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Finding Peace and Purpose on Necker Island

Tonya Lanthier, RDH
Tonya Lanthier, RDH

Posted April 08, 2014

As I am on Necker Island to absorb as much as I can from Sir Richard Branson and several fellow entrepreneurs, the ideas are flying!

All the people on this journey instantly and spontaneously became new friends.  A few of us had come from a long way away:  Australia and Canada.  After getting acquainted, we were taken to our elegant bungalows.  We recharged and dressed for dinner.  The setting was the Tennis Pavilion, which was home to the Necker Cup Pro-Am tournament in November.  Rafael Nadal and Ana Ivanovic were there, so when they say “pro.” they mean pro!

You never know what you will learn and discover on this island.  Necker has a lemur breeding program.  One type of lemur is the one your kids saw in the movie and TV show “Madagascar.” The truth is, many lemurs are endangered species.  Just before we got here, one of the females had twins!  I will take that as a good sign, since I have twin girls!  That was a fun topic of dinner conversation.  We also discussed Dentistry and charities for great causes.

You could look at the grandeur and beauty around us and think Sir Richard’s legacy would be his wealth.   Sure, he is wealthy, but there is so much more to him.  He emphasizes that we must create something bigger than we are, and we should always give back, even if it is in small ways.  Sometimes, the small ways can be most meaningful.  It is all about making a real difference.  Ninety percent of us reach for pleasure first.  But what makes us truly happy is purpose.  Having purpose helps us stay grounded and be aware of those around us.  Then we are better prepared to give back and make a difference.  What a fabulous topic for a lovely evening.

This morning as I awoke, I felt a peaceful silence.  The volume slowly turned up so I could hear the palm trees saying good morning!  They were dancing together as if they were saying, “Wake up, darling!”  The beautiful birds chirped and sang with the blowing wind in perfect harmony through the palms.  I could now feel the full power of this island and how it heals. I search for words to express how amazing it makes you feel.  It truly felt like my surroundings were waking me softly and gently, coaxing me into a day filled with peace.

The morning started with a little friendly competition as we watched Sir Richard play giant chess with Crystal Veness, who is here from Canada.  The fantastic “Yoga Girl,” Andrea Brook, led a class on the same deck where the chess game was played.

Next we took small sail rafts over to nearby Mosquito Island for a picnic and snorkeling.  Just listening to all these entrepreneurs talk about their purpose and what they do to help others that makes them happy was so inspiring!  Sir Richard joined us and we spent the day talking about how we lead our businesses and the challenges we face.  He advised us to delegate often and “get out of the way.”   We should empower our teams and make them feel safe expressing their ideas.  Their skills and ways of thinking could expand our business (or dental practice!).

Once we made it back, we were delighted with a drop-in, literally, from Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google.  They kite surfed over from their boat.  We had kite surfing lessons ourselves, and later Sir Richard joined us again for tennis.

Ihor Lys, Color Kinetics Co-Founder, was so gracious to bring his new EXCITING line of LED clothing.  It made for fun and very colorful dinnertime dancing!!  We danced our way to the beach before heading back to our bungalows to rest up for whatever tomorrow brings.

I cannot wait to experience what happens next!!

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