Finding Your Voice – PS LIVE 2018

Here are some of this year’s Pluralsight Live Highlights. It’s been incredible to see my dad’s company grow throughout my life and become what it is today! We love attending PS Live and always leave feeling so inspired. William was a first-timer and got plenty of attention from family, friends, and my dad’s co-workers. He’s already a famous little guy because of social media (and because he is straight-up CUTE). We were the only ones there with a baby, so we stood out quite a bit! haha :)

This year was especially inspiring because Malala was the keynote speaker. We actually got to meet and spend time with Malala and her father beforehand, which is something I’ll always remember.  It was moving to see how they interacted with each other and with us. They were so genuinely kind, charismatic, friendly, and passionate about their cause. They even had a great sense of humor. I loved the time we were able to spend with them, although short, because in those few moments we caught a glimpse into their life, their struggles, and how they’ve chosen to overcome it all with a positive attitude. Their optimism and hope for the future is inspiring and her courage made me feel stronger than I was before.

During our visit they also recounted their trip back home to Swat Valley earlier this year and how much it meant to them. It was touching to hear how much they love and miss their home, and what it was like for them to go back after all this time. In that moment I realized that I should never take my home for granted. Malala explained that she felt like time was going in reverse when she landed on her homeland soil once again. Braden added that “she had gone full-circle” which is a phrase they’d never heard before. Both Malala and her father loved the phrase and she actually used it in her keynote later that day (also giving Braden a s/o)!

My dad interviewed Malala in front of 2000+ people at the conference, and their conversation inspired myself along with many others. It’s incredible how she’s allowed the negative thing that happened to her become a force for good in the world. Instead of living fearfully, she’s courageously used her voice to influence the world and help people see things differently. Malala invited everyone at the conference to find their voice (what they are passionate about) and use it to make the world better. I love that. She’s found her voice – advocating a woman’s right to receive an education – and has really made a difference in many girls lives because of it.

Many times she talked about “not having an option.” The only option she could see was to do what was right. Either she could do nothing, or do something by speaking out. To her that was the only right option – so she risked her life to do it. I could go on for hours about how amazing she is, but this is a pretty good summary of the things that stood out to me most!

After the conference Braden and I listened to her book again on our drive to Idaho. It was cool relating the experiences in her book to the ones we had heard from her in person. They are an incredible family and I am inspired by the way they live their lives. I want to develop a fraction of Malala’s fearlessness and courage in my own life, with my own struggles, hopes, and dreams.

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