Last week, I found out that a former coworker and fellow toastmaster had passed away after a battle with cancer. It has been about a year and a half since I lost saw her at the Summer Toastmaster Leadership Institute for our local district. I had just completed a training seminar when she told me the news. I said the typical awkward things you say to someone after they tell you some bad news. That would be the last time I saw her. It was also around the time I took a break from toastmasters. I’d gotten involved in too many clubs and felt burned out.
For the past few weeks, before finding out about her passing away, I had thought about contacting her and joining a local toastmasters club again. Then I found out the news in a Toastmasters email.
This event has me thinking about generosity, specifically the generosity of my former coworker. She had a big impact on my public speaking. One of the most important impacts she made was simply being a person to give good constructive feedback on my speeches. If you’ve ever found this person you know it is so valuable. To find someone that cares about your improvement, who takes an interest, and isn’t hurtful when you’re at your most vulnerable. This is why I’m writing about my former coworker today but what made her a special person is that she had done this exact same thing for hundreds of people.
She impacted the lives of hundreds of people. That’s what helping others does. When you positively impact someone’s life, they don’t forget. They care and they’re sad when you’re gone.
See how it makes you feel.
That’s my goal going forward. For the rest of the year, I’m going start reading all the books I always talked about reading. I’m not going to read what I think I should read. The rest of this year is about reading what I need to read.
I’m starting with, Walden, by Thoreau. A book I’ve talked about reading for years. I’ve tried and failed multiple times. This is the year I do it.
Photo Credit: Amazon
I want to experience things that will make me laugh, make me cry, make me happy, make me scared, make me nervous, make me sad, and make me angry.
I want to read, write, listen, watch, and talk about things that give me the whole range of emotions. I want to stretch myself. I want to cringe. I want to stare in awe. I want to fall in love. I want to get angry. I want to cry.
I don’t want to stay in my safe and sound bubble being ignorant to what is happening outside of my four walls. It’s okay to agree with people but if you find yourself never disagreeing with anything, or anyone, your reading, writing, listening, or watching then you need to find some new resources.
Go stretch your emotions. Go get a second opinion.
Many people complain about not having enough time. I was, am, one of those people. I’d wonder how I was going to achieve the things I want in life. I acted like I worked hard but was I really putting in the work that was necessary.
After my kids would go to sleep, I’d spend those two to three hours either watching an episode of the latest TV show or mindlessly scrolling for social media. Trying to work on the couch with the TV on in front of me has proven useless. I do one of two things, either I just watch TV and get no work accomplished or I end up falling asleep on the couch.
That’s why I moved my nightly work to the kitchen. It’s going to be pretty hard to fall asleep in these uncomfortable wooden chairs. If I’m going to fail then I’d rather do it without any excuses. My goal is to start working on my goals after my kids go to bed until about 11, or 12, on Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday will be my days to hangout with my wife and catch up on the tv shows or movies that I’ve been meaning to watch.
If I’m about to stick with this goal, then I’ll be able to complete between 12 and 17 hours a week towards achieving my goals. It’s definitely worth a try to see what I can accomplish.
Photo Credit: Alvimann
Go watch the Super Bowl with someone you care about. I don’t necessarily care about the game.
Instead I’m going to focus on being present with the people I love. Watch the commercials which are usually the best part of the Super Bowl anyway. Talk about the commercials. Talk about what’s going on in their lives.
Today’s not just about the game. Laugh at the commercials, eat some good food, and have some good conversation with your family and friends.
That’s what I’ll be doing today.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday.
Day 1: Wake up and write.
Day 2: Wake up and write.
Day 365: Wake up and write. Celebrate your achievement.
Day 1: Wake up and write.