Members of Park City Toastmasters are a unique bunch – in the BEST possible way! While we all share a desire to better our public speaking abilities, we have dramatically different reasons for doing so. Some of us are pitching companies to investors, others are pitching ideas to colleagues, and some are running for public office. Regardless of our motivations, there is one practice that can boost the benefits of our Toastmasters experience – Defining Success.
Studies show that having a Purpose for your actions (e.g. Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’) can dramatically improve your effectiveness, but sometimes Purpose is hard to apply to the smaller activities in life. I have learned through years of trial and error, that Defining Success can be an effective practice for reaching goals, both long-term (e.g. top of my field) and short-term (e.g. a 5-minute Toastmaster speech). My Purpose for joining Toastmasters was to be the best public speaker possible, so naturally one might assume that winning a Toastmaster speech contest would Define Success for me. However, thinking about my Purpose to be the best, hindered my ability to compete against more talented members of our club. So, my short-term Definition of Success became merely to sign up and compete – and believe me it wasn’t easy. In the weeks leading up to the contest I spent more time trying to come up with plausible excuses NOT to compete, than I did preparing my speech. When the speech contest arrived and I came in dead last – I was thrilled, because the mere act of competing was MY personal Definition of Success.
In today’s conflict driven world, Defining Success for yourself can be the difference between stress and happiness. When backing down is consistent with your Definition Success you can open yourself to new win-win opportunities that promote Success for all. Success works: define it and go for it!