[Toastmasters] Simply Inspired – Dana LaMon

Bread masters

Random Observation/Comment #266: If you think of speeches as a series of personal stories to support an inspirational idea, the organization and the delivery becomes much more fluent.  In fact, the best way to practice being a good public speaker is to talk more within your groups of friends.  Use the Toastmasters techniques of voice inflection, hand gestures, and eye contact to show your excitement about the story. It will help you become a more effective communicator all around.

Dana LaMon: A blind man with a Yale mathematics degree, BAR in California, 5 published books, 4 children, and a 1992 World Champion of Public Speaker – now that’s a nice introduction.  His two speeches, “The Four E’s of Excellence” and “Driving Forward” are absolutely inspirational.  It was definitely the best part of the Toastmaster’s Fall Conference.  Every word he said opened a different part of your mind and heart.  It has made me rethink my own life and actually cleared up something I have been trying to say for the past year with these blogs – it’s about the distinction between desires and goals.

When I wrote my 30 day challenge blogs, I scratched the surface of why these challenges are important to me.  To summarize, I said that these challenges help me complete larger goals (e.g. new year’s resolutions) by setting smaller ones that stretch your comfort zone and help you see tangible results so you’re motivated to continue to the next goal.  What I forgot to distinguish in my hypothesis is what Dana got perfectly right about desires and goals.

A goal is a measurable outcome you strive to achieve.  For example, I have set the goal to finish my book by the end of the year.  However, as time passes, I may not complete this goal and I will need to readjust it in accordance to changes in any number of circumstances (be it time, people, environment, or other events). Re-evaluating goals are perfectly reasonable as they are influenced by many other factors.

A desire is not a goal. A desire may be reached by achieving a goal or a series of goals, but the underlying reason for setting these desires will never change no matter the circumstances.  You may reprioritize some of the desires, but if you’re really just working towards an ideal for your life, you’re just changing the goals.  For example, the desire behind my book is to share my study abroad love story with others in similar situations so they could maybe find hope and strength in love.  No matter how much I procrastinate or finish other goals first, my desire will always be there.

So my analysis of the 30 day challenge has evolved.  The first step must be to figure out your desires and list them:

  1. I want to be a good son, brother, friend, partner, and contributor to this world
  2. I want to influence a community with a product, message, purpose, or even just a comment
  3. I want to be more productive with my time and finish more projects that I’ve started
  4. I want to be a more effective communicator through telling stories, speaking multiple languages, and conveying ideas/concepts concisely and with gusto
  5. I want to always be healthy and active
  6. I want to understand more about the world
  7. I want to slow down time in as many ways possible

After you have your desires, create a list of goals that will eventually fulfill your desire.  Pace it and keep it reasonable.  For example, the 60 push-ups in a row would fall under “I want to always be healthy and active.”  I think once you create your list of desires, life will seem less stressful.  Working for a paycheck may seem less important.  Sacrifices may seem more justifiable.

If you ever need inspiration, just think about, ironically, Dana’s vision.  It was really quite simple: He tried his best and he never gave up.  Win?

~See Lemons Inspired