Beth's Ponderings Ever noticed how many self-help books there are that have a title with a number followed by the word “rule” or “secret” or “tips?” I recently started reading the book “Talk like TED: the 9 public speaking secrets of the world's top minds” by Carmine Gallo. Basically the book analyzes the best (most popular/most viewed) TED Talks (TED.com) and uses them to come up with nine secrets, or rules, for effective public speaking. What I found interesting - and I haven't gotten very far into the book yet - is that the author explains that a particular talk was popular because the speaker didn’t follow established rules, or the speaker did something completely out of the ordinary to shake up the audience, or even, the speaker presented the material in a completely different manner than anyone ever has. But then, the author attempts to pigeonhole the talk and/or speaker into a narrow set of “rules.” The precise factor that made the difference is then overlooked in order to apply a label so that they are all uniform, and the average person can have a set of rules to follow to achieve the same result. Life isn’t like that. We can’t all follow a set of rules or steps and achieve the same result. Give five cooks the same ingredients, same recipe, same equipment, and even the same oven and you won’t get five perfectly identical dishes. It just doesn’t happen. Why? Because each of us is unique, and brings that into whatever we do. While each dish the cooks bake may end up very similar, they won’t be exactly identical. While anyone can follow the nine secrets to becoming a better public speaker, it won’t guarantee that they will be the best speaker that THEY can be. And that is the secret that tends to get ignored. We shouldn’t be striving to do something exactly the same way as everyone else. We should be striving to do it the best way for us because then we’ll really shine. Beth Read the complete issue of The Chautauquahere. Contact The Chautauqua via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Beth's Ponderings Ever try to do something by following a precise set of instructions, or tasks, only to end up with far different results than you expected? Whether it was following a recipe, making a model, following a map, or following a work procedure somehow you ended with an unexpected result no matter how precisely you made sure you were doing exactly what the instructions said. While I believe that overall life is ultimately very simple (wake up each day and breathe!), there are countless factors that contribute to whatever we do in this life. No matter how hard we try. we cannot identify, nor even consciously know, every possible factor or contingency or impact. Everything in our lives is connected, and we are all connected to each other. So much so, that a simple blink of an eye has the potential to totally change not only our own lives, but the lives of everyone around us. And that is just the human factor. There is also the atmosphere around us - the air we breathe, the food we eat, gravitational pull, the electromagnetic and energy currents all around us. Lest you think that humans have powerful effects on the world, the sun’s electromagnetic field has considerably more sway over us than most people are aware of. For example, a person’s heart attack most likely has less to do with lifestyle, and more to do with how susceptible they are to solar activity. It has now been three years since I had my physical collapse (I know, hard to believe) and I’m now “officially” at 60% healthy! While we can adjust factors such as diet, activity, and stress levels - all factors that are or can be contributing to my level of health - there is so much that is completely out of our control. So much so, that we can’t even identify it to change it. And yes, I find that very frustrating some days! It is at times like this, that we need to remember that we can only do our best, and then accept whatever results we get. Now that doesn’t mean we say we have no choice and give up. It means we acknowledge our results, and then make the next choice or tweak, and so on. Because, some days we are totally surprised with excellent results.