A friend of mine shared an anecdote of a time when someone asked him what his new year’s wish was, to which he answered ‘for there to be a year with no wars, no hunger and no misery’. She laughed at him, saying he was a fool asking for too much.

We have much to answer for in the beliefs we hold and the possibilities. Imagine for a moment someone a hundred years ago said “I want to go to the moon”. Suffice to say, he would have been laughed at, and if she were a woman, even more so. And yet, it was possible, it did happen. So would we not be better thinking how to make something possible as opposed to treading on ideals and hopes, dreams and desires?

Within each one of us, lies a part that wishes for a better world, for the removal of injustice, for the cessation of cruelty, poverty and hunger, and indeed, a world full of peace and a better way of life. So can we stop ourselves from stopping others striving for their ideals? Putting out their light so that we don’t feel bad about ourselves? Can we encourage people to pursue their ideals as opposed to telling them to be realistic? And dare we own up to what our own heart’s desire truly is and strive for it?

What is realistic? Back in the dark ages, it wasn’t realistic to have light or running water. It also wasn’t realistic to have planes, trains and automobiles. And yet, that is the reality we have today.

We should encourage ourselves and those around us to speak about our dreams, our ambitions, and to create an environment where it is safe to dream and to pursue them, to realise them in thought and turn them into a reality. We say a problem shared is a problem halved  I say that a dream shared is a dream doubled. Only in that way can we shape a new reality, for ourselves and those around us, something I believe is one of the things many people wish for.



Deborah has profiled many of the world’s top talent, identifying the secrets to their success as both business people and human beings. She challenges the way people think, engaging their talents, fulfilling their aspirations and positively impacting the world around them.

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Small Thing Make a Difference

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy – too afraid to follow our convictions, too fearful to trust ourselves.

A number of years ago, I was working on a project where part of our mandate was to create a place where people congregate, a place they felt they belonged, a platform from where they could be heard. We were open to everyone – from upcoming musicians and singers to charities raising awareness of their causes and everything else in between. We used to incorporate these happenings in our calendar of events. But little did we know this calendar would take on an additional purpose.

It was meant to be a monthly publication – a small leaflet promoting the activities taking place, some free, some paid, to which visitors could come. Having a strict budget, or should I say no budget, we were meant to find a sponsor who would place an advertisement on one of the pages. Time was ticking and no sponsor was found. Truth be said, being somewhat of a purist, I was rather glad, not wanting some ugly ad to ruin our lovely design. But there was something else – I had this feeling there was a different use for that page, something we had missed.

This leaflet would reach thousands of people. So the question was – what message would add the greatest value?

Some time before, my boss had given me a story entitled “The Star Thrower”. Always of the belief that every person matters and every action counts, the story really resonated. And as I sat at my desk, contemplating what to do with this extra page, there on my desk was a little starfish. That was my Eureka moment and the start of a new section entitled b-inspired.

Ensuring we had the right permissions to print it, we included the story. The typesetting was done, the printing was underway and the delivery date confirmed – there was no turning back.

When the boxes full of leaflets arrived, my boss called me into his office and asked me to bring the leaflet with me. I had a sense of trepidation – since I hadn’t included the ad I thought he wasn’t going to be too impressed and I would have to bear the consequences.

As I walked into his office, I handed over the leaflet. Knowing he could read me like a book, I explained what I had done. But it was too late. He had already started looking through it, turned it over, and there it was – the story in lieu of the ad. Much to my surprise and relief, he looked up, smiled and came over to give me the biggest hug.

“Well done, I am really proud of you,” he said.

I was stunned. There I was expecting to be berated and instead got a pat on the back.

There were so many other surprises that went along with the ‘b-inspired’ journey:

  • The stories people would send us to be included in future issues
  • People waiting expectedly for the events leaflet – to see what the story was going to be
  • Seeing one of the stories on a client’s employee notice board two years later

Never did I realise what could unfold from sharing a little story. So next time you wonder if what you are doing makes a difference, may I suggest you put aside the doubt and trust that regardless of how seemingly small it may appear to you, you do indeed make a difference.



Headhunter turned talent spotter, Deborah creates the connect between people of character and companies with principles. The Founder of AMANI™, she is an advocate for business being a force for good, vested in the impact business has in both economic and social terms across various strata of society.