Last night I received a rejection email for an event I really wanted to speak at. I was extremely disappointed that I wasn’t given a chance to even partake in the auditions. The event was not a paid event so some would say who cares, but to me it would have offered a great chance to share my ideas to a potential worldwide audience.
I know there will be other events I will be speaking at which will be more lucrative but I always love a new challenge to stretch my comfort zone. There is not a minute that goes by where I am not working on something to improve my speaking or my subject knowledge. The determination and the methodical approach I take to becoming the best inspirational speaker is exactly the same steps that helped me become a high level martial arts champion.
I am not sure how the selection committee arrived at their decisions but within 5 minutes of reading the email I printed out their rejection letter, posting it in my office as a constant reminder for the rest of my life. The world is not always fair and through my life I have been kicked over and over again and managed to get back up each time. Rejection or failure is never easy to swallow, but it does become easier when you step back to look at it from another perspective, which is the opportunity to learn.
I once had a grade 8 teacher tell me I was to leave the room when evaluators came to score a science project I worked on with a fellow classmate. He told me he didn’t want me to ruin the chances of my partner winning the provincial science fair. Stunned by his remarks I held back my tears. It hurt so much to the core I still remember it to this day.
It is the very reason I became a martial arts champion, coach, and mentor. I never want any child or any human being to feel like worthless sub-human like I did that day. It’s a feeling I still never forgot even 34 years later.
So to the decision makers for the event, I’m not angry just disappointed I didn’t get the opportunity to make a positive change for your audience. I promise I will speak at your event one day maybe not in my city but I will somewhere.
In the meantime, I will respond to this setback by heading to bed in 15 minutes where I’ll go through my regular ritual that includes read an hour on my area of expertise, journalizing and reviewing my goals, putting me into a positive dream state as I sleep.
When I wake up I’ll meditate, write a few more chapters for my new book, workout, practice my speaking for a couple of hours, study the best speakers, and get ready to give the most inspiring speeches at two organizations next week.
To my readers, remember no matter how much success you have in life not everything you touch turns to gold. You will have successes and you will have many more failures or disappointments to go with it.
Remind yourself to keep moving forward each day, looking for ways to improve your skills or try a different tactic. The road the success is never a straight line. You need to become a master at navigating the many obstacles that get in your way to increase your chances for success. Sometimes it can be looking at places where your skills are truly appreciated.
Walt Disney’s rise to success illustrated this point. Before becoming successful he was forced to declare bankruptcy and even had a distributor steal the rights to several of his cartoon characters. It was not till he created Mickey Mouse and incorporated sound into films where he became a huge success. The man whose cartoons where rejected as garbage by executive decision makers went on to win the most academy awards in history.
If you are reading this today and feeling a little down because of an event in your life, please understand that the key to achieving human excellence is to….
1. View failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Ask yourself what do I need to do to become better. For me better is not the word I like to use. I prefer what I can I do to be the best.
2. Always try again if your first attempt fails. Use a different tactic, consult an expert in your field, read / study all the materials available on the subject matter, or find a mentor.
3. Never fear failure. Face it head on, looking for ways to improve your skills to a point where you separate yourself from the average to become the elite.
4. Look for other ways to get what you want. Clear your mind and think of opportunities that you haven’t explored yet. Never leave any stone unturned.
5. Don’t let fear stop you from challenging yourself every day. Challenge allows us to grow, it helps fan out our weaknesses. Accept those weaknesses and take action to correct them right away.
Be inspired each day to learn something new even if you dedicate 30 minutes a day. Life is extremely fascinating; don’t let your fears keep you from your journey to human excellence. Remember, there’s never a bad day, only a learning day!