Friday, March 4, 2011

Take That First Step - Open That Door!!

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever had an opportunity knock on your door?

Have you taken the time to answer it?

In life, we have many opportunities to do things. Some things can make us successful, while others will allow us to fail. There are also those opportunities that we decide to take a pass on. I have taken passes on opportunities that have me wondering what could have been. Fortunately, there are those opportunities that I had the chance to take advantage of. The following story I have for you is a great example on how an accepting an opportunity is a great thing!!

As I was sitting on my desk at my Clark Kent job, I heard my cell phone ring. It was from a Division Governor in Lancaster, California. He had some questions about who he should select as a keynote speaker for his Toastmaster Leadership Institute (or TLI) function. This is a very important event because it allows officers from different clubs to get effective training for their officer roles. In our District, we have six TLIs that take place – one in the Las Vegas Valley and five in California. My response to this Division Governor’s question is to pick someone that you know will be an attractive draw to your TLI event. In my mind, I remembered past District Governors, World Champions of Public Speaking, and other important Toastmasters giving great keynote speeches for these events.

All of a sudden, he asked if I would like to give the keynote speech for his TLI event. The look on my face when he asked me that was priceless. At first, I did not know what to say. I was shocked!! It was my first ever opportunity to give a keynote speech at this type of event. I could have thought of many excuses why I could not do this, but from my mouth I said yes. When I agreed to step up and give this presentation in Lancaster, I wondered what the heck I was thinking. I am not one of those past District Governors or World Champions of Public Speaking. All I can be is Mr. I-I-I. I could have backed out and said that I was unable to do this, but I made a decision and decided to stick with it.

I thought of a few ideas on what to say, but decided to “take that first step” and give a message that was relevant to this type of training. After going over my presentation, I drove to Lancaster where I met the Division Governor and his wife. We stopped at a Toastmasters club, ate dinner, and had a great discussion about clubs, our lives, and my book “Greetings Happy People.” This was one of the first times where I was amazed that someone actually read my book and loved it. As they dropped me off at the hotel, the Division Governor gave me a gratitude rock. Whenever I hold on to this black rock, I would think of something to be grateful about. I still have that rock to this day!! Thanks David!!

The morning of the TLI arrived and I was getting ready to go to the event. With the keynote presentation on my mind, I kept holding on to the gratitude rock feeling grateful for this opportunity I was about to undertake. When I got there, I saw many happy people from at this event. They came from Lancaster, Palmdale, Ridgecrest, Bakersfield, and Bishop!! At the beginning of the event, I gave my keynote on how important it is to “take that first step” when it comes to achieving your goals. At the end of the presentation, I felt grateful. I felt even happier when the Division Governor gave me a container of strawberries!! Throughout that TLI event, other presenters were using my theme and we all had a great time!!

As I drove back to Las Vegas, I felt 300% awesome!! I felt awesome about saying yes. I felt awesome about taking that first step into something new. Heck!! I felt awesome that I was able to hold on to that gratitude rock and feel grateful that I did what I did!! This could be the start of something amazing!!

That opportunity knocked on my door and I answered it. What will happen when an opportunity knocks on your door? Will you turn it away? Will you start having second thoughts? Or will you simply take the first step and open that door?

The decision is up to you!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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