Late last week, I was asked, “Are you a motivational speaker?” I didn’t even hesitate when I answered, “I hope not.”
Please, do not misunderstand me; I have listened to some amazing motivational speakers. I have had chills as they energized me to run from the room and hurry to go accomplish my goals. I have wanted to set the world on fire as they predicted I could. On my first business cards, it states “motivational speaker and author”. Yet, just as life changes around us, I evolve, too. When I speak, I no longer strive to set your world on fire and make you want to run from the room to sell the next 10,000 pieces of your product, make you stop your bad habits or set fire to your world.
Rather, I want to offer you seeds. As I reach a greater audience, I have realized I want to provide more than a quick touch of motivation and magic. When I am invited to speak to your large group, your classroom or a small dinner setting, I have three goals I set out to achieve. I want to: 1) Make you laugh at the silliness and entertainment life can offer. 2) Make you cry with the acute realization life can and will deliver powerful setbacks that will take a lot of work and determination to overcome. 3) Make you think about the lessons I have offered for years to come. I want to plant a seed for you to carry forever.
Everyone is at a different stage in life. This is what offers the harmony and balance as we meet new people. This is what gives us the love and compatibility as we grow our closest friendships. You might not be there yet, but someday you will touch on a lot of experiences I recount. Whether you have never been there or you are no longer facing similar adversity, I want to provide you with a seed of knowledge I have gained from my own life trials. I want to plant this seed in you leaving a pathway directing tragedy to grow into triumph when we use optimism to conquer obstacles. I want to offer you not motivation for the moment but lessons that somewhere, someday, will be remembered throughout your lifetime.
Maybe, rather than the classification of motivational speaker, I should begin a new category of a “seed planting speaker”. I have learned my true desire is not so much that I want to offer you motivation; rather, I hope to leave you thinking while I plant seeds that can help offer you strength and hope in the weeks and years ahead.