Sam (Ajit) Thiara: : Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Sam-ThiaraSpeaker. Scholar. Storyteller. Through his tireless work, Sam continues to be committed to the betterment of communities.  In 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2006, he received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for leadership and community involvement.  His passion is to inspire and motivate others in their personal and professional development through his many adventures and reflections on life’s journey.

Under his new found company, Ignite the Dream Consulting, Sam just recently published his first ever book, Personal Storytelling: Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.  In this book, Sam delved on personal storytelling and the individual journey—that we all live in the ordinary but imbedded in the ordinary are extraordinary experiences.  He believes that life is a journey, filled with amazing adventures; however, we never really take the time to appreciate what we have accomplished. 

Personal Storytelling: Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary is about helping the reader capture and tell their life story and make sense of their life’s puzzle. The book is separated into four related parts:  what makes a good story and why tell stories; Stories using his principle of CARPE (Curiosity, Appreciation, Reflection, Perspectives and Experience); the chance to start building your stories; and the fourth part where Sam also has a successful blog where he shares his personal reflections and life moments at Sam’s blog posts is laden with a thoughtful question at the end of each.

As an accomplished compelling speaker and storyteller, Sam has delivered countless keynote speeches, created and presented numerous workshops on various topics and participated on many panels.  Sam’s pinnacle speeches were his TEDxSFU talk in 2011 and the launch of his new book in 2014.  His breadth of experience is extensive when one considers his dedicated involvement with the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Bid Committee, ICBC Road Safety, Leadership Vancouver and 30+ not for profits.  Over the last few years alone, Sam has mentored and coached hundreds of individuals who have gone on to have extraordinary lives.

He completed his Masters in Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter in England and has a double major in Business Administration and Political Science from SFU.  He also completed a nine month leadership program through Leadership Vancouver, has his Human Resources certificate from BCIT, and completed his adult education designation with the Vancouver Community College. In 2011, the Leaders of Tomorrow organization selected him as the Mentor of the Year.

What Sam brings is the ability to build an organization from within and to have an extensive outreach externally.  He believes in what he does and pursues it with passion.  He consistently strives to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary and his journey is documented at . His favourite saying and what he lives by: “Everyone’s life is an autobiography, but you have to make yours worth reading!”

Sam has met people from all walks of life and it is likely that you will receive a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle from him if you meet him. To date, he has shared over 2,000 pieces since 2013 and his story is this: “If we meet and I give you a single piece of my jigsaw puzzle, materially, there is nothing one can do with one piece.  It is just one piece.  Now, think of it symbolically, by me giving you a piece of my puzzle, I cannot complete my puzzle because it is incomplete without you.  You are now connected to me.  It is the reminder of the connectedness we all share.  You are now part of my life and puzzle.”    This is an example of how Sam takes something ordinary like a single puzzle piece and has made it extraordinary by including the recipient into his life.

“We live in the ordinary but imbedded in the ordinary are extraordinary experiences.”