I had the pleasure to hear a keynote presentation from the enigmatic Sir Bob Geldof tonight and I was mesmerized by the passion, dreams and the vision that permeated his words. The topic
“Reaching your Dream: A World Icon’s Insight On the Secret To Success”
He told how his mother had died when he was six years old and how he and his sisters had to cope as his father, the travelling towel salesman was absent from the family home while travelling all week to support his family. He attended good schools due to his fathers sacrifice as Bob and his sisters coped at home on their own. His passion and purpose for making a difference started when he was 13 when he and a friend started a movement against apartheid in South Africa. The reason he started this was the intellectual absurdity of judging or making someone less of a person for the color of their skin.. he saw this as being as stupid as making someone less, for wearing a strange colored jumper or for having orange hair.
At the age of 16 he was working in soup kitchens in his city in Ireland to help the disadvantaged. He left high school feeling like a failure with his father wondering where he had failed his geeky son. He proceeded to travel and started a newspaper with great success in Canada despite being an illegal immigrant and was consequently discovered by the Canadian Mounties and then thrown out of the country by the authorities.
Back in the UK he thought “I am quite good at this publishing thing” and started another publication and went to the bank to borrow some money and was told to come back when he was 40. Out of desperation he started a band and the rest is history. For the next 10 years his band “The Boomtown Rats” went on to be one of the most successful bands in the world.
In the mid “80’s” he came home after his latest single was not turning into the success he was used to. On coming back home he turned on the television and happened upon a BBC documentary about a famine in Ethiopia, with sudden insight his life before this moment suddenly seemed meaningless.
He flew to Africa to observe the situation first hand, then returned to England and gathered numerous British pop stars together to record a charity single under the name Band Aid; that song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” became the best-selling U.K. single of all time, and inspired a similar 1985 U.S. single “We Are The World”.
His life had become a masterpiece. The essence and kernel of his passion had emerged when he was 13 and he hadn’t realised it then, but as the German Poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
Are you following your passion or are you just turning up?