph blurbs. I'm more of a "full-ass" kind of guy and I like more complete works of writing! I'll try and re-up my posting frequency...but no promises. Dilution of the best blog ever (according to me...and my Mom) is not an option!!!
Rule number 18 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness" states: Thou shalt take initiative in life and ignore trivial consequences." I'm not sure why I decided to write rule 18 in Old English, but it sounds more important that way.
I take a lot of pleasure in the act of moving forward. Despite being "happy" I don't know if I'm ever fully "content" with anything. That is, while I may be thoroughly satisfied with the present state of something, I will not stop working towards making it better.
This applies to EVERYTHING.
I like sports and am pretty good at most of them, but I actually spend time practicing because I enjoy improving (and winning). I never dreamed of running a marathon, but the satisfaction of improving my fitness to a point where I could not only finish one, but do so in a respectable time was amazing! And the consequences were trivial...waking up early on weekends, some minor injuries, and the general physical discomfort of busting my ass.
A common trend is for people to plan on running a marathon, but they never take initiative and SIGN UP because the consequences scare them too much.
I have a very good job, but I am certainly not ready to settle into an "OK" career. I want something I am passionate about, so soon enough, I'll be heading back to school and going in a more self satisfying direction. Again, many people would quell this desire and plan for big things in the future without ever doing them because the short term consequences (reentering school, applying, not making money, etc) are too intimidating.
I just completed the GMAT and am studying for the GRE in preparation for Graduate School application season. I'm taking initiative.
This behavior happens socially as well. For many people, once they have a couple of close friends, they don't feel the need to reach out and bring other people into their lives. Even though I have a close circle of relationships, I make it a point to extend myself socially to meet other people, because, quite frankly, there are a lot of diamonds in the rough.
It all starts with one. Think of something you really want, accept the consequences and take a tangible step towards it TODAY. Show some life initiative and soon enough, the consequences will seem trivial.
Posted by Arun at 9:06 AM