A Festival of Kindness

A kindness festival is an opportunity for you to learn, to join in, to be kind and to make a positive difference to the people in your life – who you might not even know.

On November 13th, 2020 I had the opportunity to attend a virtual “Kindfest” – which was a festival of kindness. It was hosted by TeamKind.org.uk in England and was a really worthwhile experience. I was impressed that they sold over 6000 tickets, and you could purchase a ticket for a stranger that people could collect on Fridays leading up to the festival. All proceeds went to local charities. How cool is that?

The event featured more than 150 presenters who shared stories, conversations and research on kindness today, and how to create more of it.

Share Kindness

It is amazing how easily we can each share a random act of kindness, or just the willingness to talk to a stranger. Acts like this can save people’s lives. Here is a look at how the host of Kindfest and BBC journalist, Kamilah McInnis’s shared her story about how much a random act of kindness supported her during a time of crisis.

Having dealt with depression myself, I was thrilled with the event because I see it as an effective platform to bring positivity to many people. I am certain that many of the participants took away learning experiences to benefit their communities. I know that I did.

Below is a 3-minute video about my experience at this kindness festival.

Be Kind Today

Go ahead. Be kind today. Follow @TeamKindUK on Instagram for many great ideas on how you can. One offer from their Kindness Calendar is to volunteer.

“When you volunteer, you gain access to people you would not otherwise have an opportunity to meet and you support your community as well.”

I took a page out of my own book – literally – in the quote above. The Talk2MorePeople book is now being proofread and will publish on January 21, 2021. The timing of this event was perfect because it was just in time for me to squeeze the Teamkind.org.uk website into the Other Resources section of the Talk2MorePeople book. So my readers will learn more about kindness today as well as how to meet people.

Today’s, we need more experiences like Kindfest to help keep us connected. Human connection and interpersonal relationships are more important than ever now. So don’t miss Kindfest 2021.

Keep connecting!

 

International facilitator, performing artist and Solution-Focussed coach Tony Esteves is passionate about creating human connection, going up or down mountains and adventure. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, intentionally meets new people regularly and loves to play and improvise. Random life adventures keep Tony energized and grounded and he exists in Calgary, Canada.

Having lived, worked or travelled to 40 countries, he has facilitated learning experiences in North America, Europe and South Africa and learned a few languages along the way. He has only been kicked out of Hungary once and found himself working on a U.S. Military base in Uzbekistan for a while. 

He created the Talk2MorePeople Project which evolved into a year-long journey of human connection. In that year he met over 550 strangers and his mental health was transformed. Tony shares those insights with groups who value entertaining learning experiences and conversations. Meeting a stranger is how he joined the circus and why he has a mirror suit.

Join Tony’s adventure to help put an end to the epidemic of loneliness in the world today at Talk2MorePeople.com or find him @Talk2MorePeople. For worthwhile and entertaining content on human connection, and upcoming publications and performances, join his newsletter at https://bit.ly/2y63g8f .

Being helpful is a good thing just for its own sake. And when you offer help to a stranger, you have a great opportunity to make a new connection. But far too often, we see an opportunity to help and let it slip by. People are less likely to help out when amongst a large group of people.  This is a psychological phenomenon called diffusion of responsibility.

But you don’t need to miss out on your next chance to help. Doing so creates an interaction that you otherwise would not have had. Take advantage of these opportunities to be of service to your community and see what happens. In this VIDEO below, I explain how that allowed me to meet a stranger last week.

I also recommend that you check out the film called, “The Outside Story.” It’s a film about human connection and is part of the Calgary International Film Festival which is on now.

 

Tony Esteves is an entrepreneur and performer who dearly wants more people to connect face-to-face. He is an artist, facilitator and coach who created the Talk2MorePeople Project. In 2016/17 he met at least one new stranger a day for a full year. The Talk2MorePeople book – a guidebook for how to meet people, will be released on January 21, 2021. Tony is passionate about being outdoors, travel and play. 

You can use play to meet people. If you work too much, you can bring play into your life to balance it out a little more. So why not bring some play to your day?

