“If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big.” – Donald Trump
Last week while I was waiting for a traffic light to change I noticed a billboard that got me thinking. Not one to really notice any billboard, this one really stood out. It was a simple picture of a kitten sitting in a chair, behind that kitten was a shadow of a huge lion. The caption at the bottom of the picture was simply, “Think Big”.
Last Wednesday was “Bell Let’s Talk” day. A day dedicated to raise awareness of mental health issues and to end the stigma attached to those illnesses. With each Tweet that featured that hashtag (#BellLetsTalk) or share on Facebook, Bell would donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives. In the end, the day brought $6 million to the cause. An incredible amount!
I had been preparing for that day in advance as I had written my own story about my struggles with maintaining good mental health. Earlier in the morning I had almost chickened out and not published the blog post. I didn’t want to expose my issues to the world. But I got to thinking, “how can I lend my support to end the stigma of mental health, if I am not willing to end it myself?”. I needed to think beyond myself, I needed to think big! I posted the blog entry and made it my mission of the day to share it with whoever would read it. I was putting myself out there. What was about to come next was simply AMAZING!
I posted my blog link to various social media outlets. I even shared my story with those I work with. The support I gained and the momentum that started was simply humbling. Twitter was alight with stories from other people who had been suffering in silence. I got to talk to friends about their own struggles. I was not alone. Later that evening while I was watching a hockey game, I thought, what if I shared my story with a celebrity, what might happen? I decided my target would be Alan Doyle, the lead singer of Great Big Sea. He was Tweeting all day in support of the campaign. I was hoping he might share my story to let others know that they are not alone. A half an hour passed and my phone blew up with notifications from Twitter! He had re-tweeted my link! Not only did he re-tweet it, so did his actor buddy from down under (you might have heard of him), Russel Crowe!! Within 20 minutes I had nearly 90 re-tweets of my story. Upon viewing the stats from my blog posting, it was being read from people in Australia, Turkey, Ireland, Japan, USA, Belgium, Germany, UK, Italy and of course Canada. WOW!
My story was read by over 200 people across the world. I realize that kind of viral fails in comparison to Justin Bieber who can break the internet with a simple hair flick, but to me this was so amazing. My message was getting out there! What was most important though, I had helped the cause. I got people thinking about mental illness and did my small part in helping raise over $6 million through the #BellLetsTalk campaign. I had made a difference in this world. If even one person learned anything from my post, then sharing my most personal struggles was well worth it.
I learned a great lesson that day. If you think small, you will remain small. If you think big, you will do big things. I am still amazed at what I accomplished by sitting on my couch during the intermission of a televised hockey game. I can only imagine what I could do if I dedicated my life to this. Perhaps a seed has been planted? Who knows? What I do know, is that for one evening in my life, when I looked at my shadow on the wall…. I was a lion!
Updated resolution numbers:
89 of 1000 KMs walked
6 of 50 blog entries posted
3 of 10 books read (1 on the go)