Mindset Is Everything
My fellow Toastmasters, my friends. Please take a look at this.
“Yes. I was once useless. But now, I’ve become more useful. Please, let me live. Use me.”
Does it sound familiar? Yes, this was my speech called “Useless, Useful, Use Me”. I presented this speech here as a CC4 speech one year ago. I remember Isabel was my evaluator. She said, “Ricky, you are a potential storyteller.” I was so happy!
Earlier this year, I used the same speech for speech contest, the International Speech Contest in Toastmasters. Somehow, I won the club contest. This time, I was not just happy. I was getting proud. Then I used the same speech in the Area contest. I finished second, but I advanced to the Division level. This time, I was not just proud. I was getting arrogant.
To prepare for the Division contest, I practised the speech in a club meeting. After the meeting, a member yelled at me, “Ricky, you have no feelings, no emotions. You should go for drama class!” Immediately I was offended. I thought to myself, “I’m an ACB, but you are not even a CC. I’m a Division-level contestant, but you didn’t even get past club-level. Who are you to criticize me?” Later in the Division contest, my speech was indeed not dramatic, and I lost.
Ladies and gentlemen, have you also been criticized before? Of course yes. Some critics are genuine. They give you feedback. They want you to improve. But some critics are not tactful enough. They have good intention, but they lack the skills to give you feedback in the right manner. Yet, there are people who criticize for the sake of criticism. They want to bully you. They want to put you down. They want to show themselves better than you.
But critics are a fact of life. They are everywhere in our life! But instead of being agitated by them, why don’t we change our mindset, and choose to thank them? It doesn’t matter they criticize us in good or bad intention. But they are the ones who remind us that we are not yet perfect. They are the ones who keep us on our toes, and keep us humble. They are the ones who show us the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.
Instead of showing hostility to my critics, I could choose to show them appreciation. Instead of looking at them as critics, I could reframe, that is change the angle how I look at them, and see them as the ones who help me to achieve greater height. I can choose to be bitter, or I can choose to be better. It has everything to do with mindset.
My brothers and sisters. Welcome to PJ Toastmasters meeting, with the theme “Mindset is Everything”. Today we are blessed to have Maxine Chan from PSP Mandarin Toastmasters Club to share her personal journey. We also look forward to a number of good and inspirational speakers today. I hope we all will learn something useful together. Let’s start the meeting.