A few weeks ago I walked into a solid glass door. It was thick and it hurt. I was left with a mild concussion.
At the time of the incident I had been working some long hours and no doubt in need of rest. As painful as the bang was, maybe there was something for me to learn, maybe even a warning. Could the glass have been like a mirror? If it was, I had been moving too quickly to see and assess the reflection.
Sharing the news with a friend he made the point that I had been pushing my self a bit too hard and I really needed to have a better balance between work and rest. Advice I’m comfortable giving out, but not often good at taking in.
He said we don’t realise how fast we’re going until we hit something. The force of the impact and the damage done usually indicates the speed at which were moving. That applies equally to travelling in a motor vehicle as to journeying through life.
Surely it’s better to stop voluntarily rather than crash into something.
Earlier this month I celebrated a birthday. Feels good to be around. When I was a teenager, the numbers associated with my age today seemed massive. It was like science fiction thinking so far ahead.
Well there’s a lot of science these days and with the internet it is indeed difficult separating fact from fiction, but that’s for another day.
Last week a friend sent me an email about an 87-year-old woman who went back to college to study for the degree she’d always dreamed of getting. You may have come across the email yourself.
When she finally graduated she gave a speech in which she told her fellow graduates that to stay young, happy and successful, you have to laugh and find humour every day. And you’ve got to have a dream.
The elderly woman said there’s a huge difference between growing older and growing up. She said anybody can grow older, that doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
So I had to think. I’m growing older… yes… but am I growing up? Well, I’m working on it.
“I just don’t have the time.” When did you last say that to yourself? Last week, yesterday, earlier this morning?
Because we feel time is tight, life becomes a rush as we try to do many things at the same time. Even when we want something to change for the better – perhaps a relationship, our work or our community – we often rush into it with our eyes and minds closed, biting off more than we can chew. Instead of managing the change we are overwhelmed by it. The result? Lots of words and superficial actions, but no improvement.
We don’t know what tomorrow holds. But if today we explore more efficient methods of doing whatever we do; begin learning improved ways of coping; then at least we will be preparing ourselves for whatever comes our way.
Being prepared helps you cope with change, allowing you to respond to unforeseen events with minimum panic and with the determination to succeed.
The world is changing fast, but speed is not always what’s required, often we need to create the time and space to exercise wisdom. And these days wisdom needs the exercise in order to regain health and strength.
In this fast-paced world, who has the time to wait? There are some people who, if you tell them to be patient, respond as if you had insulted them. But patience is a valuable quality to develop.
A patient mind calmly awaits the unfolding of circumstances, and in that patience, acquires the knowledge and insight to handle situations more effectively. Then, rather than a knee jerk reaction, we act from a position of thought and vision, often leading to better outcomes.
On the other hand, impatience can be like trying to eat unripe fruit. It may satisfy your hunger for a few minutes, but then comes the upset stomach and… well, you know the rest.
Patience reminds us that the world does not revolve around us and our desires; we are part of something larger that has its own timing and flow. If we are patient, we observe the movement of life around us and get a better sense of the right moment to act.
Patience is not about doing nothing, but rather allowing time and space to get yourself together, so that when you do something, it really issomething.
Many years ago I was doing some construction work in Barbados with an elderly carpenter from Trinidad by the name of Sumai.
I was using a handsaw to cut some wood, but just could not get a straight cut, no matter how hard I tried and no matter how much muscle I put behind the saw. Sumai, who was a small man, took the saw out of my hand and, with what appeared to be no effort at all, cut the wood in a straight line faster than I could say “mahogany”.
He said that because I was a big fella, I probably figured I could use brute force to cut the wood. “Big mistake” he teased. “The saw is designed to do a particular job. Your role is simply to guide the saw along the line with a gentle rocking motion”. I tried it and was amazed. I realised that I had been fighting with the handsaw, preventing it from doing its job.
It was a valuable lesson and not just for woodwork, but all aspects of life. Instead of making use of situations and challenges, we often fight with ourselves and get in the way of our own progress. Sometimes we try so hard to stay on track that we cause a derailment.
Life provides many tools for building the pathways and bridges to all sorts of destinations; the challenge is in learning to use those tools as a craftsman would.
To feel that someone is blocking your destiny is one of the worst of all feelings. There are enough obstacles in the world that prevent people from fulfilling themselves, without adding to them by demanding that a partner give up his or her plans for the sake of a relationship. Such demands often backfire and weaken the emotional ties between the two partners.
Even if it seems threatening at first, helping a partner grow and find himself or herself makes a relationship stronger. In time the partners will seem less dependent and less possessive. They remain together because they want to be together. Although they have the freedom each day to stay or to leave, they choose to stay and grow together. It’s a choice they make every day, consciously or otherwise.
