Which is your favourite ‘L’ from the list in the title picture? I couldn’t decide between them, so I based my talk on all three at my Toastmaster’s meeting last week. It was a lot to cram in to just 7 minutes – but I succeeded.
I opened my “icebreaker” speech by explaining how I played ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ when I was forty years old. But with a dramatic difference! Instead of a donkey being pinned to the wall, I used a map of the UK and wherever the pin landed was going to be my new home. I spun around with a blindfold on, and, if you think of the UK as an outline of a donkey, it did land on its bottom! How lucky for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be here now with my wonderful husband and the joys of the north Norfolk coast and countryside. (I lived in Surrey before).
The purpose of my speech was to introduce myself to the rest of the group, so I then continued my talk based on the 3 L’s and it went something like this…
So, living… we are all doing it aren’t we? Most of us since the day we were born!
But are we really? Just because we are all breathing, I don’t believe it signifies we are really living. There is a difference between living and existing. If you feel stuck on the hamster wheel of life, with no choices, then the chances are you are ‘existing’.
To change this, you need to take control of your destiny, just in the way I did when I played pin the tail on the map, and it landed on Norfolk. If you step outside of your comfort zone and shake off the shackles of fear, then you will find your purpose and your passion. This is when you will feel like you are truly living!
This was aimed at self-love first. I explained how this is not ‘selfish’ as some people claim. It’s not narcissistic, but necessary. It’s not all about ‘selfies’ and ‘self-obsession’ but rather SELF ESTEEM. The relationship we have with ourselves sets the tone for every other relationship we will have in our life. Unless we have found acceptance and love for ourselves, we cannot give the best to others. (You cannot pour from an empty cup).
With a little self-evaluation and self-care, you will discover the real you, and learn to love who you are. This way, everybody and everything benefits. You will give so much more to the world, and you will love people with a full heart. The wonderful gift this brings, is that the love is reflected to embrace you too!
I couldn’t end ‘loving’ without mentioning my wonderful hubby, and for any of you that know me, or have read my memoir…. Can you guess what extra ‘L’ I sneaked in here? Yes, laughter! Laughter is good for the soul and helps keep you younger, but enough on that.
We learn from the day we are born, during my speech I talked about skills and the joy of learning something new. I don’t know about you, but when I was at school, I was very resistant to learning… I hated sciences, loathed maths, and didn’t achieve many qualifications.
However, in my 30s, I studied psychology A-Level and loved it! I then took my maths GCSE when I was aged 47 (to accompany my daughter) – and they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!
Why is this important? Because it highlights that we are more receptive to learning in later life. In fact, it is necessary (I believe), because it keeps the grey matter ticking over and helps to keep us young.
My recent learning is all things to do with writing (and speaking!) and I recommended to the toastmasters group that everyone should try to learn one new thing a year. Perhaps a new sport, an evening class to learn a language, or dancing – why not audition for strictly? Anything, so long as it is new, and stimulating!
I ended by saying I chose ‘learn’ as my third L because it encompasses all the other L’s. Sometimes we need to ‘learn’ how to live. We need to ‘learn’ how to love, and perhaps even, ‘learn’ how to learn!!
What important Life lessons or skills can you think of that begin with the letter ‘L’ ??