I recently attended the National Speakers Association Annual Convention. It is always a highlight of my own professional development quest and yearly “boost”. I see myself as a lifelong learner who can always find someone who is further along in my career and life path to teach me a great deal. For example, I had the pleasure of hearing the legendary Les Brown who rocked the house full of speakers; demonstrating not only the art of connecting with the audience and crafting a memorable speech, he also shared three thoughts on why people are failing today:
1. Most people don’t believe in themselves
2. They are influenced by negative information
3. They are in a new world and need a new mindset
Les’s presentation resonated with me because I share his philosophy. I believe that the solution to these three problems lies in getting to the essence of what rings true for you. Once you focus on what is within your control and you resolve to channel your energy in that direction, life becomes easier and more joyful. Business decisions become less complex when the focus is more about responding rather than reacting to economic forces over which you have no control. You can disseminate information and then decide on your own truth. However, the degree to which you are able to differentiate yourself from the opinions of others will determine how easily you are able to make up your own mind about your current reality. A multitude of forces can sway you in a particular direction…either positive or negative. This is true for individuals as well as businesses of every description. The proliferation of media; both on- line and in traditional formats, are vying for your attention at an unprecedented rate. Therefore, the ability to discern fact from fiction, genuineness from phoniness, substance from fiction is not as easy as it used to be. In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the fictional character Polonius said: “This above all: To thine own self be true.”
Consider the life path of Kyle Maynard. Kyle is an extraordinary 25 year old motivational speaker who was born with a condition known as congenital amputation that has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees. When many thought he was crazy, he learned how to become a wrestler and mix martial arts champion; excelling at both. Kyle also shared his powerful message at the convention, delivering insights on dealing with his own self-doubt and the many occasions when he chose not to buy into the negative opinions of others.
Here is what I learned from Kyle:
1. Put your mind to work and everything is possible
2. Negative thoughts are at the core of self-limiting beliefs
3. You have the power to formulate your own attitudes and transform your current reality
The answer to this burning question: “How well do you know yourself?” can lead you to a new world and a new reality. It may require a radical rearrangement of your current way of thinking. It may mean letting go of assumptions that are no longer serving you. It may necessitate separating yourself from all the negative influencers in order to create different outcomes personally and professionally. One thing I know for certain is that the exploration is a worthy endeavor.