Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What is your favorite excuse?

Since the theme of this year's Fall conference is "Set a New Standard", I have been thinking alot about what it means.

One area that we would benefit from"Setting A New Standard" is in the area of "excuses". We all have them and some of them even revolve around Toastmasters.

Who hasn't said...
"I can't give a speech tonight... I'm not prepared."

"I can't be a district officer/club officer / general evaluator / timer."

"I can't get my [fill in Toastmaster award here]. I don't have enough time."

"I can't go to the Fall conference. It is a long drive. It sounds like fun, but I don't know what I will get out of it. I don't know a lot of other Toastmasters and it is outside my comfort zone.

Wow, that's alot of CAN'T !

Now, how about this idea .... The York (PA) Daily Record reported recently about how the Emory H. Markle Intermediate School students held a mock funeral service Friday for the phrase “I can't.”
“We all have our 'I can'ts,'” sixth-grade teacher Carol Myers said to her class. “I have them, you have them.”

She shared a few of hers with the class: “I can't see without my glasses, I can't stop eating candy and I can't get my children to stop arguing about the computer.”

The class took a few moments and scribbled on note cards what they say they cannot do. One boy chewed pensively on his pencil eraser as he considered his shortcomings. Another tapped his fingers, finally jotting down a few sentences.

“I want you to think about this for yourself, because you are going to take ownership of your 'I can'ts,'” Myers said.

After all the "Can'ts" were written down, they were collected and dropped into a "casket" which was carried in a solemn procession to a spot outside the school and buried.

Principal Kevin Duckworth gave the eulogy.
“We are gathered here today to bid farewell to a dear friend,” Duckworth said. “Someone we've all known and grown to love whose companionship we will miss.” He acknowledged their
lives will never be the same without “I can't” to fall back on.

What a great concept! What if we all took a long hard look at our "Can'ts", the excuses that we use so often to add comfort to our daily lives, and simply threw away the ones that are holding us back.

You joined Toastmasters for a reason didn't you?
... to improve your speaking skills?
... to meet new people?
... to explore your leadership traits?

Have you gotten everything out of Toastmasters that you hoped you would when you joined? Have you let your favorite "can't" hold you back or stall your progress?

This Fall is time to "Set a New Standard". It is time to throw away and bury our favorite "Can'ts" and replace them with new ideas, new habits and new exciting opportunities.

Sign up now for the Fall Conference. Registration forms are available at www.district53toastmasters/conferences

"Excuses are totally fine if you want things to stay the way they are. However, excuses have no place on a journey to greatness."
- from Inspired: The Movie blog

No comments: