Friday, December 15, 2017

Chart your destiny


Motivational workshop: Carolyn Correia

Mark Fraser

Carolyn Correia wears many hats and on March 29 she launched the pilot for her motivational workshops entitled “Charting Your Destiny” which took place at Daniell’s Institute of Learning. The all-day workshop was designed around the principles contained in her first book Thinking out Loud which was published in 2011 and was inspired by a friend who first introduced the idea to her a year ago. The book is a collection of articles and speaks about finding your true passion and purpose, letting go of negativity which may be inhibiting the path to your dreams, learning to appreciate the simple pleasures and discovering what are the most important things in life. She admits she was a bit hesitant at first and let the idea “marinate” for a long time before she decided to take this huge step into her future. Almost a year to the date however she took a leap of faith and followed her dream. 

This did not happen overnight for Correia however and it has been a long journey. She first toyed with the idea of motivational speaking in 2011 when she addressed students at the Diego Martin North Secondary School at a Career Day in her capacity as human resource officer at one of her former jobs. “The attentive looks on the students’ and parents’ faces were so exhilarating, it was all the satisfaction I needed!’ One of her work colleagues at the time who was a community outreach veteran commended Correia for even inspiring her. “Her words echoed in my mind--she said: you should not be sitting behind a desk – it doesn’t do you justice!” She still didn’t think much of it at the time and continued her day job and published her book in her spare time. This led to speaking engagements the following year at Eastfield College, Dallas Texas in May and at her alma mater Providence Girls’ Catholic School in June 2012. Correia reveals that when she first wrote the book she did not even consider public speaking since she was terrified of speaking in front of large groups, but she mustered up the courage and willingly embraced the challenge using her lunch hour to practise with her former boss and work colleagues which now brings a smile to her face. Little did she know what lay ahead.

Those two experiences sealed the deal for her future career aspirations but yet she still did not actively pursue it. At Providence in particular she looked out to the faces in the audience and it was as though she was looking into a mirror at her younger self and saw how far she had journeyed. It was there and then she knew she was destined to help those girls with their own journey which was now beginning. Despite her nerves, she remained calm and composed and she felt herself relax. “It was my biggest audience by far and it was an absolute rush to see all of those faces so earnest and focused.” The school’s principal Zena Ojoe Mark encouraged Carolyn to consider motivational speaking and to contact veteran inspirational speaker Don La Foucade. In November 2012 she did in fact serve as an usher to one of La Foucade’s “Uniquely Worthy” workshops which laid the foundation for her future aspirations. She still thought she had a long way to go before she got to that point and meanwhile took up a new job offer in Tobago in January of the following year. The experiences garnered while on the sister isle awakened a deep hunger within her heart and soul to contribute and share so much more and she knew it was time to move on after only one year and, as they say, the rest history. She says “Notwithstanding the minor sporadic challenges, living in paradise was by far one of the best experiences of my life. I don’t look at Tobago in quite the same way. I received positive feedback from one of my friends from Tobago who attended my workshop and so I plan to test the waters on the sister isle soon.” 

In January 2014 Correia booked a one way ticket back to Trinidad and embarked on a brand new journey. “Where this story ends I leave in the hands of God. Fail or win I am ready for the challenge. I was divinely led to this moment. This is my destiny. This workshop experience is all about the participants; I am merely here to guide them in their discourse and path to self-discovery. I am by no means perfect but I must use all of the gifts with which I was blessed to edify God’s people.”