Viewpoint: The Courage to Conquer Your Destination

Viewpoint: The Courage to Conquer Your Destination

A message from our International President

A few years ago I was visiting a niece in Houston. It was time for her to take me to the airport for my return home. My niece had never driven to that particular airport, so she asked her father for directions. She mapped out her destination (in her head) and off we went. We had a plan.

Along the way my niece and I were having a wonderful time, talking and laughing. We knew where we were going but had not again mentioned our plan. As time went on and our good times continued, we reached a point where we began saying, “We should be there by now.” With no reference to the plan, we just continued driving. Finally, she called her father. I heard her say, “What tower? What hangars?”

The end of this embarrassing story was this: We turned around and when we actually looked, the airport was right there. As were the planes flying right over our heads! We had driven right past our destination.

We all have destinations in mind, and hopefully your journey there is enjoyable, but in order to reach that destination on time, as planned, we must maintain focus. We need to know where we are every step of the way and when and how to make corrections if needed. Otherwise, even the smallest distraction can take us off course.

The end of this Toastmasters year is approaching. I expect you had a destination in mind that you wanted to reach. Perhaps it was to earn your Competent Communicator or Competent Leader award. Perhaps you were aiming for an even further destination of Distinguished Toastmaster. If you are a club or district officer, I hope your destination was set to become a Distinguished Club or District. Where are you in your journey?

I was recently visiting with a Toastmaster who shared with me that his club had been a President’s Distinguished Club every year since the program existed – except one. That one year it missed being Distinguished by one member. He said club members simply lost focus. They thought they were on track to reach their destination and no one went back to the plan to be certain.

Fellow Toastmasters, where are you on the road to your destination? What do you lack to reach it? Is it delivering two more speeches? Chartering one more club? Adding two more members? Now is the critical time to know – and do – what you need to do to arrive. Don’t wait until it’s too late! As I once read on a billboard: “Success is 10% inspiration, 90% last-minute changes!”

As June 30 approaches I encourage you to stay the course. Focus on your plan. Make changes if necessary. Have the Courage to Conquer Your Destination!

Jana Barnhill, DTM, Accredited Speaker
International President