Many of my clients think that ONCE they have found their message the entire public speaking thing will become easy and they will feel 200% more confident and worthy to be on stage. FAR FROM. You find your message and confidence in the PROCESS of searching for it. Even starting to speak about something. Anything.
My mentor Clinton Swaine used to share a story with us that was more then eye opening. He used to tell us about his friend & early mentor Brian Tracy.
They used to go hiking together and Brian talked about something called ‘The Corridor Principle’…
Imagine you’re walking down a corridor…
And along that corridor, you see many doors left & right.
Many possibilities… many rooms (opportunities) that you can step into…
A lot of people just walk down the corridor – move along the path of life – without ever really walking into any of the rooms.
They ignore the rooms & just walk straight ahead.
Or worse, they do not move at all and stay stuck.
What they don’t realise is that these rooms are the opportunities for powerful insights, realisations & learnings.
One room might represent arts & crafts.
Think Picasso. Van Gogh. Michelangelo.
That was their life purpose.
Another room might represent science & innovation.
Think Einstein. Nikola Tesla. Bill Gates. Ada Lovelace. Charles Darwin.
Another room representing… finance.
There are so many different ‘purposes or messages’ and things we can go out and pursue in our lives, however the key is to find what we are passionate about and what gives us purpose in our lives.
What might make one person wake up super excited every morning, might make another want to stab themselves in the eye with a fork.
We must figure out what works for us.
So, you’re walking down this corridor of life…
Your goal is to test. Figure out what works for you.
You walk up to the first door.
And walk through into the first room.
Metaphorically, you start something new.
A new business. A new hobby. A new area of study. A NEW SPEECH YOU WILL DELIVER.
And maybe this becomes something that you completely fall in love with and want to do for the rest of your life, ‘your purpose or message’…
Like Warren Buffett and investing.
Roger Federer and tennis.
George Lucas and making movies.
However, often, the first thing you test will NOT be the thing that you want to do for the rest of your life or speak on 24/7.
So, what do you do?
You walk out of that room.
Close that door.
Then, you keep walking down the corridor.
And instead of whining & complaining that the first opportunity – the first door – didn’t work out, you let that go, and move onto something new.
You walk into the next door.
A new possibility. A new event. Something new to speak on.
Maybe this is your thing. Maybe it’s not.
Either way, you’re testing.
You’re figuring it out.
You are learning. You are growing in confidence. You are keep testing.
And you keep testing new doors – new opportunity, areas of study, passions, hobbies, topics, etc – until you finally land on the one that you become near-obsessed with.
Something that when you do, time feels to fly by.
Your passion. That think that you could talk about FOREVER. 24/7.
Test what works for you. Walk down the corridor & be willing to open many doors until you find the room that you want to stay in.
Once you find ‘your room’ (your MESSAGE), you stay in that room and do that. Because you love ‘that’ so much.
The principle symbolises the journey of life each one of us goes on during our lifetime.
Until you find the door that is right for you, you keep opening more doors…
Allowing yourself to experience more…
Being open to more opportunities…
And you go through many different activities until you find something that you can’t see yourself ever NOT doing.
Something that you are so damn passionate about…
Something you think about all the time…
That you love. That drives you. That inspires you.
Equally, don’t fall into the trap that many people fall into… The trap of ‘GETTING STUCK’…
Many people go to university to study a particular topic, quickly realise this isn’t what they want to spend their life doing, but they stay stuck justifying that ‘I’ve already spent so many hours on this’ or ‘I can’t quit now..’
And they spend the next 10, 20, 30 years miserable… doing something that they have no passion for. I am sure you have heard one of those boring speakers with no spark or drive.
Remember, there are always other options… other doors to step into.
Any moment you can decide to leave the room you have unconsciously trapped yourself in & enter a new door. The right door for you. Many years ago, I started out speaking on recycling. Something I was passionate about at the time. That passion than evolved into Speaker Express and helping others to find THEIR MESSAGE. So if YOUR LIFE is YOUR MESSAGE to the WORLD, make sure it’s inspiring and don’t settle for less. AND REMEMBER: You don’t get what you wish for, you get what your work for!
This blog post has been adapted from a piece my mentor Clinton Swaine wrote. He runs a free 3-day cutting-edge business & communication training to take your career or business to a whole now level. More details are here.