I remember it fondly, though at the time it was a bit of a thing. I was in my final grade of high school and the annual oratorical contest was looming. My English teacher Mr. Murray was lamenting: “there is no one in senior year signed up to speak. How was that possible, all of this talent in this senior year and no one has come forward”? Then our eyes locked, he was looking right at me. In my head, I thought, how hard can it be, I write a 2-minute speech and I deliver it, and I knew he was looking at me, and so, I volunteered, not really knowing what to expect.
Fast forward to the night before the contest – I do not have a topic, I have nothing written on my page, and I am sick, like that kind of sick where you really shouldn’t be in the presence of other people. Yes, it was the next day and my procrastination was staring me in the face, and did I mention? I WAS SICK! A timely call from a good friend, my complaining – what did I get myself into and what am I going to talk about? His sage advice, talk about something you know, something you’ve experienced, something that comes from the heart.
The next day, there I am on stage, waiting my turn, representing my entire grade, in front of the whole school and competing against Susan (yes, her real name) the winner from previous years, a year younger, ready to win again. I speak last, and I’m sitting there with a box of tissues on my lap, Halls cough drops and that look – I was sick. My turn, a final blow of my nose and I start……Sniff, I have a cold and I feel terrible. That was my opening line. The rest of the speech kind of fell out of my mouth, I was authentic, I was honest, I was funny, parts were really funny, and I was relatable. I took my current experience, and turned it into a kind of monologue on the process of being sick. I even had to blow my nose during! I WON! (Yes the picture is me, receiving the trophy from Mr. Murray)
Why am I telling you? I feel like I have Mr. Murray’s stare burning into me, or maybe it is Rachel Hollis, or Michaela Alexis – JUST APPLY is running around in my head.
I’ve been working with my Start Today journal (Rachel Hollis). I start with Gratitude and next a section where I spill my dreams daily, like they have already happened. The goal is to keep you focused and committed to what is important to you. I’ve written time and again – My TED Talk was amazing! Every day since January – My TED Talk was amazing.
I also use Buddha Doodles http://www.buddhadoodles.com as a daily inspiration for me, a fun way to help keep me grounded. Today I pull the card that says: “Dive in and explore your Heart’s calling.”
I meditate and I journal, plan my day. With coffee in hand I jump on LinkedIN. The very first post in my feed – Ted Talk application deadline is April 30 – Algonquin College location.
I have spoken in front of hundreds of people, I have facilitated workshops for 500+. I facilitated an interactive leadership course through video conferencing, a first for me and the organization. I have even done webinars developing leaders around the world from my dining room table, and I have never done a TED Talk. I watch them all the time. I’ve been asked why I haven’t done one yet by my well-meaning network and today – like some divine intervention, there are all of these messages pointing me to apply, to leap and trust and just apply.
As we travel our journey, pay attention to the signs, some are subtle, some are obvious and some feel like someone is grabbing you by your collar and giving you a shake. Pay attention and trust them. I’m learning the signs are never wrong.
So here I go, I am taking the leap, taking the chance and will apply this week – how hard can it be? First, however, I need to figure out my topic!
Thanks for spending your time with me today and I hope you choose to have your best day!