There are three mistakes one could make along the road to their destiny, not starting, not finishing, and not paying attention.
Shhhh, pay attention! How many times have you heard that over the years? When you were a child, maybe your mom with a firm, stern look on her face, retorted it to you in church after catching you fidgeting during the sermon or maybe your high school teacher said it during a school assembly because you were whispering to your friend throughout the program. It’s a simple command that demands a reaction. Shhhh, pay attention! It makes you stop whatever you’re doing; talking, moving and listen. Shhhh, pay attention! Yet, this simple act, if deliberately practiced, could keep you from missing a valuable lesson, exit or turn along the journey of your life.
Years ago a friend tried to introduce me to Toastmasters. She said she was a member of an organization that could help me with my speaking. After I got over the shock of what I thought I heard her say, which was “you don’t know how to talk.” I realized that she was trying to help. However, why she thought I needed help with my speaking and why I welcomed the idea of getting help with my speaking were two different things. She would always tell me that she thought I had a very interesting voice, that I could probably have a great career as a speaker if I learned what she called the “art of speaking”.
She would go on and on every day during lunch about my voice and how it sounds and how I could easily be a radio host. Like I said, her reason why I should visit a Toastmasters meeting and my reason were two different things. I had just switched jobs and was brought on at the new company as an Account Executive in sales. As far as I was concerned, forget what she was talking about, I needed to learn how to speak comfortably so I could carry out the functions of my new job, which was to sell bus advertising. And, in order to do that, I needed to give sales presentations without my tongue sticking to the roof of my mouth.
I went to a meeting with her and for the most part, it was ok. I mean, I was looking for immediate tips on how to deliver my presentation and bring in the cash, I had an important sales call the following week and frankly, I didn’t see myself learning how to give a presentation from “table topics”. Needless to say, I never went back.
Of course, this didn’t sit well with her; she thought I was missing my chance at becoming a professional speaker. However, what my friend didn’t know was that I always admired motivational speakers such as Les Brown or Zig Zigler and I at one time, dreamt of one day possibly doing the same. I read their books and tried to see Les Brown whenever he was in town. But, that was a dream and at that time, being a public speaker wasn’t a reality for me, making a sale however, needed to be.
Shhh, Pay Attention
Today, I’m no longer in sales, not because I couldn’t master my presentation skill, on the contrary, what I came to realize was I didn’t like selling. Although I successfully and sometimes nervously made it through several presentations, I decided to resign; I was unhappy in the position. One day, I remember asking myself that famous question, “what am I here for, this can’t be it?”
Years later, the strangest things started to happen. I was asked to MC a church program, I was asked to speak at a Women’s Conference and my voice is also one of many voices featured reading scriptures on an inspirational CD for a prayer circle. And although these were not “big” deals, I found that I enjoyed doing them and would have done them for free. Talk about not paying attention, my friend saw something I couldn’t see because I was focused on making money. Now, I’m in pursuit of mastering “The Art of Speaking”.
Valerie Burton noted Author, Life Coach and radio host wrote in her best seller “Listen to your life”, “Your unique path in life is not a mystery. If you take specific steps to listen, you will be guided directly to it.” in her book she teaches that your life speaks and as you listen and pay attention to what your life is saying, little things will start to happen to help you reach your destiny.
Since my friends attempt to get me to see the “big picture”, I’ve started paying attention. I’m finally listening to my life and I’m excited about where this journey is taking me. I wonder if I had paid attention to my friend years ago, if I would be that great motivational speaker which I aspired to be!
Shhhh, pay attention!
Until next time, here’s to Living Life with Purpose on Purpose!
Stay tuned for the release of The Journey Back to You.
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