Last November 13, 2021, I, together with fellow volunteers, was given a rare opportunity to virtually meet a Filipino-French chef, advocate, and content creator, Erwan Heussaff. He is an ambassador for MakeSense.
As a person who thrives in doing a lot of things, he shared with us his thoughts and insights about storytelling, content creation, sustainability, and managing his own time and energy.
On storytelling and content creation
Our storytelling nowadays is very much different from 10–20 years ago. In modern times, aside from having a solid introduction and figuring out the best way how to structure a story, it’s important that we understand how people can find the story.
There is so much useful information online that is buried and not seen by the people who will benefit from them. Hence, we must know the platforms used and the mentality of today’s readers.
Also, he added, “A great story starts on paper.” We need to write down first to know exactly where we’re going. Similar to Stephen Covey’s advice, “Begin with the end in mind.”
On managing his own time and energy
Understanding blocks of work is very important. We don’t need to do everything all at once.
This, by far, resonated with me the most as I struggle to juggle a lot of tasks, deliverables, and responsibilities, which sometimes I feel is self-sabotaging. His advice is a reminder to always take every opportunity one day at a time.
On being an advocate for sustainability
Everyone will have a different situation for us. We won’t be able to find the answer for everyone but what’s more important is letting people understand the why’s of things.
Changing other people’s behavior is one of the most challenging things that we need to face nowadays (especially with the upcoming 2022 elections in the Philippines). But, rather than forcing other people to change their behaviors and perspectives, maybe it’s more essential if they understand the reason for things.
On conversing with other people
Listening is paramount to anything. If you listen to other people, you’ll better understand them. Conversation happens when we seek to understand other people first.
This is also one of the important lessons from Dale Carnegie’s book entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, we need to be good listeners because only then can we understand and empathize with other people better.
On having legacy
In the end, he added that he does not believe in having a legacy, as long as his family remembers him. What’s more important for him is leaving lasting change in one’s path and being a part of something bigger than yourself.
This surprised me the most. For a long time, I aspire to leave a legacy so people would remember me even if I die. Just like Augustus Waters of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, I also fear oblivion. I might be too obsessed with the concept of leaving a mark on this world. Perhaps, rather than being obsessed with leaving a legacy, I should just enjoy the moment and do things that make us happy.