The guest speakers at the conference were all specialists in the speaking field, brilliant in their presentations and the central message communicated by many of them was "Its NOT about YOU". Most would agree with this message and certainly when you are addressing a room full of speakers it is valuable advice. It was stressed again and again that speakers are merely conduits (psst..I had to look that up as well, science is not one of my old loves) and they fall very flat very quickly if they place too much focus on themselves in place of their messages.
Most of us don't stand on stage in order to make our contributions to humanity and more often than not, no podium, speakers or special lighting is provided to assist us in sharing ourselves with the world. However, we all have as important messages to convey. Our role in the development and growth in our personal and professional world is critical and our impact is significant. My question is simply "How can we make a meaningful contribution if we have no idea of who we are?" There is a slight but significant difference to being too self aware and not being self aware enough. In order for you to be at all useful to anyone you need to uncover the real power of YOU and that may take some inward focus for a while. You are a 100% unique combination of your experiences and your strengths. No one else on this planet has those same combinations. There is so much value in you its breathtaking, but this only becomes a powerful and worthwhile contribution when you recognise your value and you work with it.
One of the best pieces of advise I have ever been given was "be careful what your intentions are because they will shine through far more clearly than you think". This statement is so true. You can use the nicest words, put the most pleasant expression on your face but if your intentions behind your facade are not good, you may as well have them written on your forehead, in red.
So this is my message. Recognise the value and power of YOU and use it generously and wisely. It is in how we share ourselves that our contributions become meaningful and useful. If you have a good sense of your value it is up to you to share that value selflessly. We all remember the teachers who had a significant impact on our early development. It was those teachers, who understood their value and their power, and used it with good intention, that made the most meaningful contributions to our development. We also all remember the teachers who didn't use their power with good intention and whose impact was as severe as it was damaging.
We are all teachers and we hold the power of our influence on others solely in the hands of our knowledge, our experience and our intentions.
My final sharing... It is in tough times that we learn the most and we grow the tallest. We are literally standing in fertile soil. (This is the polite way of saying exactly what you think I am saying).
Aren't these great times?
Sandy Geyer, Managing Consultant of Mind Action Mentors