I feel safe in venturing that few, if any, of us wake up each morning with the singular goal of, “Gee, what stupid things can I do today and still live to tell about it?” Yet, we manage to do more stupid than brilliant things without really trying. The fact that we are not aware of our own propensity for stupidity may be more of a curse than a blessing. The fortunate end of this is that most often the stupid things we do are little things which, when taken individually, have little or no effect on our life each day. Yet day after day we still do the stupid without regard to the cumulative effect it has on our lives as a whole. While some consider doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result to be a definition of insanity, I like to think of it a dose of good ole homegrown stupidity. This type of behavior will eventually call into question the foundation of Respect we have for yourself.
Like most of you, I am mourning the "official" end of summer. So much potential for relaxation seemed to turn on the currents of urgency. Life, death, joy, and recovery were all part of "a summer to remember." And now, "It's back to work!"
I am looking forward to a return to something that is both routine and productive. Oddly, both of these things are a necessary part of work. Without routine, work tends to be haphazard, unstructured and quite possibly counterproductive. Without productivity, work is aimless, unaccountable and unquantifiable therefore rendering it meaningless and valueless. Work without value is like treading water, it may keep your head above water, but you are not making any progress. Even, a Labor of Love.
One of the great joys of speaking may be found in that moment when something you say inspires or motivates your audience. There are two ways you can make this happen.
The first is through sharing deeply profound insights that clear the cobwebs from your audience’s mind, allowing them to see clearly through to an outcome you envision.
The second is through the telling of inspiring and motivating stories.
If you take option number 2, you should tell stories of audacity to inspire and tenacity to motivate. When you tell these stories, they will have greater impact on your listeners if they have you as the hero.
The urge to take to the stage without first determining the content and value of what you will say once you get there often proves to be a harsh reality, best experienced in solitude rather than in public.
The awkwardness of wanting something without assessing what you may need to acquire to obtain it is a dilemma I regularly find aspiring speakers struggling to overcome.
To get from where you are (the desire to speak) to where you need to be (having something worthwhile to say that is both deeply profound and well developed) is akin to choosing a destination and then figuring out how you will actually get there.
For every worthwhile destination, you must be willing to embrace the journey to get there.
Can you imagine walking into a meeting with a major client and instead of beginning your presentation you pause and say the following, “You may not believe this, but my dog ate my thumb drive and I will not be able to make my presentation today.”
I trust you cannot imagine yourself actually saying anything like this, but I have been in large public forums where I have heard speakers basically say something similar. I have also been in classrooms where students have offered the modern-day equivalent of “my dog ate my homework”. You know the one. It gets used a lot in business too. Can you guess it?
OK, I’ll relieve your befuddlement. Tell me if you’ve ever heard this famous excuse in place of actual performance, “My hard drive crashed.”
This leaves me wondering, why is it so easy for people to make excuses for their shortfalls and so hard instead for them to offer a reason for the outcome?
Do you know what the difference is between an Excuse and a Reason?
Read on and I’ll explain.
Once upon a time there was an idea that struck a very eager entrepreneur as the basis for the creation of an amazing enterprise. As time passed, this visionary’s dream began to generate amazing products and services that not only changed the world, but the way the people who used these great products and services began to see themselves. One user of this company’s fantastic, revolutionary, and cutting-edge technology transformed itself overnight into a dynamic, global leader in people to people commercial exchange and a paragon of social action and responsibility.