The World is Starving for Community

Sarah Kathleen Peck | Bold Academy

Sarah Kathleen Peck visited The Bold Academy as a Mentor in July 2012 where she gave an inspiring presentation on storytelling. This post is a recap of the Bold Experience from the point of view of a Bold Mentor. Sarah is a passionate writer, empowering speaker, and a competitive swimmer. She’s currently raising $29,000 for Charity Water on her 29th birthday. If she reaches her goal, she’ll skinny dip from Alcatraz to San Francisco. How’s that for bold?

What was the most meaningful takeaway you had from Bold Academy?

I loved the raw authenticity of each person. Everyone was both incredibly talented and yet humble and honest about their struggles and current endeavors. I saw people who had built major businesses and ideas to fruition, and circled back on their next idea to start again. It reminded me that entrepreneurship, life design and creation aren’t one-time events. They aren’t things you can accomplish and check off of a list or a box. It’s a perpetual process, and the most talented people are those that keep getting back in the ring, keep creating, keep questioning, keep going. The people were curious and willing to put in the work to make their dreams possible. When you surround yourself with other talented people who have the will to make things happen, you realize that you’re not alone–and that there are hundreds of people who are willing to help you as much as you’re willing to help them. It’s incredible.

What drew you to the Bold Academy?

The people and the mission. There were tremendous people involved, and I was thrilled to be asked to present on something I’ve been learning a lot about – storytelling. We need to find better ways to express ourselves and communicate our stories to others. I got to teach a 2-hour workshop and then work one-on-one with a handful of people about their visions and future projects. Listening to the ideas, dreams, and plans of so many talented people was reinvigorating and inspiring for me– there’s so much I still want to do!

Why do you think it’s important that something like Bold Academy exists in the world today?

I think the world is craving–not craving, STARVING–for community and experiences that entangle humans together in the pursuit of high accomplishment. The corporate world is stifling creativity and isolating humans into silos of nonproductivity, and we’ve forgotten how to engage, encourage, and create with and for each other. We need places like the Bold Academy, but on a scale much larger than even what Bold has started. We need to figure out new ways to live and work that promote and encourage serendipity, surprise, chance encounters, and interactions among people. We can’t keep living in cubicles.

In some regards, we’re fed a strange promise by the systems we’ve set up: go to college–a place that people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on–and live for four years in a place that encourages community, learning, experimentation, reaction, creation, and a fully-fed life. Then, post-college we thrust all of these twenty-year olds into jobs where there aren’t cohorts or peers their age, where the job is often singular or in small teams, where the tasks aren’t challenging enough, and where we strip life of everything that keeps it balanced (health, activity, recreation, experimentation, and more). We need to find a way to fix this.

It’s ironic that we spend $100,000 on the best years of our lives and then struggle with the next 25 years trying to figure out how to get that back.

What is your best advice to people who feel “stuck” in life?

Try one new thing a day for 30 days. Give yourself a list of things to do, and experiment. It doesn’t seem like one change a day can make much of a difference, but over time, change happens quickly. One of my favorite quotes is “You can’t get that much done in a day, but you’d be surprised by how much you can get done in 30 days.”

Things are always changing. That’s the nature of humanity, of earth, of life. Give yourself permission to experiment, to change, and to know that if you take action now, your life could be different in a couple of months.


  • Sarah Kathleen Peck August 27, 2012 at 3:48 AM Reply

    Thanks so much, Amber + Nat and the Bold Academy team! I loved hanging out with you all and I can't wait to see what everyone does next.

  • Andy Stoll August 27, 2012 at 4:12 AM Reply

    Amen. "We need to figure out new ways to live and work that promote and encourage serendipity, surprise, chance encounters, and interactions among people. We can’t keep living in cubicles."

  • Pat Kulcsar February 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM Reply

    Just remember that everyone we meet if either better or worse off for having crossed our path. Be the skimmer stone skipping across the lake. Watch how it ripples out beyond what you see. We are also even minutely changed from every encounter.

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