I had a, shall we say, spirited and frank exchange of views with a work colleague last week. At first the learning was all in the topic under discussion, but as I thought about it all later (ie: after I’d chewed the conversation back and forth for a few hours, the image of a cow with cud springs weirdly to mind..) I recognised three main lessons I learned from it, far beyond the actual exchange. The first was the limitations my negative self-talk puts on me and the second was how much I’ve learned through being a member of Toastmasters International. The third is my subject for today – what I’m passionate about. This is actually a big realisation for me because (and this is particularly true when I’m in the midst of a bout of depression) I have found it hard to think of anything, other than my children, that I was particularly passionate about. It’s hard to risk caring that much when you’ve been battered, at least that’s been my perspective in the past.
I’m passionate about helping people reach their potential.
Does that sound egotistical? Whimsical? Spurious? Trivial? It’s a bit of a policy statement, in a way: [insert party title here] – helping you reach your potential. It sounds like a tag line for an advertisment for soap or something.
I don’t care. I’m passionate about helping people reach their potential.
There. I said it again. Does saying it make it true? I don’t know, but in the words of the amazing Kate Bush, saying it could even make it happen.
I love Toastmasters because it’s a supportive learning environment where, in its best form, people are free to experiment, make mistakes and grow. I love being a teacher, and my best results happen when my classroom is a place where my learners feel safe, supported, free to experiment, make mistakes and grow. I have looked into two opportunities for teaching language and communication skills to the under 3s because I want everyone to have the opportunities available to my children, to have no roadblocks in the way of becoming exactly what they dream of being. I don’t want them to be blocked by lack of self-confidence, lack of money, an inability to communicate effectively. Children dream of being an airline pilot or a ballerina or a diplomat and it is my wish that none of us should ever grow out of our dreams.
That’s my passion. Dare to dream, dare to try, dare to succeed.
Hell. Now I have to go out and do it.
Look, do as I say, not as I do, okay? 😉