My wife once put it this way – The strongest relationship is the one between two people who see each other as midwives to the persons they wish to become.
Been trying to put my feelings about the passing of my parents on this blog for a few weeks, but could not get it together. Wasn’t sure I should, but… here goes.
My Mum passed at end March 2008 after a long and painful battle with cancer. My Dad, who had Alzheimer’s for the past 8 years or so but was otherwise physically healthy, passed at the end of June 2010.
Mum’s death mashed me up for months. Got a flight while she was in the hospice, but just before leaving home in Trinidad to catch a plane to London, where my folks lived since 1958, I got the call from my brother that Mum passed.
I had been travelling to London to visit Dad regularly since Mum died. Was there in March / April of this year and had some real good time with him. Spoke to him on Father’s day and thanked him for all that he’s done for me. For providing me with a good example of what it means to be a gentleman, to respect every human being, to be independent, self-reliant, not to inconvenience people unnecessarily, to always look for ways to develop myself. For introducing me to spiritual pursuits and the fun that can be had from checking out what ancient and modern philosophers had to say about life. For encouraging me to pursue my creative/artistic dreams, especially in music, for respecting my choices and helping me to understand that everything has its consequences.
I’m working my way through Dad passing so soon after Mum. I’m getting there.
I’m 56 and after the funeral stuff was out of the way and the paperwork, sorting of clothes and stuff I returned to Trinidad and memories of my parents are with me for many hours a day. 90 percent real good stuff.
I really realise that I am still a child, or to be more precise my parents’ child. These were great folks, I was not always aware of it while growing up and even in my twenties I was not always ready to embrace just how special and wonderful my mum and dad were. Just how much they really, really loved me and my brother. Just how much they sacrificed, not only financially and stuff, but also how much they put their own views and opinions on pause and allowed us to make our own choices, to find out for ourselves and to find ourselves (of course that journey continues).
It’s at times overwhelming to think about how much a part of me they are and will always be. Scenes of my childhood play on my mind-screen with associated feelings re-stimulated, re-experienced, re-felt (if there was such a word I’d use it a lot right now).
A friend in a similar position recently discussed the aspect of relationships with our parents and of being adult orphans.
As we get older we start to parent our parents and for some of us it’s not long before our children begin to parent us. Yes it is indeed all part of life. We don’t choose how we arrive and don’t usually have a say in how we depart, but in between we do have choices and that’s where the wonders can happen.
Appreciation of the moments we have often helps us to focus on that which enables us to stand, open our eyes and focus on the light ahead. It may only be a tiny dot, but as we continue to walk it gets bigger. As it increases in size we can be motivated to keep moving forward, guided by the Light, embraced by the Light, sharing the Light.
This course was a complete eye-opener and great foundation on the topic of communicating with audiences both on personal and professional levels. The art of communicating and the tools needed to garner interest from audiences were laid out beautifully in this course. Tip sheets and honest feedback after each session… Read more “A complete eye-opener”
I have seen an improvement in my day-to-day communication and the ability to express myself with emotion. I am more mindful of my breathing and pronunciation of words. This is a wonderful course and is applicable to more than just communicating with others but more importantly, communicating with oneself.
This course has encouraged me to look within myself and identify my own internal anxiety. Facing this, helped me face my fear of communication and speaking in public. I now am not as concerned of what persons are thinking about me or how I am perceived, but rather on… Read more “I feel much more confident speaking”
This is an investment of a lifetime, guaranteed returns forever. You will never open your mouth to speak ever again without true consideration and appreciation for those with whom you are communicating. You will leave this course, not only as a certified public speaker but with the added bonus of… Read more “A true game changer”
Although the programme was about public speaking, it had a bigger benefit for me by sharpening my oral and writing communication skills, learning what details are irrelevant for the audience and hence making my message clearer and actionable. Six months later I can attest that the programme was directly beneficial… Read more “Directly beneficial to my work and has improved my skills”
You were an outstanding facilitator and my attitude to everything in life regarding preparation was changed for the better from this course. This course was not only about public speaking, but more so communication, effective communication. And on the foundation that was prepared for me by you, Mr. King,… Read more “More than public speaking”
If you are looking for a genuine lecturer who is knowledgeable, positive, patient, attentive, motivational and experienced in their field this is a one stop shop. The sessions are magnificently tailored to bring out your true abilities, incorporating various communication strategies and techniques for an effective mind blowing heartfelt audience experience! Definitely… Read more “Magnificently tailored sessions”
I have learnt from the course that whether I am speaking to 1 or 100 persons I am having a conversation with them and what hooks them is a true story that they can relate to. Also, whenever I am feeling fearful, I try to remember that fear is feeling excited and… Read more “This course has been a blessing to me”
Garfield transformed the way I communicate with people. His focus on developing me, to be the best communicator I could possibly be, did wonders for my confidence. His message of authentic communication and that people really want to see and hear from you, the you on the inside and not… Read more “Making people the best communicators they can be”
Mr King created an environment that recognized each person as having their own unique contribution to make to the world. I felt comfortable making mistakes as it all added value to my learning experience. His practical approach and real life examples were priceless. I would recommend Mr King without reservation… Read more “This course is a life changer!”
