Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Big Brother

Many people across the UK will be glued to their TV screens tonight (30.05.07) as we see the launch of yet another series of Big Brother. Everyone will be waiting to see if anybody they know has got in to the show as people are plucked from obscurity and thrust in to the limelight to spend time in a house in front of millions of TV viewers.

The argument with reality TV shows like Big Brother that I like to ask is this: Is the show more about the TV company using people to get good viewing ratings or about the contestants using the show to get famous? I think it is a bit of both which is a very dangerous mixture as it means you have people that are willing to do anything to get famous and a show that is willing to exploit that hunger for fame at any opportunity.

I personally commend anybody that goes on that show as you have to be very brave to give up your job, your friends, your family, your privacy and your life for the time that you are in the house. If you are willing to sacrifice all of this for fame then you are a truly motivated person. The problem comes when people think they are strong enough to deal with anything that comes their way as a result of the show get out of the house and back in to reality to find that they can’t cope with it. If you win the show or are able to get enough notoriety to be offered work after the show then you may see it as a sacrifice that was worth making but what happens to the people who don’t. For the ones that don’t it then becomes very hard for them to find work as everyone knows them as so and so off Big Brother and no run of the mill companies will employ them.

I think if you can go in the house and beat the producers at their own game by making a future for yourself out of it without becoming one of the top hated people in the country then you have achieved something great. The only problem is that now with producers trying anything to create controversy no matter what game plan you go in with its going to be very hard to achieve those things and not be a pawn in their game.

The show is really a test of who the strongest people and showing how strong you are. If you can survive being watched twenty four hours a day with people that have been put in the house with you deliberately to clash with you and with situations that have been created to cause controversy, without if affecting the way you behave and the way you act then you have a very strong character.

I think Channel 4 or the production company need to do more for the contestants in the way of support as well as counselling before and after the show as for the time they are on the show they are just used as pawns to create ratings and there is only so long you can do that for or only so hard you can push someone before one day something very terrible is going to happen on reality TV as they continue to play a dangerous game of “top this” with every series trying to do something more controversial than the next. There has to one day come a point where you can’t go any further.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


Right about now up and down the country many school college and university students will be either sweating to get their essays and dissertations in by deadline or they will be sweating on the results of work they have already handed in which could have an impact on their future. The question many people have asked over the years is how many students have actually sweated and worked hard and how many have used unethical means, plagiarism or have brought essays from the Internet.

The Internet has been a great tool for education and the advancement of information. The Internet has impacted the way we learn on all levels from how information is presented and how it can be accessed. Gone are the days when if you were ill you had to have work sent home now you can go online and do your homework and coursework online with the aid of audio, videos and online tests.

On the contrasting side the internet making information more easily available has meant that young people up and down the country with little or no effort have been able to stumble across essays and extracts and have given in to the temptation of copying the information and passing it off as their own so they can go out with their mates or watch TV. With the level of cheating going on the teachers haven’t been able to cope and many students have been getting marks for work which was not theirs.

This week search engine Google have made a stance against this by banning adverts for essay writing services on their search engine which is a huge step in the battle to combat plagiarism and the using of other peoples work on the internet.

Young people may think that if they get away with it then it doesn’t cause a problem but the far reaching and long term effects is where the real danger lies. Unfortunately in life there are no short cuts and when you leave school when times get hard you have to be ready to graft to keep a roof over your head, to pay the bills and in time support a family. By letting young people get away with cheating we are not giving them the right building blocks that they need for their development.

The big problem with cheating is that if you cheat say on your University Dissertation and you then decide to get a job in the field of your study they will expect you to have the knowledge and the skills equivalent to your grade. With graduate jobs companies expect you to have that high level of knowledge and expertise as the job demands it and you will soon be found out if you don’t possess these. A good University grade may help you get a job but if you haven’t done all the work you needed to do to earn that grade you are not going to keep that job for long and a CV which has you moving jobs every month or so does not look good to future employers.

I understand that there is a lot of pressure put on young people today to succeed with this pressure only getting more intense but if you can show the strength to deal with this and not be swayed in to cheating it will set you up for life. If you are struggling ask for help it takes a great inner strength to admit your own failings and you will only feel stronger because of the experience. Just remember that nothing is impossible or to hard to overcome you just have to put yur mind to it and have the dedication to see it through.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Eurovision Song Contest

Did you join the ten million people in the UK who watched the yearly phenomenon that is the Eurovision Song contest? Again the competition was filled with unusual costumes, routines and presenting but most importantly an array of talented young people. All of this was of course coupled with a vote which was based more on geography, history and politics than the talent they actually saw on screen.

In a fair and just world it would be the most talented act that would win every time but the voting you see on the programme represents the state of the world, where it's not always the best people that win or get the best rewards. The world would be a great and easy place if it was always the most talented and deserving people that finished first all the time but that doesn't mean that talent and belief can't get you to where you need to be in the world.

