”Getting the Most Out of Life”
There is a wonderful lesson to learn from having a Global Positioning System in the car or on your smart phone. When you activate the GPS it will login to find your current location. Based on your current location you choose or select from the guide where you would like to travel. Among some of your options are gas, entertainment, shopping, food, hotels, train, boats and planes. If you don’t see your desired choice you can enter “spell” then type in the name and it will search for the nearest location. After you have made your choice and hit the “GO” button a map will appear on the screen and the voice will give oral and visual commands as you travel to your destination. If by accident you didn’t follow the commands the voice will tell you that it is recalculating the directions and it will plot a new path based on your new location but the same destination. What if you had a built in GPS in your body and you could just type in what you wanted to be in life. Hit the go button and your road map was clear and when you were not working as hard as you should it would say “recalculating” and post a new time and distance for your arrival time.
In life we do not have a clear map with suggested roads and voice commands. If you want to be a future professor, scientist, thinker and engineer who will propel civilization forward you would take physics, chemistry, calculus and classic literature. If you’re having a hard time imagining what and where you would like to travel in life. Your GPS is blinking but the destination screen is blank, allow me to give you some traveling tips I’ve learned along the way.
Combine Skills. The first thing you should learn in a course on life is how to make yourself valuable. It’s unlikely that anyone can develop a world-class skill in one particular area. But it’s easy to learn how to do several different things fairly well. I succeeded as a professional speaker with some speaker talent, some basic writing skills and an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in education and the business world. The world has more eloquent speakers, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people than me. The rare part is that each of those modest skills has been collected in one person. That’s how I created value. “If you like to drink wine, learn how to make it.”
Fail Forward. If you’re taking risks, and you probably should, you can find yourself failing 90% of the time. The trick is to get paid while you’re doing the failing and to use the experience to gain skills that will be useful later. Marked by my standard I failed at many of my jobs and careers on the path to success. But you’d be surprised at how many of the skills I learned in those careers that can be applied to almost any field, including professional speaking. “Failure is a process, not an obstacle”.
Find the Action. Along the way to success get involved with sub-groups of the company. Find your peg and work with people with whom you have common goals and visions. Volunteer to join and work on committees related to your passion in life. “Leadership is like the game of life; A good seat should not interest you, if you came to play.”
Attract Luck. You can’t manage luck directly, but you can manage your career in a way that makes it easier for luck to find you. To succeed, first you must do something. And if that doesn’t work, which can be 90% of the time, do something else. “Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you; Go out to meet them.”
Conquer Fear. I did not take a class in public speaking in college and not one during my teaching days. I found that once you become relaxed in front of people, technique comes automatically. Over the years, I’ve given speeches to thousands of audiences and enjoyed every minute on stage. The point is that people can be trained to replace fear and shyness with enthusiasm. “Refuse to accept anything but the best from yourself; And very often, you’ll get it.”
Write Simply. I took English classes in colleges that taught how to write direct sentences and to avoid extra words. Simplicity makes ideas powerful. Your material should be like a woman’s dress; long enough to cover the topic and short enough to keep it interesting. “Excellence is never an accident.”
Learn Persuasion. Learn the art of persuasion in all its forms, including psychology, sales, marketing, negotiating, statistics and even design. Usually those skills are sprinkled across several disciplines. “Never let a-day-go by, without giving at least three people a compliment.”
About the Author:
Harvey Alston Considered one of the most dynamic, “high octane” speakers in America. Harvey Alston has been a full-time speaker since 1989. He has spoken to millions of people throughout the United States who have benefited not only from his knowledge, but also from the wisdom that Harvey Alston brings to the finish line.
Harvey Alston’s unforgettable words of individual responsibility for achievement have improved spirits, spurred growth, and changed lives. His powerful, soul-searching presentations uplift audiences to a higher standard, and to a level where they strive only for the best. Harvey Alston believes in solitary achievement, shared accomplishment and the dignity of human beings.
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