Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Power of Just One Goal

Did I tell you I have re-joined Toastmasters?

I had joined a club in my previous company in 2006. I gave my first two speeches within a month. My audience totally loved me. After the first one, I was ecstatic. After the second one, I thought if I am so good already, why do I need to do this? I switched jobs after my second speech, and never joined the new one until 3 weeks ago. I went back because I wanted to finish all such initiatives that I started with a lot of enthusiasm, but quit halfway out of boredom.

I am glad I went back. I am having a lot of fun. The various topics under discussion really stir up the brain cells that have settled down lately to think only about work and home. It is definitely good for the brain, the confidence, the variety of thoughts, the challenge!

I attended the area level International Speech Contest hosted by my club today.
The title of this post is the title of the winning speech at the contest.

The power of just one goal!

It was about the speaker's sister: mother of 10, grandmother of 24, who decided one fine day that she wanted to start running! She wanted to run everyday. That is it. Just run, no other goal related to time or distance. After she did it for a month, she decided to run every single day for a year! Once she achieved that, she wanted to run a marathon. She took a year preparing for it, and won the first marathon she ran! She participated in marathons all over the country, and one day decided that she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. No mean feat this one! Yes, of course, she did it!

It started with one small goal of wanting to run. Nowhere in the picture was the Boston Marathon! Yet, that is where it led!

The speech got me thinking about the way I dealt with personal projects. They all start with lofty dreams. I have dreamt of being a fashion designer, a writer, a social worker, a singer, a dancer, a winner of this very speech contest where I was among the audience! While I had more than the basic talent needed for all these things, I never understood the power of humble beginnings! I just wanted to be at the top while I was still eyeing the bottom rung. While I had a flair for a wide variety of things, I never understood the importance of focusing on just one of them at a time! My head was always full of more ideas than I had the time and energy for. The result was that I achieved nothing significant! The result was anxiety and a sense of helplessness that there is so much that I can do, yet nothing that I am actually doing!

What a revelation that speech was! I started thinking about all that I wanted to do, why I wanted to do it, how it fit into the bigger picture of my life. Thoughts churned, and I started to see things more clearly. I was able to categorize tasks into must-do, can-do, and einhhh…why bother!

The things that bubbled up to the top were:
• Social work
• Writing
• Speaking

The more thought I put into this, the more I realized that they can all be connected!
I now have just one goal of my own that I feel really good about.

Present a speech promoting charity work within one month!

Wish me luck!


--xh-- said...

wish you all the luck - concentrate on the goal, you can easily do it.

Aathira said...

Wow.... I can never get myself to give a speech :(

Cinderella. said...

There are times when I wonder what the hell am I doing with my life ? Just sitting there vegetating it away. Nothing constructive actualy happens even when there are a million things I wanna do. And there are times when I am simple lazy to actually move by butt and do it. Sometimes I just am clueless as to what the hell am I doing with my life !!

Wishing you all the luck in the world !

Ria said...

All the best!!and i really like the variety of things that u keep doing to keep urself busy and occupied. Its amazing and that story was so so inspiring.

~ ॐ ~ said...

Good luck and very nicely presented !!!

definitely a take away !!

DeeplyDip said...

great post aneri masi and more power to you...

Chikki said...

Inspiring!!..'Focus'..I think I need it too..Need to concentrate on one goal at a time.
Running, I think is more of a mental task than a physical one, Even I ran for a couple of months, then I stopped. I guess I should start it again.

aneri_masi said...

@xh, thank you!

@athira, I thought so too. I needed to do presentations in my previous job, and sucked big time. The boss suggested toastmasters, and I realized that with enough preparation, I could do an amazing job! Give it a try if you like. Nahi to its no big deal :)

aneri_masi said...

@Ella, exactly my thoughts! Lets see how this one thing at a time works out for me! And thank you sweetie :)

@Ria, that is the point that you are missing. I just dabble into sooooo many things, that I do not focus on any of them, and don't give it enough justice. Need to tie down the wandering mind and do one thing at a time! The story, yes! The presentation, bigger yes! The guy was too good.

aneri_masi said...

@prashant, thank you :) Am so glad you liked the write-up. It is one of the things I am consciously working on...writing better, instead of just dumping it all out and posting with no editing at all!

