“If I’m not growing, I am slowly declining. If I’m not experiencing new things, meeting new people, I’m not learning new things.”
Danyal Diallo is not the normal guest featured on The Culture of Things (TCoT) Podcast. At 19 years of age, he doesn’t have the level of experience in his space that you, as listeners, have come to expect on the show. What he does have is youthful energy, initiative and self-confidence; someone who doesn’t appear to be scared of anything. Brendan was drawn to this emerging leader because he saw a young man who is putting himself out there absolutely determined to grow the greatness within himself. During this episode we are going to hear where that trigger came from.
When Danyal was three years old living in Sudan, he was pushed off a building by his cousin. They were playing around a construction site and thought it would be fun racing to the top. She came second and pushed him off the building. He fell onto his right side and went into a coma. Luckily for Danyal he didn’t land on his neck, but the doctor told him that he wasn’t going to walk again.
His family rallied together to collect enough funds to continue Danyal’s medical treatment, which resulted in him walking again, but he has had to live with a limp ever since. “That’s the trigger for me, I guess. That adventure, sometimes things, but going through that process as well, he says.”
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The next hurdle Danyal had to overcome was being bullied because of his limp. So, from the ages of three to 14 he used the easiest coping mechanism he could think of and that was to distance himself from everybody and everything, as this is what came naturally. It wasn’t until Danyal realised that he didn’t want to stay like this that he was able to start breaking down the wall he had built. The catalyst was just speaking to himself.
This was the start of Danyal’s journey of constantly challenging himself as he believes that if he is not growing, he is slowly declining and if he is not experiencing new things and meeting new people, he is not learning new things.
At 16 years of age, he started a business and developed his public speaking skills to become a platinum speaker. Danyal was invited to do a TEDx presentation which was titled Breaking the Stereotypes, has been a youth leader and mentor for African youth and has now moved from Melbourne to Canberra to take up an opportunity to work within the government sector. His purpose is to help out the community while being invested into the arts. Danyal has also taken up the challenge of being a stand-up comedian because one of his goals is to not just be a master of public speaking, but a master of the subsections of it.
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During Danyal’s journey he has had the privilege of working with many great mentors and during today’s conversation shares some life changing quotes that have helped him along the way of growing the greatness within such as ‘you become what you think about’. Danyal uses a great analogy about making lasagne to explain the process of opening your mind to possibilities as he says, “I could tell you right now and I could speak to you right now about goal setting, the steps to do it and stuff like that, but I think that comes secondary. The important thing is to really listen to the voices in our heads.”
The complete interview can be listened to here, on audio platforms, or watched here, on The Culture of Things (TCoT) YouTube channel.