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If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands!

A story of feeling your best.

The Timer

I was at a Toastmasters event and I was playing the role of the Timer for the first time! This role ensures all speakers in the evening use their allocated time efficiently, to keep the whole event on time. It is an important one, yet a simple one to perform.

I admit I was anxious, as time management is NOT my forte! I was so worried I would be carried away by the speeches and completely forget to track time!!!

Anyway… I had done my prep reading. I was then shortly briefed on how to perform the task. A more experienced Toastmaster sat next to me, and I knew I could ask her questions if needed.

By the time the second Toastmaster spoke, I got the hang of it and started enjoying what I was doing. The evening ended for me with compliments on how the Timers’ reports were precise, yet with a pinch of fun thrown in!

I left the event with a big smile on my face and a sense of satisfaction. I noticed that through the event itself I had felt my best.

I stopped and made a mental list of what was there that evening to make me feel that way. Here is my list:

  • It was my 4th event. I knew my surroundings and the people enough to feel at ease
  • I was learning something new and I had prepared for it on time
  • I had arrived to the event early enough, and helped set up
  • I had a role with a purpose for a group of people
  • I had instructions to follow yet enough freedom
  • I had accomplished the task while being able to gain the most from each speech
  • And yes… I was wearing something I felt good in and that was appropriate for the event too

It all made perfect sense. The list includes some pretty fundamental elements of what needs to be there for me to feel my best in similar situations. Along with what needs NOT to be there.

Tonight I am going to another event with Toastmasters and I will play the Greet Master role and the Grammarian. I am shaking the same ingredients together, for my recipe to another evening feeling my best.

So what does the song in the title have to do with this?

With three kids in the house, we sang it hundreds of times. Stomp your feet, touch your nose…. While this song is a great way to start laughter and excitement with kids, I read a powerful message in it and a call to action for you to take away on its tune.

I am sure you can recall a time when you felt your best. A moment when you felt in your element. Moments when you were the most you-est of you.

When you feel your best, clap your hands. Stop. And notice.

What needs to be there to make you feel that way? What does not need to be there instead? What resources have you pulled together and that made the difference?

Here is a list of powerful questions you can ask yourself, next time you feel your best:

  • What’s in the environment around you? Is it familiar or new? Who is with you?
  • What’s the behaviour that will lead you to that state? What actions did you take?
  • What’s in your capabilities, that will make you feel your best? How did you show up?
  • What beliefs need to be met and respected? What motivation was there? What was your why?
  • Who are you and what is your mission?
  • What bigger purpose are you serving?

Once you answer the above questions, and in different situations and circumstances, it can help you raise your awareness and above all define how you can reproduce a similar state in the future.

As you plan the next important meeting with your manager, what will contribute to feeling your best?

As you prepare for an interview, what resources will bring you to the desired state?

As you get ready for a difficult conversation, what needs to be there and how will you show up and make it successful?

The biggest growth factor for me in 2017 has been the ability to raise my awareness. Around myself, my good – bad and ugly, my surroundings, my relationships, my career, my motivation, my behaviour. You name it.

And I truly discovered how awareness is powerful fuel for action and change. Because it gives you power to act differently, with a purpose, with an end in mind, that truly allows you to be the best version of you. Whatever the task. Whatever the final outcome.

So next time you hear that song, think about it differently! Or play that song in your ears, next time you feel your best. Clap your hands. Stop. And notice.

Time to go for me! Or I will be late! 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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