“Studies show that it takes 3 weeks to develop a habit, 6 months for it to become a part of your life and just 1 week to give up”. Every year people take New Year resolutions. Do you know how many stick to it? Only 1 in every 10 people stick to their new year resolutions.
Today, I’m going to share with you a technique which you can use to successfully achieve our goals… a technique that you can use to stick to your New Year resolutions… One Step at a time.
Reducing Weight Example
What do we do when we take New Year resolutions? Let us take for example, a simple resolution of losing your weight and staying fit. The moment we take a resolution like that … We set our alarm clock to ring at 4.30 a.m in the morning … We start with Yoga for 1 hour. Then you sign-up for a costly membership in a nearby gym. We go to gym for another 2 hours. You stop eating anything that an ordinary human being eats. You start taking only salad… or cut fruits for your meal. I’ve seen people carrying a huge tiffin carrier to work before their resolution… but they start to carry a small Tupperware box after taking resolution.
You’ll do this for a week and or may be a month and give up because it is practically unsustainable. Who in the world would find 2 hours every day for exercising – unless your full time job is to maintain your body like athletes. Who in the world can sacrifice their cravings to eat food like pizza, icecream and cakes? After the 2 weeks, you’ll start getting philosophical thoughts “Saro! What is the purpose of living in this world… Is it worth sacrificing your sleep … Is it worth sacrificing good food… At the end of the day, everyone is going to die… and may be, you’ll die faster… Is it all worth it?”.
When you try to climb up fast… you’ll give up fast.
Let me give you another example which is near and dear to all of us… Toastmasters. I’ve seen people joining Toastmasters wanting to be become DTM in 2 years… or Toastmasters wanting to master communication skills in just a year. They’ll start attending meetings of 4 clubs a week. Whenever they see a flyer that says “educational sessions”… they’ll be there. They participate in all contests. You can see them all over the place. And all of a sudden, they vanish. They delete their Facebook account… They stop responding back to emails… and they don’t even pick up calls from Toastmasters.
When you try to climb up fast… you’ll give up fast.
Saro’s story to become a Vegetarian
I have gone through the same set of challenges whenever I want to develop a new habit. I had tried to give up non vegetarian food several times in the past… but, failed miserably because I was trying to take “Too many steps at a time”.
It was the year 2001. I was young, charming and good looking … then. I got a chance to read the book “My experiments with Truth”, by Mahatma Gandhi. Immediately, I got inspired and wanted to become a pure vegetarian like Gandhi. However, I didn’t become a “pure vegetarian”, the next day. At first I stopped eating meat – I continued to have eggs & sea food. It went on for a year or so. Then I stopped eating eggs and sea food… but, I continued to have milk and other dairy products. Later, I stopped eating Pizzas, I stopped eating cake, I stopped eating curd and ice creams - I became a pure vegetarian (aka Vegan). It took me about 5 years to transition from a non-vegetarian to a pure-vegetarian. If I had tried to stop eating meat, eggs and Pizzas on day one, I would’ve soon given up my quest to become a Pure Vegetarian.
One step at a time… for results that last for a life time.
Fellow Toastmasters… Be it reducing your weight… be it starting your own business… be it getting a good girl friend or a boyfriend … Achieving your goal… or sticking to your new year resolutions… is like eating an orange. If you try to eat the entire orange in one go, you can’t… you may probably get choked to death. If you try to eat one slice at a time… you can finish eating it soon.
I encourage all of you to take … One step at a time… for results that last for a life time.
CC3 - Mitra - My little one (Get to the Point)
Speech Topic selection Ideas
I’m going to inspire you to find Inspirational speech ideas.
I know that’s a big promise but read along.
If someone asks me what gift would I like to have as a speaker, I would say, ‘The gift of ‘inspiring’ my audience’.
I get excited about writing and delivering inspiring speeches. Why? By your mere speech – you are influencing someone’s life? Think about it. It is powerful stuff.
Creating an inspiring speech, is one of the profound things you can do to yourself. You know what will happen? At least one person will be inspired after your speech. And that person will be YOU. You will be automatically following your message because you have created it. I cannot explain this in words but you have to feel the thrill and excitement when you create an inspiring speech.
Let us first understand the function of Inspirational Speeches. These are speeches that will:a) Help your audience reach their highest potential.b) Change the way your audience will think, feel or act.
Thought Process for Selecting the Topic:
When do you get inspired? That is a very important question to ask. Don’t you get inspired when you ‘feel’ a speech? Why is it going to be different for your audience? And when would they ‘feel’ your speech? Don’t think that you don’t have content because you created a revolution, lead a nation through freedom struggle, or save a dying person. Someone said – if you reached adulthood, you would have more stories than you ever thought.
Practical Techniques to Select the Topic:
My mentor Jerry Aiyathurai gave me an advice. He asked me, to write down three surprises of my life and write down what I learnt from them. When I did, BING – I got an idea that led to another and I formed an inspiring speech for a speech contest. It took a lot of iterations before I could arrive at the core thesis.
a) Write down the three surprises of your life?
b) What did you learn from it?
a) Write down three painful moments of your life.
b) How did you overcome them?
a) What are the three things you believe in?
b) Why did you start believing in them?
c) When did that happen?
Solid examples of Inspiring Speeches with Simple themes:
- Darren Lacroix’s World Championship speech ‘Ouch’ was to inspire the audience to be willing to fail. I have heard Darren share how he came up with this speech. So I am sharing that idea directly so that you can use it to create your inspiring speech. It seems his mentor, 1995 World Champion Mark Brown asked Darren, ‘What will be your message to your child if you were to die tomorrow’? This is powerful stuff. What message will you come up with? If you don’t have children – it’s ok. What will be your message to your most loved one if you were to die tomorrow?
- Jim Key’s World Championship speech ‘Never too late’ was to inspire the audience that it is never too late to follow your dreams. I think this is a great example where Jim chose not to be the protagonist. Instead he inspires the audience by citing the instances when he got inspired. In your life, what inspired you and when did that happen? Why can’t that be your next inspiring speech?
- Hannah Brencher’s TEDx speech ‘Love letters to strangers’ was to inspire people to spread love. If you see, this speech was an outcome of who Hannah became. Do you resonate with this theme ‘spreading love’? What did you turn out be in life? What changed you? Do you have stories to share that in turn can inspire the audience for the better?
- Nigel Marsh’s TEDx speech ‘how to make work-life balance work’ tears upon the extremely wide pandemic – struggling work life balance. He also goes all the way to give an example of how he constructs his day. He has four major points for the audience to ponder upon. Do you have a career? What are the things you want to change? Have you done something about it?
I hope this information has been helpful in your search for find a speech idea.
If interested, you can check out my book “Public Speaking Topic Secrets” where I cover more strategies and tactics to find ideas for all types of speeches.
Author of 5 books related to Public Speaking (read by more than 30K amazon customers), award winning speaker (more than 25 contests), consultant, husband (he doesn't take this role for granted), and a proponent of adding value to this world. His mission is to help people learn public speaking skills in a simple to understand, easy to implement manner.
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