In the video below you can learn how to juggle. But it’s not just any tutorial. This video is part of an important series called, “Everyone’s a Caregiver” and was created to share positivity with front line health care workers. The full playlist is HERE and includes 6-minute micro-webinars of wisdom from top thought leaders today. Click on the image below to view my video. Enjoy.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Living Room Series

On August 30th at 1 pm EST, join the Living Room Series online for a meaningful discussion about the subject of patience. The Living Room Series facilitates events where people participate in facilitated discussions that allow for deep insights. Their online sessions have been great thus far. Register for free HERE.

TEDxYYC

This year, TEDxYYC will be happening at the Calgary Big Art Drive-in on August 20th. You can experience the amazing speakers from your car. I find this to be a truly innovative way to make this incredible event still happen at this time.  Currently, tickets are available HERE.

Mindcamp Choice

Canada’s creativity conference, Mindcamp usually takes place in August north of Toronto. This year it will take place online from September 25th – 27th. More information is HERE and you can contact me if you’d like to know more about registration etc. For the most up to date information check out Mindcamp Connect – the global online creativity community HERE.

Tony Esteves is an entrepreneur and performer who dearly wants more people to connect face-to-face. He is an artist, facilitator and coach who created the Talk2MorePeople Project. In 2016/17 he met at least one new stranger a day for a full year. The Talk2MorePeople book – a guidebook for how to meet people, will be released on January 21, 2021. Tony is passionate about being outdoors, travel and play. 

On a flight last week from Toronto to London, Ontario, everybody was wearing masks. Of course, now we have to. And it struck me how this really levels the playing field. No matter if you are in economy, business or first class, at this time, you must wear a mask while flying. I don’t enjoy wearing a mask, but I agree that it can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, so I’m ok to wear one. 

Offer a Greeting

I greeted the woman who had the window seat next to where I was to sit by just saying, “Hello.” She said the same back but we did not get into a conversation. This 78 passenger plane has two rows of two down each side and the flight was full. About I’m not pushy about having a conversation with the person sitting next to me on the flight, but I always make a point of letting the other person know that I’m open to it, by at least greeting them. 

A conversation is born

About 30 minutes into the flight, she said to me, “You are a really good juggler.” I said, “Thank you. That’s kind of you to say. It’s because I’m in a circus.” And can you imagine, with that, we got into a conversation? I had been juggling while inside the airport terminal to pass the time.

We chatted about how the performing arts world is being forced to evolve at this time and how many people including her daughter, are deciding to do something different than what they had planned pre-pandemic. And in general, we both agree that this is a good thing.

Of course, there are many negatives that have come from this global disruption, but I for one am grateful for how it – at least for a moment – slowed the world down. 

We talked about how the nuances of body language that are in a person’s face, are now missing. And how this forced lack of connection has made it more important for people to connect than ever before. The flight that we were on was much louder than I remember flights being as it seemed that pretty much everyone was speaking to one another. My partner, Renee had a lovely conversation with a woman beside her as well. She was just returning home from three months of isolation supporting indigenous communities with their mental health. 

The rules are changing

You can meet people in a pandemic, and the same rules and mindsets laid out for you in this book apply. You must have a willingness to connect with other people in order for it to be possible. And showing this willingness can start as easily as a simple greeting when you encounter another person. Ironically, even though while we are all in masks, we may look much less likely to be willing to engage in a conversation with a stranger, we may need it and be open to it more than ever. 

Here is an ARTICLE I wrote 7 years ago about how I met a celebrity by having a conversation on a flight. Society’s social rules are changing now, so why not give it a try?

Tony Esteves is an entrepreneur and performer who dearly wants more people to connect face-to-face. He is a facilitator and coach who created the Talk2MorePeople Project. In 2016/17 he met at least one new stranger a day for a full year. The Talk2MorePeople book – a guidebook for how to meet people, will be released on January 21, 2021. Tony is passionate about being outdoors, travel and play. 

Like many people in the world, I have spent my time locked down. Recently due to coming into contact with someone who had COVID-19, my partner and I had to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested. Thankfully the person who we were exposed to only developed very mild symptoms and has fully recovered. We did not catch it at all.

A stranger appeared hanging outside the apartment

One afternoon I noticed ropes hanging down past the apartment windows. We are on the third floor of this building. Eventually, a man descended in full climbing gear.  He was cleaning the windows. That was Sam.

Even though he was working and we had never met before, he kindly took a break from his work to entertain the questions that I had for him about his unique job. He literally hung out with me for more than 5 minutes. It was great. Here is a short video where I captured some of Sam’s thoughts about how some people avoid meeting people.

