What is your dream? Are you moving towards it? MORE importantly, are you keeping your eyes peeled for an even bigger goal?
This past weekend I was in California speaking less than a mile from where I won the World Championship of Public Speaking. I started getting “sappy” when I took the stage at the conference. It felt like the circle of life… As I come within a month of retiring from speaking at Toastmasters events, I was speaking just down the road form where it all began.
I was giving my speech, Humor and Hope. Lately, after that speech, I’ve had several people come up to me, excited — but bummed-out — saying, “I don’t have a dream.” This time was no exception. A woman walked up to me and said, “I have too many goals, so I’m not really making progress towards any. What can I do?”
I thought back to my own experience. My first dream was to make people laugh. I thought that “becoming a comedian” was the only path to that goal. I pursued that relentlessly. I took every class I could, got all the stage time I could, and become a best student of any mentor I could find.
Then, while attending a seminar, I met humorist, Rosemary Verri. A humorist? What’s that? A professional speaker? What’s that? I joined Toastmasters and National Speakers Association.
Let me get this straight… the audiences are sober, want a message, speeches are in nicer location, I don’t have to be as funny, and they are going to pay me ten times as much as comedy? I’m in! That was not the game-changer though.
Although I couldn’t afford it, I attended my first NSA conference and was blown away by a speaker and POW, Captain Gerald Coffee. I walked dumbfounded to the pool and wrote a seven-page letter to my mom. For the first time in my life, I found out where I belonged. I had found my home. I knew this was what I would do — in some form — for the rest of my life.
Had I not pursued my original goal relentlessly, I never would have discovered an even bigger dream that I didn’t even know existed! That dream became my passion. At first, it was to become a comedian. Then a professional speaker. Next was to become World Champion. Then it was to become the greatest speaker coach. Now, it’s to become the best Vegas headliner.
These thoughts all happened in an instant. I looked at this bewildered attendee and suggested, “Life is short, choose one and pursue it. If you don’t put a destination into the GPS, you’ll just spend your life driving aimlessly from gas station to gas station (or home to work). Yet, if you pursue the one you are most passionate about, you may just find an ever bigger dream that today you do not even know exists. What could be waiting for you?”
What do you think?
Have you ever discovered a bigger goal while you were pursuing a smaller one?
A humorist? What’s THAT? That’s what I thought when I met YOU years ago–thanks for the great post and for reiterating that it’s the “essence” of the dream that’s important. That’s also what Barbara Sher talks about in her books. You can find that essence in many different places–just keep persisting! Thanks again for all your inspiration!
The goals and dreams in my life just keep getting bigger and more interesting.
The next one has me on stage at the District 53 International Speech Contest finals next month. I will be one of six speakers. Never reached this level before. The real goal? Tell my story, move people, reach their hearts, give a piece of myself.
The challenge of the Bigger goal, to me, is being present enough in the now to see the goal ahead of us.
Thanks! Keep ’em coming, and pass it on!
Dream by example….
Good Afternoon Mr. Lacroix:
This message came to me when I was at a crossroads in my life seeking an indication as to which road to take. I know what I have to do now. See you at the top….
Your insights on goals and dreams are fantastic!
You are right–dream bigger and ask for more in life! The Jim Rohn quote of taking a bucket instead of a teaspoon to the ocean is one of my favorites about goals, dreams and aspiring to be more and do more in this crazy thing called life. THANKS for your wisdom and advice! You are such a gifted speaker, writer, and motivator! BEST WISHES IN ALL YOU DO and let me say CONGRATS on achieving yet your next set of goals===because I know you WILL do them–look how many you have already achieved! 🙂
With warm regards,
Happiness Expert/Motivational Speaker/Author
Darren, you are right. I have been pursuing three different goals for the last few months and I just realized that if I picked one direction and went for it I would be that much farther along. I am picking one direction and moving forward from now on.
Thank you…my goal is to become a professional speaker and Toastmasters has given me my ultimate goad in life and I am thankful for finding Toastmasters!
Just what I needed to continue on my journey…
Great wisdom again today!! Sometimes we head for a goal and when we walk through a door, we find an auditorium full of surprises!! All good!!
