Best Laid Plans

August 15-19, JMT Live Event!  I’m so excited.  I have gone through the 90 day prep course and many many videos dealing with professional speaking and am ready and anxious to get started at the certification event in Orlando!  I have been informed that I have a gift, a strength in connecting and teaching.  I want to show people how to lead, how to develop their talents, and how to connect with people to bring them along too.  The problem is, I’m 61, and I have had 0 influence on anyone so far.  I have taught countless students in music, all sorts of academic subjects, ballet, and finance and in interacting with them since they’ve grown up and/or moved on, I can see that nothing I taught them made any difference.

I have studied leadership, learning theory, philosophy, character, Christian beliefs, non-Christian beliefs, psychology and people all my life.  I’d like to think I’ve picked up some wisdom along the way, and that I’ve passed some of this wisdom on to my students, my colleagues, my friends, even my enemies.  I haven’t.  I am in Toastmasters so that I can effectively communicate, and have achieved Distinguished Toastmaster designation, and have served as an Area Governor, a Division Director and the District Treasurer.  I didn’t have any impact on the people that I associated with in any of the clubs I joined or in any of the offices I served in.  I was introduced to John Maxwell as a member of Primerica.  We studied his books and his and Jim Rohn’s business philosophy and leadership as a matter of course.  I saw that John Maxwell had a Speaker Certification course where members of his John Maxwell Team (JMT) went out and gave seminars and keynote speeches, and mastermind classes dealing with leadership and communication.  Maybe if I got certified and was doing things like that, I’d have some influence.  I wanted to bring value into my community, my business, my world.  I wanted to make a difference.

Why is this so important to me?  Death.  Several of the my friends have suffered the death of loved ones, and just recently, my younger brother died.  I have heard eulogies about the influence and the impact these people have had during their lives.  This one changed an industry.  That one started a charity.  This one changed the way people teach music in 4 states.  This one was instrumental on the development of the rocket that got people to the moon.  I went on line to view what people said about my brother.  “He was a great mentor!”  “He was so funny and such a great teacher!”  “He always played straight with you, you knew where you stood with him.”  “He was such an amazing musician!”  OK, I knew he was a great musician, he’d been playing drums since age 3, and trash cans and tables and chairs and big sisters before that.  There are pages and pages of people singing his praises.  My Mom and Dad were the same way.  100’s of people were affected by what and how they taught.  All these people experienced life altering changes because of what my folks did.  I wanted to leave ripples like this.  I fear that the only thing people will say on learning of my death is, “What is that weird noise?  Oh!  It’s silence!”

So I spent the money and got into the program so I could go to this Live Event and start as a paid speaker to encourage, to teach and to lead people into a better version of themselves than they could have imagined.  I got within sight of the registration desk at the event, and was knocked over by a revolving door, breaking my hip.  I missed the whole event spending my time instead in the hospital for an operation and recovery.  The only influence was the door, and my only impact was a small crater in the marble floor.

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