Here are a few of the questions that I asked:

Me: “Have you ever stumbled upon anything super-crazy or weird in an apartment that you were working on?”

Sam: “No: I don’t look inside. Although sometimes pets will come to the windows and swat at the cleaning equipment as I am working.”

Me: “What’s the tallest building you’ve worked on?”

Sam: “47 stories. It was the first building that I ever did. But I love this job. It’s great.”

Speaking with Sam was really enjoyable because I got to learn more about his profession, and it was just nice to speak with someone new, in-person towards the end of my quarantine.

So how do you meet people while in quarantine?

There are opportunities to meet people everywhere you look. It takes the willingness and openness to these opportunities to allow them to happen. It’s not common for someone to appear outside your window, but people are everywhere. Communicate with people when you can and keep connected.

Wherever you are in the world at this time, how might you connect with a new person in the coming days?

Tony Esteves is an entrepreneur and performer who dearly wants more people to connect face-to-face. He is a facilitator and coach who created the Talk2MorePeople Project. In 2016/17 he met at least one new stranger a day for a full year. The Talk2MorePeople book – a guidebook for how to meet people, will be released on January 21, 2021. Tony is passionate about being outdoors, travel and play. 

Do you ever think of something that you’d like to ask someone, but chicken out? It can be intimidating to approach someone you don’t know. You might think, “What if they are annoyed? What if they tell me to get lost? What if I make a fool out of myself?”

These are all common and understandable concerns. However, these fears are rarely realized for two reasons:

1. Most people simply don’t approach strangers even when they think of something to say.

2. When people to approach strangers, they rarely get rejected.

Speak Your Mind to Meet People

It is a healthy thing to do to speak your mind to meet people. Last week in Jasper, Alberta, I met a lovely young couple. I had something that I wanted to say to them. Well, actually it was a question that I had. I noticed them from where we were camping. I had observed that they had a very tiny baby with them. They were camping in a trailer. Upon seeing that, the question that came to me was,

“How long can you travel with a tiny baby?”

I saw that they were packing up their camp when I was on my way to the washroom. At that point, I thought, “Oh, it looks like they are getting ready to go. If I’m going to speak to them, I need to act now!” So I did.

Act on Impulse

Rather than take my pee as planned, I made a sudden change in my course and b-lined for their camp. Upon approaching, this is what I said,

“Excuse me. May I ask you a quick question?” Danielle happily said, “Sure.” “I see that you’ve got an infant here. Are you travelling for a weekend or a week? How long can you travel with a tiny baby?”

And with that, I met the parents Jake and Danielle, and we got into a really enjoyable conversation. I didn’t expect to get rejected as having approached thousands of strangers over the years has proven to me, it’s extremely rare to get turned down. In fact, Danielle expressed her gratitude for my approach as we learned about how they had been travelling for four months already. I was able to share some recommendations for great places for them to visit in Alberta and British Colombia.

This conversation made my day. I also loved how they were ok to have their photo taken, but did not want their child’s face in it. They keep their baby’s face out of all photos – brilliant!

Thoughts about what we see and experience in our surroundings run through our mind all the time every day. Use these thoughts to help you connect with strangers. You will be happy that you did.

We need human connection now more than ever.

Tony Esteves is an entrepreneur and performer who dearly wants more people to connect face-to-face. He is a facilitator and coach who created the Talk2MorePeople Project. In 2016/17 he met at least one new stranger a day for a full year. The Talk2MorePeople book – a guidebook for how to meet people, will be released on January 21, 2021. Tony is passionate about being outdoors, travel and play. 

Recently while at a Provincial Park, I met three Brazilians. By listening as I walked past them, I noticed that they were speaking what I thought was Brazilian Portuguese. I wasn’t sure, so I asked. 

How to do it

When you overhear people speaking a language that you have some knowledge of, you have a grand opportunity to join their discussion. Even if you don’t have a full understanding of the language, it is still a great opportunity to say hello. I don’t speak fluent Portuguese, but having lived in Brazil almost 20 years ago, I can still get by with it. 

In this case, I said,

“Excuse me. Are you speaking Brazilian Portuguese?”

And with smiles, they replied, “Yes.” From there, it was easy for the four of us to have a conversation. 

