Before I Die…

Writer for This Is It! Dominic recalls his experience at networking event The Before I Die Network Social.  Got an event or story you’d like to share? If you’re interested in writing for ThisIsIt! drop Izzy an email to get involved.


What do you want to do before you die? While it might seem quite a morbid question to ask yourself it is actually the complete opposite. The Before I Die Network is a group inspired by Candy Chang’s Before I Die Project, the artist painted the side of an abandoned building in New Orleans with chalkboard paint asking the same question. Within a day the wall was covered in the dreams of local people wanting to make the most out of life.

It is a daunting prospect to share with a group people you had never met before.

Before I Die Network

Having been to more than my fair share of networking events, I had certainly become jaded. It is far from being my strong point and I’m not alone. It is a daunting prospect to share with a group people you had never met before. So when I attended one of the social meet ups organised by The Before I Die Network in Shoreditch I was definitely surprised. The event was very informal and far more casual than the networking events I’ve been to in the past. There were no shirts and ties, juice and fruit were on offer and a group of people wanting to share their dreams and experiences arrived. The classic ice breaking game was different from the usual sort, what would you be if you lived in an alternative universe? One person was a strange bird-fish hybrid, I was a cat (boring) and people’s personalities were allowed to shine through. We were asked to take part in a variety of tasks which included pairing off and answering different sets of questions, including what would we like to be remembered for and what would our special day be called.

I found it eye opening to see these steps on paper rather than keeping them locked in my head

Before I Die Network

One of the tasks was to list the steps you need to achieve in order to reach your goals and then prioritise those by which you can achieve first. I found it eye opening to see these steps on paper rather than keeping them locked in my head, I realised how much work I had to do but had a better idea on where I need to start. We were then asked to write down our strengths and weaknesses on post-it notes and literally attach them to our bodies. The aim was to find others to offer help or advice with our weaknesses and to put your strengths on offer. While this may paint a silly picture (a room full of people covered in colourful pieces of paper) it was because of this game that I have the chance to write for This Is It!

The Before I Die Network Social offers an alternative way to share with others and hopefully give you a shot at creating connections with people that will be able to help in achieving your dreams.

So what did I take from The Before I Die Network Social? I realised despite it not being my favourite thing in life, opening up to a new group of people can be a rewarding experience. I encountered people with interesting stories and others that have similar interests. Stepping out of our comfort zone is definitely a skill that requires practise; you’re quite literally putting yourself into a position that could make you feel uncomfortable. The Before I Die Network Social offers an alternative way to share with others and hopefully give you a shot at creating connections with people that will be able to help in achieving your dreams. More than anything, walking away from the meet up I did believe it was possible to get what I want from life and that’s an invaluable belief to have.

Before I Die Network

You can find out more about The Before I Die Network via their website and be sure to check out the work of Candy Chang who inspired the network at candychang.com.

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Dominic Staples

DominicDominic is a nineteen year old writer from London with an interest in arts and culture in particular film and photography. Having left school at sixteen he worked part-time in retail before deciding to pursue a career in the creative sector. He prides himself on being honest and informative in his writing.

 

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