I believe we are at the perfect time in history, to make a difference.
Let me set the scene. We are facing a climate change challenge.
Looking at the stats, it may seem bleak:
- 5.2 million homes and businesses are at risk of flooding rising each decade
- The number of properties built on the flood plain will double by 2065
- A 0.4 to 1 meter sea level risk is predicted by 2100
However, the UN SDG’s describes 17 goals to transform the world.
And I believe we can all play our part.
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Ayo and it means joy in Yoruba. I am Joy and my purpose is to live life on purpose and with purpose.
I am a chartered civil engineer working in flood and coastal risk management. This means I work to protect communities from flooding.
I chose civil engineering at the age of 9 to make a difference to the world, having witnessed its power to transform lives in the developing country I lived in at the time. Breaking down on the road and meeting an engineer leading an infrastructure project, I was sold on the power of civil engineering. It provides key infrastructure that in turn leads to huge impacts on lives (socially, economically and environmentally).
From my first project that protected 5 homes from flooding to my a recent one that protected 1.25 million people from flooding and £200 Billions of property .
I have been working to scale up my impact and have picked up other tools along the way, working with social enterprises and charities, organizing charity fundraisers, becoming an elected Councillor, Reading’s youngest deputy mayor and co-founding a grass root plastic-free group that recently achieved plastic free accreditation.
For me, it always been about creating positive change.
I am not the first and in fact, I am one engineer in a long line of other great engineers that came before me.
For example, Joseph Bazelgette, the chief engineer of London’s sewer that put an end to the Great Stink in 1858 and the devastating loss of life caused by the water-borne diseases rife prior to his new sewers. He worked so hard with passion and focus that he had a breakdown. However, I am working to temper my passions for positive impact with rest and looking after myself holistically, as we all must.
All great achievement stem from an even greater why.
It is all about the why! As Life will bring challenges, and the why will help you in those hard moments.
In the words of Nietzsche: – if you know your why, you can live any how.
My why is to live with purpose and on purpose, making a difference with every tool I have to hand and even tools I don’t have, as I can always learn. I believe the desire and ability to learn and grow is a superpower.
It is up to us all, to find our why and to make a difference in our own special way.
How does anyone do this. Well, I did the following and I think YOU can too:
- I got to know myself – strengths, weaknesses, interests and shadow traits
- I defined success in own terms asking myself what success looked like, felt like, tasted like, sounded like etc
- I made a plan, DID and DO the work, building credibility in myself by consistently taking aligned actions.
Success will look differently for everyone.
You don’t have to be an Einstein or an Erdos (my favorite mathematician) to make a difference.
But everything, we DO matters.
This weekend I met some amazing people on the train, in fact I always do. Because I chose to connect and learn from everyone I meet. This attitude and perceptive helps me but it also helps them too, they share their gifts, thoughts, pains and dreams with me. Each person expanding me and helping me grow in ways I have to yet to quantify. In short, we can help people by simply saying hello.
The first annual charity event I founded came from such an encounter, they shared their heart and pain and I promised to do my bit. We can all do this. By adopting openness, curiosity, kindness, seeking to see the best in others and being wise.
Finally, its all about the stories we tell ourselves.
They skew our perspectives of life.
I say you aren’t just who you are now, you are who you are becoming and you can become anything you want by consistent and aligned action.
3 years from now, your life will be a product of your consistent decision making.
So..make good ones!
I made a decision to pick a problem I wanted to solve.
A problem so large and daunting. That even at the age of 9, I knew I was going to have to develop to be the kind of person who could solve it.
You can become this person too.
- Pick a problem worthy of you
- Pick what you are for and not what you are against
- Pick a calling that bring forth the greatest version of yourself
If we all do this, we can create a better world for US all.
So I lay the gauntlet at your feet…
Will you join me in this great and noble quest for a better you and a better world?
This my personal manifesto as it stands today 12/07/2022. If you are interested, follow this blog for more. I will start sharing more ideas as I finish writing my first book.