Making a connection

When you know something about another language or culture, use that knowledge along with your curiosity and listening skills to join conversations. Common life-experience such as speaking a certain language makes for a natural ice-breaker.

I use my imperfect language abilities to meet people as often as I can. It has the added bonus of creating an opportunity to practice language skills too. Take a look at the short video below about my recent experience of using a language to meet people.

Give it a go, and see what happens. 

Muito obrigado.

Passionate about human connection, Tony Esteves is a play-based workshop facilitator, keynote speaker, circus performer and coach. He studied at the Second City Improv Training Centre, has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and has been performing with Le Cirque de la Nuit since 2014. He was a part of their TEDx performance, “The Creative Process.” In the circus, Tony juggles, dazzles and co-creates memorable experiences with audiences. 

As a presenter and coach, he teaches networking skills and how to meet people through Talk2MorePeople. In 2016/17, Tony met over 550 people by connecting with at least one new stranger a day for an entire year and transformed his life for the better. The Talk2MorePeople book will be published in late 2020.

Tony has travelled to 40 countries, speaks four languages and spends as much time as possible snowboarding and hiking the Canadian Rockies. 

Recently, while hiking Heart Mountain, I met Matthew.

It was my pleasure to share with him the name of a camping app, “WikiCamps.” This app not only tells you where all rest areas and campgrounds are, but it also tells you where there are free places to camp. You can use it in five countries.

He will likely make use of this information which could positively affect his summer plans. This is an example of the “Information Exchange” that is always possible when two or more people meet and have a conversation. That’s all it takes to have a “Talk2MorePeople” encounter. Conversations like this change lives for the better. Even though we need to physically distance at this time, it remains important and worthwhile to Talk2MorePeople.

What a lovely compliment to my hike.

 

Creating connections in Calgary, Canada, Tony Esteves is a play-based facilitator, keynote speaker and performer. He studied at the Second City Improv Training Centre, has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and has been performing with Le Cirque de la Nuit since 2014. He was a part of their 2016 TEDx performance, “The Creative Process.” In the circus, Tony dazzles, juggles and plays with audiences to create memorable experiences. 

He believes that people can move their lives and businesses forward by having more face-to-face conversations and therefore created the Talk2MorePeople Project. During this social experiment, Tony met at least one new stranger a day for an entire year, and through the people he met, transformed his life for the better. In total over 550 strangers came into his life that year. The Talk2MorePeople book teaches people how to make face-to-face connections and will be released in 2020.

Many of Tony’s connections came from the 40 countries that he has travelled to or worked in. In his free time, you can find Tony scrambling or snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies, studying a language or playing mini-Ping-Pong.

 

Do you take time to reflect on your accomplishments? It can be easy to overlook what you have achieved when life moves so quickly. But it’s a worthwhile exercise to do so. When you take time through any mindfulness practice to celebrate what you have accomplished, you give yourself a little gift. Doing so can boost self-esteem and help you become more aware of what you are capable of.

It is important with goal setting to reflect on where you are at the starting point so that you can measure your progress. This step often gets overlooked.

Today marks my seventh anniversary since I arrived in Alberta. It’s my “Alberta-versary” as my Twin sister, Andrea would say.

It is May 15, 2020, and in this blog post, I will celebrate four of my accomplishments as an invitation for you to reflect on your accomplishments as well.

I moved here because I needed to shake things up both in my personal and professional life. Here is a blog post about that day. I was not disappointed.

There have been many challenges, adventures and I have met many new people along this way. When I arrived in Calgary, the only person I knew here was my supportive twin sister, Andrea. Here are the celebratory accomplishments.

1. I completed The Talk2MorePeople Project – In April of 2016 I set out to meet a new person a day for a full year. My life transformed because of the new people who came into my life. I completed the project one year later and the journey of meeting people helped improve my mental health. In that year, I met over 550 strangers and some of those people are now the most important people in my life. This article based on research is a nice reminder that we should talk to strangers.

2. I joined Le Cirque de la Nuit because of a conversation with a stranger and have done more professional performing than ever before. This is a recent video that offers entertainment for people who remain isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The character is me being theatrical and juggling. Enjoy.

3. I published my first poem in a mirror suit. This video is a project that I was inspired to share during these times of rapid change. I perform in this costume regularly, and the metaphor of reflecting seemed like something fun to play with.

