Wednesday, December 29, 2004

des's story: Breaking Mindset and Learning

When I first came to know about the course on public speaking, “Speak with confidence”, it was easy for me to dismiss it as just one of many that MCMD provides for better performance of our job. I had to admit though that it was never my strength to speak in front of a crowd, nor did I have much similar experiences in the course of my work. Coupled with colleagues’ hearsay of the course’s endless demand for speeches, I began to doubt the wisdom in my selection. Cold feet aside, I thought that the experiences I had during my branch meeting might help.

On the first day, my speech, an icebreaker, was delivered with much nervousness. The trainer was both encouraging and humorous. He was consistently trying to bring us beyond the classroom, telling us to break away from our mindset; we are often hindered by our mind telling us what we can’t do. The same applies to public speaking where we should not be afraid of being ourselves and telling the whole world so. Confidence is the key to unlocking our soul.

Towards the end of the course, we had a session where all the participants were given either a short touching story or a verse to read out loud. “Feel each words with your heart as you go along”, the trainer coaxed. What happened next, I thought was really something special. One by one, my course mates poured their hearts out, letting every word dripped like honey from their mouths. At that moment, which I wished I could somehow hold on to, all of them looked more alive and human than anything else could. You could almost feel the richness of the language and the depth of their emotions in the air.

Before attending the course, I could never have thought it was possible for me to make a decent speech. Now, I not only know that it is a valuable skill that can be pick up. I have also found myself a new passion.

What I have learnt:

On Breaking Mindset: Our mind likes to play tricks, telling us we can’t do this or that with load of reasons. The funny thing is most of the time we do not even know enough about a task itself to make such an assessment. Do not limit what you can be to what your mind tells you. Make it a point not to think “No, I can’t do this!” the first time you encounter anything. Always seek to find out more and you will be surprised by how far you can go.

On Learning: Learning all we can to perform our job well (or to advance in our career) isn’t everything; life is way beyond that. In fact, we shall focus on all the skills and knowledge we can learn in this world to feel truly alive. Most of all, I like to think of learning as a celebration of life. The recently concluded DMG learning fiesta is a fine testament to this.

PS: Our potential is unlimited, because man has the ability to learn till the last day that he walks this earth.

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