No matter how fair or unfair the world is no one will ever know if they are the most talented person in their field or industry. The pop act that are number one in the charts are the act that have sold the most singles or downloads that week. The world’s fastest sprinter is only the world’s fastest sprinter because someone was there with a stop watch and recorded it he didn’t beat everyone in his division in a race. To add to this you have to think about the people who haven't got recording contracts or haven't competed in an athletic event as there are many people with amazing talents who either don't get the breaks at the right time or pursued their talent. Then there are the people who have talents that they don't know about.

After reading that you may be feeling a bit of doom and gloom but to be armed with this information is a positive thing as by knowing these facts you should start pushing harder not just to be better than the people you are in competition with but to have your own personal competition to keep bettering yourself and to not stop. You should always be looking for new challenges and not stay in the box in which you or your industry has been defined.

Going back to the Eurovision there has been a lot of press this week saying that countries should pull out of the competition because it is deemed not winnable. Now yes granted the competition isn't based on talent but it doesn't mean we should pull out of it. I think instead we should enter talented young acts that need experience of working in front of a crowd or being on TV. UK's entry Scooch may have come back home with an appalling point score but they have gained the experience of performing at the competition, been seen by millions around the world, are now featured on a Eurovision CD and DVD and have had major press attention in the UK. Before the Eurovision it may have been Scooch who but they now have a platform to do even greater things from.

Even if you think you have no chance of winning a competition or you think that the competition is not winnable you shouldn't not enter. The entering of the competition and the experience of competing is what we gain from it. A lot of the time we learn more from losing than winning. If you feel like you can't win then start competing with yourself and pushing yourself to give the best performance you can and to learn as much from the experience as possible.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Known Talent

Following hot off the heels of the “Unknown Talent” series of blogs this week we have decided to turn our attention to talented young people who are already gaining wide attention for their achievements.

This week one of the top youngsters bagging all the headlines in the UK has to be Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. Say what you want about some of his actions and behaviour on and off the pitch but last weekend this precocious twenty two year old showed what a talented young person can do if given the chance as he played an important part in their win over Manchester City which proved to be the decisive victory as his side Manchester United clinched the Premier League title.

When talented young people are thrust in to the limelight because of their extraordinary skills they quickly find themselves under a lot of pressure with legions of fans and legions of people that take a dislike to them. On top of this they are immediately cast as role models for the youth of today. Some young people can deal with this and have the maturity and character to handle all the aspects that go along with the life they have been given because of their skills but some young people only have their skills and don’t have the ability to deal with the other aspects.

If the talent or dream you want to pursue is going to see you thrust in to the limelight you have to not only worry about your skills being up to scratch you have to make sure you are ready to deal with life in the limelight. I know the limelight is something which is really hard to prepare for because until you have lived that life you can never fully appreciate what you are getting yourself in for. Their have been many talented people who have had the talent to compete and perform at the highest levels but haven’t had the personal skills to deal with the pressure or the lifestyle so if you have an amazing talent make sure you are ready not to throw it away.

Now going back to the issue of young people being role models. Many young people find it hard to be role models as whilst they are asking to be role models they are still developing and exploring their own character and their lifestyle so I think it is very hard to ask every talented young person to be a positive role model but we as a world need as many as we can get. I’m not saying don’t look up to other talented young people or not to be inspired or to have heroes but remember just because you appreciate the talent they have it doesn’t mean you have to live the lifestyle or act just like them. Use their abilities to inspire you, to learn from and to drive you but remember when you make it, it’s going to be your job to inspire the youth of today and tomorrow.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Unknown Talent 2

Now last week in the blog I talked about young talented people who have already achieved great things or have unbelievable talents but haven’t been noticed or got the attention that they deserved. This blog I want to talk about the talents that people have which are unknown to even themselves.

As no one person on this earth has enough time to try everything there is in the world many people live their lives without knowing what hidden talents they possess and I’m not talking about superhuman hidden powers like the X-Men or Spiderman. This is why I really feel strongly about young people challenging themselves and trying their hands at as many different things as possible.

When I was young the school I went to were always arranging trips to go and do things like bowling, ice skating, skiing and a whole manner of things which I wouldn’t have probably done if it hadn’t been for school arranging the trips. When we went on these trips most of the time no one in the group had done the activity before but there was always one that picked it up first or was better than everyone else.

It would then annoy me when the said person who was good didn’t then pursue the activity or try a few more times to see if it was for them. I always remember thinking to myself I wish I could bowl a strike like him or I wish I could skate like her. Some youngsters would love for things like that to come naturally to them but to see people who could actually do it not caring really use to get me wound up.

So my message to everyone reading is try as many things you can and if you find yourself doing well at something to begin with then investigate pursuing it. Even if you are not sure it is always great to have another talent or skill under your hat. If you don’t find something coming naturally but you like the activity don’t panic the people that can pick things up naturally are in the minority and you can be just as good or even better than you peers with a bit of practise and a lot of determination.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"