I felt the same way as the woman at your presentation last fall. I knew I was unhappy where I was yet I kept filling my days with activity. Each one seemed important and fulfilling yet I was still unhappy. I went to the Challenge Seminar in January to find my “life purpose.” I walked away from the 5-day retreat knowing that my purpose is to make a difference with kids, either as a Leadership Challenge facilitator or girls’ self-esteem workshop facilitator. Yes, in the meantime I need to make a living and do so through music lessons and other speaking engagements. Now that I have that vision of where I’m going, I am open to opportunities to contribute in that way. My first assignment with SkillPath is teaching a group of teachers in the California penal system. What a blessed opportunity to make a difference in a huge way!
LOL! Wow…sorry to hear you don’t believe I can do it. I know I can. I have to think like they do, and create the habits that they did. I’ve been interviewing them one at a time.
Thanks for pushing me even harder.
Maybe you don’t dream big enough?
Do you know Mike Rayburn? He’s an NSAer and a Vegas Headliner, his show opens next month.
I’d rather inhale too much Fripp, than too much Fineberg!
Even if I don’t make it, I love the challenge and it will make me better.
The comedian one, for me was the toughest…
Hope you keep tabs and dream bigger!
Robert, Only Toastmasters? (not the world) Do you know there are over 100 countries that have Toastmasters?
Sorry if you are having a bad day, hope things turn around. I wish you the best!
Your “stage time” said: “At first, it was to become a comedian. Then a professional speaker. Next was to become World Champion. Then it was to become the greatest speaker coach. Now, it’s to become the best Vegas headliner.” A comedian, yes. Professional speaker, yes. World champion, not quite, for it’s only Toastmasters, not the world at large. Greates speaker coach, OK. Best Vegas headliner, I don’t think so. Maybe you’ve inahled too much Patricia Fripp.
OMG! I’ve seen Darren in action and plenty of Vegas shows – Darren definitely has it in him to be a Vegas headliner.
Darren provides content in his speeches and connection to the audience.
Dareen what an awsome bit of advice. I’ve heard that the law of attraction only works when you are in action.
T.Wayne THE BUILDER
I joined Toastmasters to become a more motivation speaker in a branch, then I found out I really loved speaking. Today, with my confidence in speaking I have started my own Networking Group and working on 2 others, have done a 10 minute stand up comedy routine, and what’s next? Every time I do one thing, some thing else appears.
Darren, How do you know when you have reached your potential or do you ever?
Thanks for providing continuing inspiration and raising the benchmark even higher!
All the best,
Warwick John Fahy
Author, The One Minute Presenter
Thank you, Darren, for having the foresight to video behind the scenes of your trip to Ireland. Watching you and seeing the lovely people who are Toastmasters in Ireland, as well as, the International Director, was delightful–I feel enriched for having shared Ireland with you through this video. My horizon is expanded by seeing the friendships you have made through Toastmasters. (Expanding our Horizons will be the 2010-11 theme for Division B Governor Richard Bauman in District 33),
Many of us are planning to attend the TI Convention in Palm Desert, and we look forward to the life-changing experience of being among all the great Toastmasters who will attend. BTW, I know you will have an “opening night” in Vegas and I would be willing to purchase a ticket in advance!
God bless you for your big heart!
Gloria Davidson, ACS, CL
Incoming Area B-2 Governor, Div B, Dist. 33
You’d better keep up working towards that dream and get to headline in Vegas, because every time I get told ‘no’, ‘can’t’, etc, I look at your 1st time on stage and then listen to your championship speech. And that tells me things like ‘yes’ and ‘can’.
In a naive fit of enthusiasm, I recently outlined my year by year goals for improvement based on your’s and Craig Valentine’s materials to a very bossy senior TM – which I think she has taken much offence to. Wish I’d shut up now.
So I’m waiting for that Vegas headline to vindicate the ‘impossibility’ of my own goal setting……..
Please go for it!
BTW some pester power – pretty, pretty please hold a boot camp in Australia in 2011!!!
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