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.
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
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.
Wish me luck!