Break Down That Wall
As a 13 year Toastmaster ( World wide organization that teaches public speaking to adults ). Toastmasters has taught me the importance of learning the art of presenting, as a speaker and a teacher.
Recently I picked up this interesting little book 'The Art of Being Unmistakable" the author Srinivas Rao, writes:
"The future belongs to the misfits?
Perhaps it always has.
It seems fitting that I'm writing this at Burning Man, a strange and alternative pop-up city that had to venture into the middle of nowhere - an ancient lakebed in the Nevada desert, known as playa - to bring itself into being near the end of every August.
Each time I come here, to this world of portapotties, alkaline dust storms, sweltering days, freezing nights, and no Starbucks - I swear to myself, this is the last freaking time. And yet there's a point when something in me shifts over and I know I will return. How could I not? "Welcome home," Burners say as we reunite with each other on the playa, and it's true. Even if you've never been here before, the playa calls you home."
In the last line, on page 130 of 'The Art of Being Unmistakable", the author says" It's the opportunity for a performance where you leave your heart on the stage."
What does the author mean?
So you've have read this powerful little book, it is everything you ever thought about? It is the commonsense stuff your mother said, or your 4th grade teacher, said?
Then you think about leaving your heart on the big stage; everyone has their idea of what their big stage is. What about the art of being unmistakable? How do you get there?
Each week when I enter the classrooms for 1.5 hr sessions, I see the " opportunity for that performance, in those children " They have that chance to be unmistakable.
When you're running that 26.2 mile marathon, at 16 miles you hit the wall and the lactic acid builds in your legs. You think to yourself, a water stop! You walk, your legs burn, and you want to quit. You down some Gatorade, grab some cookies (sugar, sugar) you want to quit, your legs say quit your brain says you trained and trained, it says no quitting! The big stage is only 10.2 miles away, eke! People along the way see and feel your pain, they know, because some have experienced the big stage, they feel your pain. Some know about the big stage....it can change your life.
Soon you will arrive at the big stage and it's just like returning to the playa. It even has portapotties, this stage may have a Starbucks! Your body is so tired, but you have forgotten about the pain! You have arrived - when you get it, it's so powerful!
Don't we all hit the wall? Do you wonder what Albert Einstein's parents thought when at 9 years old his teacher said he would never amount to anything? Do you wonder what he thought? What if that was your child? What if it was you who wanted to break down the wall? We know Albert Einstein's story, but how about the next kid, he may not have a 150+ IQ, he may not be smarter then those who put up the wall?
When Ronald Reagan said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" was it a different wall, not really, but in reality it's the same wall that separates people from freedom.
Who builds the walls? It could be you, me, educators, government, bosses or the kids in the school yard. What if the wall was just in your mind? Do you think Albert Einstein cared about the wall? Why do people keep returning to the palya, maybe because they find some answers. How to climb the wall? How to get to the big stage?
My mission Youth Speaking to America, is about breaking down walls. It's about giving students the chance to become someone. So exactly what is the big stage? Is it inventing the iphone, scoring the touchdown that wins the Iron-bowl, or telling the world about The Theory of Relativity? You decide.
Youth Speaking to America is about teaching how to open young minds not to ever believe that person who says you can't do that, you're not smart enough. Remember if teaching children there is no wall, like Walt Disney said " if you can dream it, you can do it" you can.
Everyone can reach the big stage. Your stage may be American Idol, teaching children, breaking down barriers like Nelson Mandela, building Amazon like ( Jeff Bezos ), or just being a good parent by teaching values. Remember you don't have to be rich, just be real!
Personally, I don't remember being told this stuff. I did things the hard way, because I lacked the education. The one thing I tell all the students, if you work hard, and be on time, someone will notice. But if you build your own wall ( no education ) it's so much harder, I would know!
Every child deserves a head start; a head start to become a confident speaker and leader, or even be the exception like 10 year old intellect Dalton Sherman's, keynote speech
So many will just never know unless you introduce them to a program like Youth Speaking to America.
Toolbox; is a metaphor for the mind