TEDxUSMC main event – Part 1 –

TEDxUSMC: Our True Selves and Purpose

Part 1


As the alarm buzzed continuously, I stretched my hand to reach out for my phone. The screen displayed: 6:40 am – Saturday, 2nd December. I jumped out of bed and dashed into the bathroom to get myself ready. Why? Well, TEDxUSMC’s first ever main event is happening today!


Late night sleeps, countless meetings, blood and sweat of every member all comes down to this very event as the members of TEDxUSMC gather in the auditorium for a final briefing. At approximately 8am, speakers started arriving as they prepared themselves mentally for the big day. “Testing 1…2…3…Testing.” There was a final check on the sound system before the commencement of the event.


As my wristwatch displayed 9am, attendees can be seen gradually arriving as they approached the registration counter. Upon arriving, attendees were given a gift bag and a “cross” memo to be put onto the photobooth. The photobooth became a masterpiece as a contribution from all the crosses that had names, signature and notes written by everyone. Assigned ushers then lead the attendees to their respective seats.


The opening of the ceremony began as our emcee with his confidence approach, Jeremy, steps up on stage and proceeds to explain the aim of TEDxUSMC. The curators of TEDxUSMC realised that the people in our local society, especially the students, are bright and brilliant but unfortunately, not all have yet to find their purpose in life. With the hope of changing the mindset of not having a direction in life, the theme for the event was born: “Our True Selves and Purpose”.


Our first speaker for the day was Nadia Hasbi with her bright colourful leggings. Nadia is the founder and CEO of fitrebel.com, which was famously featured in many renowned publications. Yes, she may be successful now, but life wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Along the way, she lost her fiancé; her business went downhill and most importantly, Nadia lost her beloved father. Exercise was her healing remedy and that is how fitrebel.com started. Nadia conveyed three important messages to the audience, follow your curiosity, your intentions matter and the little things in life are significant. It was impactful as she shared her hardships and aspiration that changed her life.



The next speaker for the day was Santa Santosh Avvannavar. Santa’s speech was inspiring as he talked about having dreams and shared the 6 success career mantras that he has gathered. “Don’t forget that people will break your dreams like how I break yours.” Since young, his father had taught him the meaning of hardships and that not everything will go according to plan, but that is not an excuse to raise the white flag. The six career success mantras that Santa had generously shared were the importance of writing skills, presentation skills, communication skills, specialisation, internships and other academic activities. His talk was engaging and comical as the audience laughed to his jokes.



I glanced at my watch as my stomach was growling, begging for food, it was lunchtime. Attendees and speakers were ushered to the dining area, as a buffet lunch was prepared. Hungry attendees could be seen devouring the delicious food while some approached the speakers and committee members of TEDxUSMC as they socialised.


After the lunch break, most audience with their utterly full stomachs felt lethargic. To amp up the atmosphere, Jeremy gave the audience a little bit of a brainteaser, a TED-ED riddle. This activity got people’s mind cracking as they tried to solve the given riddle. Instantly, the crowd regained their energy once again!


Following from the engaging riddle, our third speaker for the event was Dr. Henry Chan. Dr. Henry shared his personal journey as he embarked to the rural part of Sarawak. His heart broke when he learned from the people that the beautiful forest would be deforested for future development. To overcome this issue, he joined WWF and collaborated with Heart of Borneo (HOB). He ended his speech with a note that it is everyone’s responsibility to replenish Mother Earth. It can be seen that Dr. Henry has a passion and that was towards saving nature.


Eddie Woo was our next speaker for the day. Eddie is currently in the training industry working in Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad. He had summarised his speech into three main parts of what one should do. Firstly, it is about seizing all opportunities given. Secondly, Eddie emphasises on giving a meaning to whatever you do. Lastly was to repeat the first and second pieces of advice. What impacted me most during his speech was one particular sentence, which goes: “The more YES you say today, the more NO you will say in the future. Do we live by choice or do we live by chance?” Eddie and Dr. Henry’s speeches certainly were significant as they shared the importance of giving purpose to one’s action.


Stay tuned for part 2!


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