Oct. 8th, 2010
Total Distance for Day: approx. 22 miles
Total Distance for Trip: approx. 84 miles
Current Location: Princeton, NJ
Sometimes, you find yourself in what can only be described as a perfect moment: The right place, people, and time. I found myself in one such moment this evening.
Invite Opportunity into your Life: Act just Because!
Dillon and I were out looking for a place to eat, when we saw a Borders bookstore. We had no real reason to walk in, but we decided to “see what we could find.” As I perused the new-release section, I started to hear some voices on a speaker system. I thought this was strange, as Borders are typically more like libraries than concert venues. Curious, I ventured back to see what all the commotion was about. It turned out that the store was hosting a storytelling contest called “Moth UP.” I walked back and listened to the final storyteller inspire the audience as he talked about his involvement with an organization that helps provide mentoring for kids and teens (SPAN).
Intention Opens the Door
While the storyteller was speaking, I made an interesting decision. I told myself that I would speak to this group and tell them my story about skating across America for freedom. That’s the most important thing to note: I made a very clear choice. I told myself in no uncertain terms what I was going to do. There was no question; it was just a matter of working out the details.
Action: Walk through the Door
When the storyteller finished speaking, I found out that someone else was supposed to be presenting as well but was unable to make it. This was my opportunity to connect action to my decision. I piped up and said, “Hey guys: I have a story that you might be interested in. It’s a story about the 3000 mile skate across America that I am currently on.” The audience was interested, and I was already on the way up.
Be True to the Moment: Share It
I was not formally prepared for this presentation, and I made that apparent with a very casual icebreaker. This speech was not going to be winning me any accolades in a speech contest, and that’s why I knew it would be exactly what it needed to be. It was a conversation and a shared moment between the audience and myself. Those are the kinds of presentations that can move people: The kind that are unscripted, spontaneous in delivery, and true to the moment.
I believe that the measure of a good speech is not just how much the audience was inspired, engaged, and informed but also how much the speaker learned through the experience. I learned some valuable lessons from tonight’s impromptu presentation. I learned that we can invite opportunity into our lives simply by taking on a spontaneous mindset. I learned that just being in the right moment at the right time is not enough: We must make a decision. We must state into the universe what our intention is – what we will do. After we set our intention, the action follows seamlessly as the doors begin to open before us. I also learned that I can be as inspired by an audience as they are by me. The Moth UP audience was so excited about the tour that a number of audience members decided to donate to the cause. They suggested it and raised a total of $45 on the spot.
How to Do Anything
A spontaneous attitude opens the door to great opportunities. Clear intention starts a chain reaction that opens the doors before us. All we need then is the courage to act on our intention. Anything is possible when we adopt a bold and certain mindset.