Many years ago, I took a Dale Carnegie course. My goal at the time was to
become more comfortable speaking in public. I was very uncomfortable giving
speeches and talking in a meeting with more than a couple of people in the
meeting. The Dale Carnegie course has each of the participants in the program
getting on their feet in front of the class and giving a speech each session.
Preparation Includes Repetition
If you do anything a number of times, then you become more comfortable in the
process. It worked for me as I have given talks in front of 100 company members
and in front of 1,000 Church members. It still causes butterflies in my
stomach, but I know I won't die.
One of the interesting aspects of the Dale Carnegie course was that after each
class an award was given out based on a vote by the 30 class members on who was
most deserving of the award. You would think that the same person would win the
award each week. Let's face it, we all come into a program like that with
different skill sets. So, obviously, there were a couple of people in the
program that appeared to not need the class because they appeared so
comfortable giving their speeches. They really were in the same pain as the
rest of the group as they gave their speeches, but you couldn't tell the
anxiety they were feeling.
Fe Fi Fo Fum
But, the awards were based on different growth goals of each lesson. Sometimes
it was about the speech content as written. Other times it was overcoming a
personal issue and then there were "getting out of your shell" awards. Well, it
turns out I won an award one night at the class. The class goal was to step out
of your normal behavior. It was kind of like an acting class I would guess. I
have never been in an acting class, so I don't know why I say that. But, the
class instructors had each student pretend to be a monster, most specifically
the giant from the children's story, "Jack and the Beanstalk." We were
instructed to crouch down into an angry monster chasing little Jack and say
with conviction the words of the giant from the book, "Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell
We couldn't just say the words. We had to get into character. We had to act. We
had to believe we were the giant. The instructors pulled the character we could
become from each individual. Well, after much laughing and cajoling and fun
each person grew that night. We became a monster of growth.
When the class was over we all voted and much to my surprise this monster (me)
won the class award. I was totally overwhelmed and excited. What excited me
even more was the award I won. I received a book, signed by each individual in
the class and written by Dale Carnegie himself. The book, Lincoln the Unknown,
was a true honor to receive and was an excellent read.
I Will Study and Prepare Myself
Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and politician that became president of the United
States of America back in the 1800's. He was president when the United States
was involved in the war between the states. Lincoln's story is a great come
from behind story. He was a lawyer and business man in the state of Illinois.
He failed in business, he failed trying to win elected office in Illinois. If
he hadn't become president he probably would have been perceived as a failure
in life. But, growing up as a child he continually read and studied and
What brought this article into my mind was a quote I read by Brian Tracy the
other day attributed to Abraham Lincoln,
Lincoln said, as a young man in Springfield, Illinois, "I shall study and
prepare myself and some day my chance will come."
Isn't that so true? By studying and preparing yourself today you are putting
yourself in position to gain that job, that opportunity you want or to take you
to the next level. I am a programmer by profession. Every three years Microsoft
comes out with a new product. As a programmer I am responsible for re-training
to use the new product to help my employer achieve their goals.
All About Preparation and Gaining an Edge
What are you doing today? Are you preparing for the future or are you watching
TV and mindlessly surfing the net? I wrote an article the other day
A Secret to Blogging Success You Don't Want to Hear where I talk
about the success of Jeff Atwood. Jeff's story is all about preparation and
growth. He actually received job offers based on the knowledge he showed from
his writings each week on the web site, Coding Horror.
In my life I read leadership books, self-improvement books, marketing books, I
have a degree in computer science with a minor in marketing and I continually
read books on computer programming. It is all about preparation and having the
edge over other candidates for a job because of your preparation.
How much time do you spend in preparation for the next level in your life? If
you want to be a better blogger are you studying writing and grammar? Are you
growing by reading? Are you taking classes? Are you taking
English Grammar Lessons? Do you have a mentor in your life to
help you learn the inside information you need? Do you visit any
English Forums - Where You Can Get Answers from Top Experts?
How to Predict the Person You Will Be Tomorrow
One of my favorite writers, Zig Ziglar, has a comment I love, "The person you
will be tomorrow will be determined by the books you read and the people you
associate with today."
Brian Tracy reiterates that point by saying, "Imagine the advantage you would
have if you read every day for an hour in a subject important to your
profession." Isn't that true. An hour everyday would translate into 350 hours a
year, with some vacation time. Would you be more effective if you read and
studied an extra 350 hours each year? Of course you would. You would be viewed
as VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE in your industry. You would be a giant of information. In
ten years time you would have 3,500 hours of knowledge to draw upon every time
you needed to make a decision.
Is it Worth the Time?
Where do you find the time? How about just a half hour in the morning and a
half hour before bed? Would that interrupt your life too much? You could do it
you know. It could change your life and I promise over time it will improve
your income. Did you know you have the ability to predict your own future?
It is all about the preparation you do today. I encourage you to begin
today to grow your most valuable commodity, YOU!