I wouldn’t dare recite a poem for an online audience as I am new to poetry. But to deliver it as a performance? As a performer at heart, I was excited to do it. Take a look at that short video below. Have you been reflecting during these unprecedented times?

4. And last, but certainly not least, on this May 15th, I completed the Talk2MorePeople book. On that day, I submitted the second draft to my editor for stylistic editing. There will still be a little back and forth and then I’ll need to work with another editor for the copy editing, but the book itself is pretty much done! This is an accomplishment that I am extremely proud of.

Sure there will now be an entirely new phase of work with promoting and selling the book, but I’ll step up to that challenge with the help of mentors and other authors who have walked this path ahead of me. Pre-sales will begin in the coming weeks. If you would like to follow my journey as an author and to know when the book becomes available, please join me HERE. That is my “Talk2MorePeople Tips” newsletter where I share tips on how to meet people and updates on the book.

 

I am extremely grateful for the time that I have had in Alberta. I’ve worked as a dining room server, a fruit slicer, a circus performer, and a play-based workshop facilitator a coach, a master of ceremonies and have learned from each of these experiences. I have met hundreds of wonderful people since arriving.

May the next seven years be as invigorating as these past seven years.

My wish is that you take time to reflect on your accomplishments over the past year or two. Are you where you would like to be? Or is there much work to do? No matter what the case, know that change is inevitable, and circumstances can always get better.

Happy reflecting.

 

Creating connections in Calgary, Canada, Tony Esteves is a play-based facilitator, keynote speaker and performer. He studied at the Second City Improv Training Centre, has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and has been performing with Le Cirque de la Nuit since 2014. He was a part of their 2016 TEDx performance, “The Creative Process.” In the circus, Tony dazzles, juggles and plays with audiences to create memorable experiences. 

He believes that people can move their lives and businesses forward by having more face-to-face conversations and therefore created the Talk2MorePeople Project. During this social experiment, Tony met at least one new stranger a day for an entire year, and through the people he met, transformed his life for the better. In total over 550 strangers came into his life that year. The Talk2MorePeople book teaches people how to make face-to-face connections and will be released in 2020.

Many of Tony’s connections came from the 40 countries that he has travelled to or worked in. In his free time, you can find Tony scrambling or snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies, studying a language or playing mini-Ping-Pong.

While out for a walk in the neighbourhood of Ramsey, Calgary a woman pulled up next to me and took out her phone to take a picture. It looked as if she was pointing it straight at me and I thought, “Oh. Am I in trouble for being out for going out for a walk during the pandemic?”

But in Calgary at this time, going out for a walk is totally fine as long as you practice physical distancing. She was pointing her phone/camera at me because, on the other side of me, about 1 metre away was a giant turkey that I had not yet seen! It was Turk, “The Ramsey Turkey.” The person in the car told me all about this local celebrity and we had a laugh together. He even has his own Facebook page called, “The Loyal Followers of the Ramsey Turkey.” This is a recent local news piece that was done on Turk. 

You can meet people while physical distancing. It’s just not as easy. Put some effort into saying hello to the person passing you at a distance on the sidewalk or across the street. You may be very pleasantly surprised to see how happy they are to hear from you. Stay safe, and at the same time, stay connected.

Tony Esteves has presented and performed for people on 5 continents. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he is a play-based workshop facilitator and performer. He facilitates communication and resiliency and improves team dynamics. He studied improv at the Second City Improv Training Centre, has a Bachelor of Communication Studies degree, and loves to bring people together. Tony has been performing with Le Cirque de la Nuit since 2014  and was a part of their 2016 TEDxYYC performance. He believes that people can best move their lives and careers forward by having more face-to-face conversations. (That is how he got into the circus). This is why he created the Talk2MorePeople Project.

During this social experiment, Tony meet at least one new stranger a day for an entire year and positively transformed his life. Now he teaches people how to do this through coaching, workshops and keynote presentations. The Talk2MorePeople book will be released in 2020. With a professional background in logistics and communication, Tony has presented at conferences in Canada, Italy, the USA and South Africa. Having lived and worked in 40 countries in a variety of unique jobs, including managing logistics for the US military in Uzbekistan, teaching in Japan and corporate sales in Ukraine, Audiences from Tony’s presentations leave entertained, educated, inspired and empowered.