The Genesis of Awakening
This was the title of my final Toastmasters Speech. The 10th Speech from the Competent Communication Manual. For those who are not familiar with Toastmasters this project – Inspire Your Audience – challenges the speaker to draw all their skills together to deliver a powerful inspirational message.
It has been 2 years and 10 months since I joined Toastmasters. I can vividly remember the first day I stepped into my very first Toastmasters Club. I was like a lost and troubled lion who felt like a sheep but after that first night my awakening began because that night I was empowered to peer into the cave that I had always feared to enter. It was Joseph Campbell who said “The Cave You Fear to Enter Holds the Treasure You Seek”
On the day that I stepped into the Toastmasters Club, a guy from China was presenting his own 10th speech. He began his speech by talking about his Toastmasters journey and experience. Because English was not his first language he had to first convert, in his mind, his sentences from Chinese to English before saying it in English, not only that he was also very shy and felt very uncomfortable when he gave his speech.
When I heard the comment made by the guy, what came to my mind was that it was not true, this guy must be telling a lie because looking at him on the stage, I saw only confidence oozing out from him and I could not connect this person to what he said he was previously. It seemed utterly impossible to me but when I looked around I saw the audience nodding their head in agreement and confirming that what he said was true. Mesmerized, as I watched him; my mind was racing 1000km per hour because I was thinking that this guy was talking about my situation and right before my eyes I could see the transformation that had taken place in his life.
Like a bolt of lightning I felt that my case was not sealed in stone. You see all these years I had thought I was meant to be a shy and introverted person…who ran away from every opportunity that required expressing himself in the public. That day the cloak of the sheep fell off my shoulders! I came to realize that whatever it was…was just in my imagination. Let me illustrate this with a challenge.
Imagine for a Moment
I want you to imagine that right here I have a big glass jug; placed on an imaginary table. The big glass jug has a very narrow neck and its a solid 1-inch glass. Inside this glass jug is a live goose. Now we have a very narrow necked, big glass jug, 1-inch thick, with a big live goose inside.
The challenge is, how can you get the goose out of that jug without breaking the jug, or harming the goose? You can’t pull the goose through the top because the neck is too narrow and it will harm the goose. It’s solid on the bottom; you can’t get the goose out the bottom. How can you get the goose out of the jug without harming the goose or breaking the jug?
Were you able to get the goose out? Did you struggle? I’ll tell how to get him out. You imagine him out of the jug. That’s how you got him in there in the first place.
That story represents my life; all this period believing a lie that I could not speak in the public or that I cannot express myself in a place where focus would be upon me was all imaginary. That’s the invisible boundary that some of us unconsciously hold on to. By joining the Toastmasters Club with the supportive environment and practicing I began to imagine myself out of this imaginary cage.
But the journey continues as Alvin Toffler said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”
For me I have to unlearn certain old traits and relearn some new traits. One trait is talking too fast which I now understand is because of being self-conscious, I now catch myself and pace my speech and talk slowly and clearly.
So, question for you my reader is – what imaginary limitations might you be holding onto? What lie are your telling yourself, is your dream locked up in an imaginary glass jug that looks so real to you? Begin to imagine yourself out of it and in due time you will be free to live to your true potential.
To your freedom.
P.S. Want support in discovering and building your dreams?
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