This is the text of my speech I delivered a few weeks ago as the meeting’s Toastmaster.
Last week during table topics, I recanted a story about rock climbing at night in Mexico that led to my choice of today’s theme: Adventure.
Although the climb I described sounded incredibly dangerous and high – if this podium was the cliff, we were like ants – it wasn’t as scary as one might think. My partner and I had years of experience climbing outdoors and had trained gradually to overcome our fear of heights and falling. Nothing on the cliff itself surprised us other than the height, but at that height, our minds couldn’t really grasp the magnitude as everything below just looked like miniatures. When we ran into a little trouble that night and our rope got caught while pulling it down, we didn’t panic.
We simply readjusted the remaining length of rope, used it safely to climb up and free the rope. For me, climbing in the dark was new which did make me a bit nervous, but deep inside, I knew there was nothing to worry about.
Now, you don’t have to rock climb, jump out of an airplane, or backpack through Iraq to have an adventure. On the contrary, the adventurous living I advocate involves breaking free of certain social conditioning and challenging yourself to improve your life circumstances, open up your mind, or just make every day more interesting.
I was at a friend’s house a few weeks ago when a quotation on her reusable Lululemon shopping bag caught my eye:
“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
In preparation for this week’s role as Toastmaster and the theme I chose, I decided to put it to the test. Here we go.
Talk to an attractive girl on the subway under the glaring eyes and listening ears of strangers. Get her phone number.
Take a big step into the world of entrepreneurship by linking my personal bank account to an online shopping cart I’ve been working on.
Rock climbing night. Tackle that thin 5.12 climb – thin meaning it feels like climbing on tic tacs. Take the big falls and keep trying.
3 days are up! Call the girl I met on the subway earlier on Monday. I actually found this more nerve wracking than the approach.
Halloween night – enter a dance competition in front of a crowd of people. Still, it’s rather hard to do something adventurous on a day . Promise to wear the afro on a day that’s not Halloween.
Take a jazz funk dance class designed mostly for women. Show up as the only guy. Learn to dance sexy. (demonstrate move)
Toughest day of them all. After a lengthy hiatus in taking a major role at my Toastmasters club, take on the Toastmaster role and lead the meeting.
Hellen Keller once said:
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
The most important actions are never comfortable. Fortunately, it is possible to condition yourself to discomfort and overcome it. (Timothy Ferris)
With that said, I would like to start our meeting with a session I feel is for the truly adventurous – Table Topics.