Sunday, January 5, 2014

If at first you don't succeed...

It was 32 years ago that I had an "epic failure" in my debut a public speaker.  I was asked, along with another classmate of mine, to provide a chapel talk at our alma matter regarding our experiences as youth ministers.  My friend insisted we not use notes, and simply speak from the heart.

Well, as we got midway though the presentation, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with our unscripted presentation, and as I looked out on an audience of former coaches, professors and students I fainted.  The next thing I knew I saw a gathering of people hovering over me, wondering if I was okay.

One thought I learned in youth ministry training kept burning in the back of my mind throughout the presentation "Whenever you go unprepared, you never go along. Fear is your constant companion."

I've since made hundreds of presentations to groups large and small since that first dramatic entry into public speaking.  My current position with a food bank involves making daily presentations to groups, ranging up to 100, where not only do I provide information, I also ask for a financial donation.  Not an easy assignment!

The reason I share this reflection is to remind myself, and others, going into a New Year, that though we may have had some "epic failures" in the year gone by, we can learn from them, and be prepared for the next opportunity that comes along.  As any inventor or entrepreneur will tell us, we learn the most from our failures, about what doesn't work.  If we continue doing what didn't work in the past and expecting success we are likely to keep falling short of our goals.  So, if at first we don't succeed, regroup, prepare, and try, try, try again.

PS  If you would like to make a financial contribution to Second Harvest Heartland, a $5 gift can purchase food enough for 18 meals for people in need.

No comments:

Post a Comment