The public speaking course offered at IBC and facilitated by Mr. Garfield King, definitely surpassed my expectations. My goal to develop pertinent skills in public speaking was additionally enhanced by Mr. King’s hands-on approach and insightful critique. The classes were interactive and very interesting. I would recommend this course for… Read more “Skills in public speaking with simultaneous personal development”
Your class has paid so many dividends already. I gave the message in church Sunday gone and I have gotten such great reactions from members of my congregation. They’ve all commented that my messages have gotten better and that I am connecting in an even greater way now than I… Read more “Has paid so many dividends already”
I would like to thank you for imparting a lot of useful communication tips with me and helping me to boost my confidence in public speaking. Once again, thank you for imparting to us those useful tips and techniques which will assist us all in becoming more effective communicators.
This public speaking course was most informative and helped me discover the personal areas that I needed to work on. The instructor is attentive and very knowledgeable and freely shares his wisdom and expertise and provides positive reinforcement. He offers tips, techniques, and exercises that have been extremely beneficial in… Read more “The instructor is attentive and very knowledgeable”
Thanks so much for all your assistance, suggestions and advice. The course was a wonderful experience. You are a great teacher. I have started using some of your ideas in my presentations. Good luck in all your future endeavours.
Going through the sessions made me aware of things that I need to improve on and things that I need to eliminate. I was always a person to hide in the background, but since doing the program I am now more inclined to not be in the back or even… Read more “Made me aware of things I need to improve on”
Although this course was a basic one, it was life changing for me. The skills I attained have helped me to battle and maybe overcome that fear of public speaking. I have learnt to structure my speech, how to connect with my audience, how to command my space and how to… Read more “It was life changing for me”
I had to make a presentation to an important corporate client so I tried to remember all the stuff you shared with us and was able to apply most of it. My boss said the feedback she received was all positive and they were impressed by the presentation and how the Q… Read more “I felt so much more able and confident”
I am very grateful to you for taking the time from your busy schedule to share the knowledge that you have attained and for encouraging and guiding us. I really did appreciate and enjoy your session. You kept me alert and I’m sure everyone else thought the same. … Read more “Very informative and full of life”
This course was a life changing experience for me, it has helped me communicate better both in my personal life and the work environment. The course has thought me the importance of body language, eye contact, breathing and connecting with my audience when making presentations. Mr King has shown… Read more “Helped me communicate better at work and in personal life”
The information delivered, in my opinion, was very relevant and would greatly assist me in my work environment and personal life. I signed up for the course in order to overcome my fear of public speaking. However, I learned a lot more that will greatly enrich my personal development.
I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive nature of this course. Despite my fear of the video sessions, I believe they were key to my progress over the last few weeks. Additionally, the pace of the class and the structure of the lessons which built upon previous classes was excellent.
I enjoyed discovering more of the art of communication. This course showed me the things that I did incorrectly and challenged me to do better by practising daily what was shared. Thank you for the experience.
Mr King’s approach is very practical. He is not afraid to point out your weaknesses but at the same time he’s immensely keen on helping you to turn them into strength. Taking his course gave me a lot of motivation to continue towards achieving the goals I set in life.
This public speaking course was to me a life class. I learned many lessons that I will take with me throughout my lifetime. Mr King is an excellent teacher. He makes everyone feel comfortable and intelligent. He encourages your point of view. You learn to appreciate others. You… Read more “Lessons that I will take with me throughout my lifetime”
Instead of being fearful to speak you learn to manage your fear and harness your adrenalin to improve your presentations. The transformation I have seen in people doing this course is amazing. The programme helps you to get in touch with who you really are. It has helped to build… Read more “Helps you to get in touch with who you really are”
On reflection I can say that a good presentation does not just happen. It takes a lot of research and preparation. I certainly learned a lot about the content, design and delivery of a presentation. Not to mention, Mr. King was an excellent facilitator and engaged his audience thoroughly. I… Read more “A valuable experience”