Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Indomitable? Indubitably! - 22 January

After what was a really lovely December holiday for most of us, the schools started again in mid-January. Our first meeting after that was amazing! Not only did we have a bumper turnout of 28 Algoa members, but we also had no fewer than 5 visitors. If things carry on in this fashion for the rest of the year, we are in for a treat.

I found myself looking at the range of experience represented in the programme; from Natalie van Aardt, who was doing her Icebreaker speech, and Anna Heydenrych, who delivered a very competent CC2 ( Organise your Speech) on Food; to Nicholas Mitchell, who provided us all with food for thought in his motivational AC29 speech from the Professional Speaker manual. In between there was also Deborah Stephenson (CC6 – Vocal variety) and Mimi Makupula (AC6 – also from the Professional Speaker manual).

When I left the meeting I was filled with admiration – for the indomitable spirit of man (or should I say people?). Every person at that meeting came there from a job; from a family; from their own commitments. Every person there decided that evening that they would forgo something else in order to be there. While I do not know all of your circumstances, I do know that for many of you being there would have meant sacrifice – either on your part or on the part of members of your family.

Every person there had chosen at some stage to invest in themselves. Whether it was once again a New Year’s resolution of the kind we are wont to make every January; or whether it was a conscious decision once again to continue along the road to success; every person was at that meeting out of a sense of needing to change.

I really want to applaud you in that. I know how difficult it can be at times to commit to preparing speeches and to fulfilling roles when your work and personal obligations already take up so much time. Let this serve as encouragement to you to follow this sometimes testing path, so that you can realise your dreams.

If you would like some help in achieving your Toastmasters goals, I have two suggestions: the first has to do with SummerCon, a training session which will take place in Grahamstown on Saturday 16 February. It will be run by our District President, David Preece, and promises to be both informative and entertaining. Lunch afterwards will take the form of a bring-and-share picnic and will most likely take place in the Botanical gardens. If you are keen to attend, please contact Denise Pudney at dpudney@hinet.co.za or any other member of the Algoa Executive.

The other method is less dramatic, but no less effective. I was reminded of it by Mimi Makupula in her motivational speech. It has to do with setting SMART goals. In order to achieve success in any venture, your goal setting should be Specific; Measureable; Attainable; Realistic and Timely. For some more information on this, have a look at http://topachievement.com/smart.html .
In the meantime, believe in your indomitable spirit. We were not created to fail. Or, as Bill Cosby once put it,

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”

Until next time

Ricky Woods

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