(Written by Nikhil Rao)
Rajveer took a brown stone, and threw it as far as he could in a lake near by surrounded by a wide range of thick forest. Immediately, he looked for another stone and threw that stone in the same direction.
So what did he wish for? To have the second stone reach farther than the first or do you think he kept a goal at a point, (nothing in specific to being far or closer to him) and then he gave it a shot? Wait, or is it that he just threw it because he got another stone in his hand?
For you all you know, people like Rajveer and many of us are just throwing stones simply because it’s available.
Rajveer, an IIM grad had a vision like a lion has on its prey. Focused, sharp and considers taking one step at a time. But what helped Rajveer become who he is today?
Rajveer, a small town boy next to Kapu, believed in succeeding in everything that he stepped into. But he gave up almost every second attempt he jumped into. He wanted to be a cricket, he gave up. He got into engineering, but gave up on his studies towards achieving the goal medal, and so much so, he changed his career path almost 10 times. For him, every failure allowed him to change and experiment.
Rajveer had too many opportunities in life. And that was his biggest predicament to failure and not failure itself.
We live in a privileged world, society, and to so called, our family. He get all what we want and the choices we have are more than anybody could actually imagine.
Today, decision making capability for people is difficult just like Rajveer. So much so, people don’t want to make those decisions right either after making it because the alternatives are in abundance.
If not one stone, you have plenty on the ground to chose and throw with or without direction.
Our journey in toastmasters is similar. And for some, a smaller or bigger Rajveer is within you.
Rajveer’s mentor states these lines to him even today, “You need to design your journey of life and not run it as a default.” And it couldn’t have been better at every milestone of my life too.
We all achieve milestones and every milestone deserves celebration and realignment of that vision of where we are and what we ought to achieve.
So how does it fill our bill in the toastmasters context? Let me answer some important questions that people have asked me over the last decade.
Is it okay to have a vision and not work upon it?
- I see many Toastmaster friends who join and only observe as participants but don’t take part to either speak or nominate themselves in programs and opportunities. It’s okay to do so as it’s their journey. The bigger question is, “when will you take that leap of faith” and “dive” in the race where you are your only competitor? Remember, it’s your journey. Rajveer took that leap of faith and made his decision right.
Being proactive and reactive. What’s important?
- Well, you got to be proactive in advancing towards your mentors, VPE and let them know your learning journey. You need to take time to build a plan and help your mentor help you to stick to it. Proactive in learning comes with curiosity and a zeal to do well. What’s the intensity do you come with for every meeting or live your life with? Increase it with a purpose.
- Reactive, should be ideally when you’re called upon for table topics. Joke apart, the very word reactive speaks about compiling your active state from the past. Which means, you have to prep up for every occasion. It’s even for table topics before you take the stage. Better you prep from a proactive standpoint, better you are in a situation when you’re put in to react to it.
So in a nut shell, reactive helps only when you’re proactive. Don’t give excuse to your life. Give direction.
Lastly, what’s that one tip that I would like to share with you, if you been in the system for few years, or have just joined the club or let’s say about to join?
- Take chances and Learn to fail more.
I say this because it’s only when you build on your failures, you develop the strength to succeed. Yes, you read it right. You need strength to handle success, to become a better public speaker, a leader or to do anything that you aspire to.
So Rajveer, had a vision and made some decisions. He took those decision and made them stronger by being proactive and working hard. And lastly, he took a chance and failed umpteen times.
So which part of Rajveer are you associating yourself with? Is it you or some of him is in some of you? It’s okay to throw stones for a while and see which one works for you. Don’t keep throwing it and don’t get thrown around either.
Pause. Reflect. And start now. The clock is ticking. Your time starts.