No Limits

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It was super hot and the smell was quite bad. I was surrounded by loud music and laughter. I closed my eyes and listened to the mix of familiar and unfamiliar voices that tickled my ears with their chatter and I remembered a memory I had from when we first started LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).Ten years ago this week, LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) began to officially exist. We were 3 people and we were broke, but we had a dream. What if there was something that existed in our Canadian high schools that was edgy, relevant and, most of all, something that offered hope and perspective? What could a group of passionate people become capable of accomplishing? What would you do if there were no limits?No LimitsSince those days, we have had over 225 people travel across Canada into High Schools with our road teams, we have had over 2000 people join us on our Hero Holiday trips and have spoken to well over 1 million students in schools across Canada and internationally. Each life we reach represents a life that is powerful and full of incredible potential. Each seed of hope that is planted makes it all worth it.Over the years we have received countless emails, messages and phone calls that have continued to serve as a source of encouragement for our staff as we continue to forge ahead. We are not perfect and we have made many mistakes…but we are still here.No LimitsI remembered where I was when we determined that no matter what, we were going to see this thing through and we were going to do whatever it took to reach a generation with hope and love. Now here I was many years later, standing in the most unlikely of places: a garbage dump in Dominican Republic. Together with the Hero Holiday participants, we were hosting a party for the stateless Haitian people that worked there. It was an honour to be welcomed into their world and in that moment I realized that I could have missed out on all of this if I had given up – if we had given up on LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute). But we didn’t, and we won’t. We are going to carry through as an organization into this next decade ignited with passion and a fervency to see a generation become instruments of love, hope, and change.Whenever I am leading a workshop or speaking to students and adults, I like to ask them one simple question, “What would you do to help change the world if there were no limits?” It is hard for us to be honest when we hear those words because we have a hard time thinking of possibilities without limitations. We live in a world that is continually putting limits on our thinking: media ads tell us what we “need” and we listen, friends tell us how to act and we conform, life experience leaves us jaded and we allow that experience to shape our view of the possible, societal expectations push us to lean one way, and our attachment to money can cause us to limit our willingness to take a risk. Taking the easy road may be less risky, but a life that is lived without risk is a life that hasn’t really had a chance to live. Loving people is messy and reaching past judgment and comfort zones can seem scary, but it is always worth it. Our lives here in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) are a testament to that. Over the years we have loved, we have lost, we have taken risks and we have fallen short; but always, we have known that we wouldn’t want to live any other way. This is how change happens and that’s why we choose to be a part of it.No LimitsWhat would the world look like if more of us were willing to take a risk, willing to jump over the edge, and willing to make our voice be heard? It would look very different, and it would look more like hope. We hope that you will join us in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) in some way, that you will add your voice to ours, and that together we can help the world to look more like a world of hope and possibilities. Together, we can make 2010 the year where we lifted off the limits!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: January 3rd, 2010