It was this time last year that we hosted our first Cybersecurity event for BSides in Honolulu. We had 14 amazing sponsors and we sold out with 200 attendees. It was such a great event, but it was the LAST event before COVID started to really make itself known in the US. We assumed we’d be back at it in a few months’ time planning for the next BSides event, yet here we are – a full year later – everyone still at home and no known date for returning to live events.

Tony Robbins, an author, philanthropist, and one of my favorite teachers for personal and professional growth pivoted quickly into the virtual platform. His seminars would consistently sell out at a modest few thousand of attendees.  It is rumored that he spent over a million dollars to create a virtual studio in which he had over 22,000 attendees from 143 countries for his first online seminar.

This month, Chuck and I jumped on that bandwagon and took part in Tony Robbin’s Life Mastery in the comfort of our home. In this seminar, one of the guest speakers was Kathy Buckley – the first hearing impaired comedian.  Honestly, I just thought she was going to make us laugh a bit and give us a speech on how we can do anything we put our minds to, but she did so much more than that! In such a short time, she taught me about gratitude relating to things I may have overlooked in the past. Gratitude for the ability to hear, to speak, to move, to think – the basics.

She shared the story of Judy, a paraplegic who couldn’t move or speak and was confined to a wheel chair her whole life.  The doctors treated her as if she was a vegetable until one day they heard a sound coming from her and realized that she was laughing at a joke.  Judy later wrote a whole book with the help of a caregiver learning to read her cues she was sending by starting at specific words until it formed a sentence.  This story gave me an awareness of how lucky we truly all are.  So lucky, and we may not even be aware of it.

Thinking back to that BSides event, having 200 plus people in the same space. Trying to MAXIMIZE the number of people in a room and have gatherings. Going out without a mask. I took that for granted too. It’s fair to say that this past year has changed my perspective.  I do feel luckier than ever!  We hope you also feel just as lucky!