Peace begins when…

Yesterday, March 28th I was a guest speaker at the Founder’s District Division C council meeting at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Groove, CA. Great time! At the event, I met (among other beautiful people) Frannie and Norm Stein whom I  learned immensely from. It is amazing how much one can learn when he (or she) keeps quiet and listens.

During my interaction with Frannie, she shared with me her thoughts about what we can do to improve the quality of human interactions and by consequence, the quality of our lives. She introduced me with me the concept of “Spiritual Hospitality” which is basically about us surrendering ourselves (as a whole) to the people we interact with.

Her thoughts were well outlined in the following words:

  • Space. Both physical and non-physical space. Give people space to work with, wide margin for acceptable error. Define your expectations from the people you interact with, and be patient and forgiving.
  • Pace. The person you interact with might be slower than you expect, or faster. When that is the case, recognized that and try to adapt to the pace of the person you are dealing with. Easier said than done, but it is possible if you understand the concept and want to apply it.
  • Taste. More often than not, you will have different taste and preferences than those you speak to. Learning how to accept other people’s preferences and tastes is an essential aspect of spiritual hospitality.

As you might have noticed reading the above, “spiritual” hospitality has more to do with surrendering yourself than spirituality. When you learn how to tune yourself out and accept to completely give way (surrender yourself) to those you interact with, you would have become a good practitioner of spiritual hospitality. Peace begins when learn how to you get out of your own way and become a good host to those around you. Give them space, move at their pace, and accept their taste.

Thank you Frannie and Norm. You two are a great inspiration to me and a great visual of what my later days with a life partner will be like. I love you both!

Speaking at Los Angeles Harbor College

Last Tuesday morning, March 26th, I had the privilege to share my personal story and my message on the importance of life planning to a group of over 45 students at Harbor College in the Los Angeles county. It was my first experience speaking to such a diverse audience of a relatively younger age range, and the message was very well received. Thank you to Mrs. Janet Laurin for giving me that platform. Mrs. Laurin, you are awesome!

los angeles harbor college

My hope is that a majority of the students take action after listening to the message and decide to create and start living their best future. Like one of my favorite quotes by Peter F. Drucker says:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

I will start seeking more opportunities in colleges and universities to share that message with as many young people as possible. The reality is that you might get the same results by planning or not, but by planning you achieve two things: 1. You reduce the time necessary to get the desired result, and 2. You become more specific about the desired result and increase your probability of getting just that.

I encourage you to plan your life with as many details as possible, and when you do, applying faith and action will make the laws of the universe work in your favor and move you almost effortlessly to your destination, to the realization of all your dreams!

Make it easy for your audience to buy

I was speaking today at the All Nations Toastmasters Club and one of the announcements I made at the end of the meeting was my upcoming Strategic Life Planning conference call, on March 25th 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Reviewing my sales pitch to the audience in attendance at the meeting, I realized that I did not make it easy for them to buy into my product, in this case, participating in the free conference call.

Make it easy for your audience to buy

I could definitely have done better, and I will do better next time. The largest room in the world is the room for (self-) improvement, and  here are a few lessons I drew from the experience:

  • Prepare to sell. That is a very good lesson. There is a difference between speaking and speaking to sell. Even though you are always selling yourself when you are speaking, it is important to prepare for speaking to sell. I had prepared to speak, but not to sell. Speaking to sell aims at driving the prospective buyers to buy, or make them promise to buy.
  • Always have a free valuable gift for your prospective buyers. The keywords here are “free” and “valuable”. It does not help to give something of no value for free. Next time, I will give something, maybe a printed sheet with a list of valuable resources about life planning, or a link to an online resource I authored on life planning. Do the same. Your audience will be more likely to buy into you when they receive a free valuable gift.
  • Give information on “how” to buy during the sales pitch, not after. I told the audience what, why, when, where, but I did not tell the audience how. If you don’t tell your audience how, the processes and options available for them to buy what you sell, they won’t buy. Nobody is going to follow you around to give you their money, or buy whatever you sell. I learned that today.

Selling, just like any other skill is learnable. I am happy I had the opportunity to reflect on how I could have done this better, and I hope you have learned (or re-learned) from my bits of information above.

Evaluate an Ice Breaker speech

During my last meeting at the Taboos Toastmasters club, there was a mini debate about what an evaluation for an Ice Breaker speech should include. Based on my experiences, in this video I share what I believe are the rules we should all follow when evaluating an Ice Breaker speech.

Your comments and suggestions on how to give the best possible evaluation for Ice Breakers are welcome. Use the comments box below.

Gifted Hands: The Movie

I have a time slot on my weekly agenda reserved for entertainment and even though that time slot is on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I decided to shift it to today and I am so glad I did. My entertainment time is usually spend with friends or at the beach but today I watched a movie: “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”.

Gifted Hands

I want to share a few lessons I learned during this hour and half. Here are the lessons:

  • Prayer works. During the movie, every time Dr. Carson is faced with a situation he cannot handle by himself, he prays. Prayer always helped him, as it is a powerful tool in the toolbox of a believer. Pray!
  • Have someone who believes in your potential. Ben’s mother always saw in him what he did not see in himself, until he began to see. One of the favorite expressions his mother uses in the movie is this: “You just have to see beyond what you can see.”
  • Always do what is right, regardless of the possible consequences. Soon after beginning his internship, Dr. Carson performs an unauthorized and unsupervised surgery on a patient who would have otherwise died without an immediate intervention. He is not fired but rather congratulated for taking the risk to do what is right for a doctor, attempting to save a life despite the possible consequences in the case of failure.

The above are only three lessons, but a book could be written out the movie, which is made out of a published and bestselling book.The book was recommended to me by Mrs. Santiago, the Librarian at my university. Thank you Mrs. Santiago. I will read the book “Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence”. The movie gives a good account of his life based on the bestselling autobiography. I strongly recommend you do watch this movie if you can.