Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Price Too High.

What is that one thing that you would give anything for?
10 days ago I received an email advertising a seminar that would be delivered by the 2005 Toastmaster's World Champion of Public Speaking, Lance Miller. The event was scheduled for 7pm on Friday, February 24th in Deland, FL, 240 miles from my home in Tallahassee FL.

Going to this event would mean taking time off from work, leaving immediately after running a speech contest that day, traveling 8 hours and arriving back at 1 am, and waking up at 8 am to go and teach at a church gathering the next morning.

So how much thought did I have to put into this before deciding whether I would commit to going to the seminar? None, at all!!! I had put the thought into it a long time ago. If I ever had the opportunity to go and meet a World Champion Speaker live, I would take it in a heartbeat.

What type of sacrifice would you not even flinch at making? What is it that you would stay up all night to complete? What have you already set your mind to do since a long time ago? We each have something that we will suffer for.

It was a pleasure to hear Lance Miller share about his success and failures at speaking; however, it was quite apropos that he spoke about passion as suffering.

Whenever Lance is not making a connection with his audience, he is making a flight connection for his next engagement. He'll speak in three different major cities in one day on many occasions. However, Lance calls this suffering his passion, and quite frankly his pleasure.

"Life is lived awake." Lance commanded to the captive audience of 80 people. "I've never remembered a good night's sleep."

He emphasized that we don't remember times of convenience. What we do remember are the moments where we pushed ourselves beyond our assumed limits and accomplish great feats.

I want to speak to improve the lives of individuals. I don't want to deliver speeches, I want to deliver people. That is the passion that burns deeps inside- I've already made the commitment of a Passionate Pursuit of this mission.

The question I pose you is what is yours? What is that one thing that you would give anything for?

Lance embodies what is means to be a public speaker.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

House of Mirrors

Two young highly attractive college women enter an italian restaurant to meet over lunch (One a brunette and the other a red head).  After sitting down and facing one another, both simultaneously breathe a sigh to release the frustrations of the day.  The brunette, who is highly self conscious, brushes her nose just in case she might have had anything in her nostrils.
Her friend, thinking this was a sign to rub something off her own nose, quickly rubs her nose to wipe it away. The brunette interpreted the red head's action as a sign that she indeed had something in her nose which was still there; so she takes another rub at her nose.  Well, the red head made the same assumption that the brunette's gesture was indicating that she needed to take another stab at rubbing her nose. 

You can imagine that this went on for a little while until both decided to go in the bathroom and take a look in the mirror.

This may sound funny, but boy is it ever a reality of life.  I call it the house of mirror effect.  If you've ever been in a house of mirrors you would know that it's hard to deciper the real source from its reflections.

In the story above each of the women thought they were reading a genuine prompt from the other.  What they did not realize was that these 'prompts' were nothing more than a reflection from the signals that each was giving off.

Have you ever thought someone did not like you, based on some presuppisition, be it true or not?  Did that cause you to treat that person with indifference?  Perhaps this person responded to your indifference with their own indifference towards you.  And then, you conclude, "Aha!  I knew it!  That person does not like me."

We are like mirrors, we merely reflect images from signals we receive.  The source of these signals vary, but primarily we experience them from other peoples body language & energy, our own thoughts, what we see on T.V., spiritual beliefs, preconceived ideas and feelings, a vision, etc.,

Notice how hard it is to not smile when someone smiles at you or contrary not to look offended if someone scoffs at you.  We work like mirrors merely reflecting images that we see.

Knowing people operate like this can help us in our Passionate Pursuit to creating a better life.  Smile more around the people who seem grumpy; if you want people to show you favor, show them favor; if you'd like respect, show respect.  Others will gladly reflect back to you the image that you potray.

You might be asking "well, if one is grumpy and the other is joyous who will reflect the other?"  The fact is each will inevitably make an impact on the other.  However, in examples like these, you can assume that each person is reflecting an image other than their immediate physical surroundings.  Perhaps the grumpy one is still meditating on a fight with their spouse earier that day.  The joyous one is probably meditating on the elated look of someone they just surprised.

I say whoever's mental image is clearer will be less impacted than the other, for they will continue to reflect that mental image they see; however they both will end up reverting back to the mental image they initially carried.  That is how powerful mental images are.  They last much longer than the temporary changes in our external environment.

Knowing this, if you want to have greater control on the image you give you off, and be able impact people with them you need to:

1) spend lots of time focusing on changing your thoughts to give off the image you desire to be reflected back.

2)  hang around more people who will give off the image and energy you desire to have and emit.

Lastly, when people consistently treat you in a certain way (be it good or bad), check to see what signals you may be giving off in your beahvior.  If it is not what you would like to get back, find ways to change the image you are emitting.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No Offers On Signing Day?

Signing Day is a thrill! It's the wedding day, where the pursued (college athletes) get to put their stamp of approval on one of the schools which was courting their talents for the last year (or 4 years, and for some top blue chips, since they were in middle school) .

Though the days taken off from school for a college visit, countless personal cards from recruiting offices, and nationwide media press can be both flattering and exhausting; there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted. Anywhere from 3 to 5 offers are extended to a typical athlete on signing day.

However, there are many prep athletes who spend signing day with no offers to contemplate. Such was my experience back in 1996 as a high school senior (except an offer to walk-on the USF football team on their inaugural year of having a football team). No one was scouting me, so I made a decision to pioneer a path to the school where I always wanted to play football; I chose to walk-on the FSU football team.

There is a vast difference between the experiences of receiving promises from recruiters soliciting your commitment to their program and having to make cold calls begging for a no-guarantee opportunity to walk on with a university; you might not even get repetition at practice.

Deep within us all is that desire to be pursued as top prep athletes are during this season of their life. However, that is not what life presents to most of us. We have to go looking for job ads, we go searching on, and we beg friends to like us on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

The reality of life is that if we want to wear that dream jersey, our journey will involve more of a walk-on path than that of a recruited scholarship athlete.

If you want to start your own business you're going to need to seek out the prospective investors, you'll have to offer free written articles to the local newspaper to earn your spot on a column, you'll have to swallow your pride and call that girl (and be a gentleman about it) if you feel you're meant to be together.

The gripping tension within us all is that we know exactly what we want but we're waiting for someone to make us an offer. We may even have our three to five options but none is exactly the true desire of our hearts.

What do we do in this situation? Do we limit ourselves to what is presented, or can we remain committed to what we really want and create a path to get there when that is warranted?

I saw many recruited athletes during my college years meander through four years at FSU and hardly played a down. Some even left to go somewhere else. But for me, is was a PASSIONATE PURSUIT to make my dream happen that helped me to become a team captain of the '2000 defending national championship FSU football team.

Offer or none, Pursue your Passion!