@deeplyDip, thank you so much!

aneri_masi said...

@chikki, the amazing thing about her is that she was really OLD. This was after her 10 kids and 24 grandkids phase. She had to see podiatrists and chiropractors before she could run even 1 mile at a time. It was both mental and physical for her. She did it!

Did you stop running because you did not like it? Just curious. I would never take it up. I hate running!

Anonymous said...

I love toastmasters.
I did 5 speeches and held 2 positions (u need to do that too to get the CC certification) and then changed jobs :-(
I have 4 of my speeches on my blog and the 5th one was a children's story for voice modulation. Would love to see your speeches because I was all out of ideas after the 5th one.

Chikki said...

Hmm..No I did not stop running because I did not like it. I don't think there's much to "like" in running.
The outcome is amazing, you feel fresh whole day, you stay in shape, your stamina increases, blood circulation increases. I was running considering all this in mind.

Its more of a mental task because you really need strong motivation to get up early in the morning (Because of work life, and Singapore's temperature, that is the only time when you can run) and then do something which will not give you pleasure while doing it ( allthough, it does later throughout the day and will give pleasure later in life).

I really plan to start running from this Monday again.This is something I don't want to avoid. I did it for 3 months almost and my capacity had also increased ( I started running 3kms non-stop as opposed to 2kms that I used to run in the beginning).

Infact I really recommend running to everyone including you, atleast a Jog. You won't believe people here run so much more than me, even the old and kids, they run atleast 5-6 kms :-( ). They are very health conscious and I am totally impressed.

Sakshi said...

Wow gal at least you have managed to come up with one goal for the time being and me still have a mind that runs with 100 thoughts while doing the dishes and it goes down the drain with the water. I would love to see the speech you gave coz am sure u did a great job there....keep moving and you will reach there and try pushing me along the way will u?? all the best..

aneri_masi said...

@TnD, I have only done two speeches so far, the ones in my previous club. I have the second one here:

I thought we need 10 speeches to get the certification? no? I read your's, very nice :)

Am really hoping to get this third one down this month!

aneri_masi said...

@chikki, its the same thing here. People are more health conscious in general.

And about running...oh there definitely is some thing like "not liking it". I did try it, but I just hated it so much that all the benefits i might get out of it were totally nullified because, well, i hated to do it!

Did you start again yet?

aneri_masi said...

@sakshi, haven't even written it down yet :( I think I need break the goal down a finish the writing part within this week, then prepare in one more week, and present it after that.

I completely agree about the million thoughts racing around all the time. Its hard to keep track of them, and even harder to decide what to do since there are so many different options at any given time :(

Chikki said...


Like I told you, I will do it from 'Monday' and I did start it from Monday. I have decided to run in the gym itself instead of going to tracks. The idea of 'Gyming' is more motivating.:-), plus I get to do weights, so yea!!
I don't think I am very weak mentally. I do have a strong will, allthough its not yet at the level I want it to be. I intend to remove all mental blockages and see only the end result though.
Also trying to develop 'persistence'. I do believe it can do wonders.

Hope I have motivated you.:-). So get up and start gyming. Start it at your own pace, but atleast start it.

aneri_masi said...

@chikki, ummm I do exercise everyday already. M-W-F at the gym, and T-T-S at home. Didn't need motivation in that dept at all :)

Chirag said...

Hey Great Debated :) incidentally I had written on the same topic a day ago!!

ceedy said...

Best of luck!

I put up a little post about the Project Why - hope it helps.

Yes - this is probably a right read at right time for me too.

And do put up the speech or record it for us.

aneri_masi said...

@chirag, yep, I read your post. Loved how simply you put such a nice thought :)

@ceedy, I read your post too, and am really thankful to you for that!

I started writing the speech today. We don't record speeches (although I do while see how I am doing, and timing etc) but will definitely post the content here. But of course :)

And do tell...why this post was so good for you right now (if you don't mind sharing, of course :)

Arv said...

wow gal... u know wat... we have been talking for a while now and i totally forgot that you blog too :O

am here now finally :)

aneri_masi said...

@arv, finally :)

I am said...

:) first of all - ALL THE BEST

and secondly am really happy to see this post..

and waiting to hear more.

the power of just one focus, :)

all the best..