Friday, April 17, 2009

Carpe Diem

Another speech I did at Toastmasters.  This one had everyone thinking!


Have you ever noticed that although there are only 10 commandments in the Bible, people will try to impose more?

It isn’t done;  You can’t do that;  You shouldn’t;   Well, at your age !   Sound familiar?

Recently, I was asked if I have a hearing problem.   Well no, I don’t.   But I do have the ability to tune out other people’s conversations, and yes, it’s something I deliberately cultivated.    I’ve known people start a conversation with someone, which is really directed at a third person, in the hope that person will pick up the message they want to impart.   This why I use the “block-out technique”.   I don’t allow negatives to penetrate my mind.

CARPE DIEM!   Seize the day !   Make the most of  NOW!   Today is all we have.

To those who say “ It isn’t done”  I say  Yes it is; I do it.   “You can’t do that”  Yes I can;  I just did.   “You shouldn’t”   Where is it written that I shouldn’t?   “Well, at your age!”   I know;  terrific isn’t it?!     

So many  wonderful opportunities slip by, and the reason behind most of it is fear.   Fear of what others will think;  fear of standing out from the crowd;  fear of failure;  fear of humiliation.   Get rid of it!!!

Everyone is given some sort of talent, which means it’s supposed  to be used, our little bit of the overall picture, our contribution to our world.   Everything we need for success is “out there” somewhere, but we have to get out and search.

We’re told that God feeds even the littlest sparrow, but nowhere does it say that He tosses the food into the nest.   That little bird might be feeling grotty this morning, but if he doesn’t  roll out of the nest and “seize the day”  he starves.

Mostly, we’re afraid to be “different”.   We want to be well thought of by our friends and colleagues.   If we strike out for what we want to achieve, we know we’re going to run into opposition -------- and this is where the negatives start to come at you, like little poisoned darts.

But if you think about it, we do need opposition, in the same way a fitness freak uses weights.   The weights create resistance.   Something to push against.   And what happens?   The muscles get  stronger.

From a personal point of view, opposition represents strong motivation to me.   It acts like a cattle prod, and gets me moving as nothing else can.   Tell me I shouldn’t, and I probably will;   tell me I CAN’T and I definitely  will!!   My late husband would have said that was just female contrariness,   but it ‘s not.   Honest.

Throughout history people have dared to be that bit different, and their contribution to the world is still of benefit today.   If it weren’t for the Thomas Edisons, Henry Fords, and Marconis of the past, we’d still be using candles to read by, and getting around on horseback.   They were ridiculed for their ideas, and ostracized by their so called friends, because they dared to step out of the mould, and follow a dream.

Another point is, that we put things off.   Some of these are items we would love to do, but never even manage to set a deadline for them.   Then we find ourselves saing, “I’m too old”  which is a perfect cop out.

We are conditioned into believing that it’s wrong, and selfish to put ourselves first.   Do you know what that is?   Emotional blackmail ---- and there’s a lot of it around.   So you put your own needs and aspirations on the back burner.     An example of this was Paul McCartney’s marriage to Heather Mills.   His children objected to the marriage, saying he was disloyal to their mother.    He went ahead, but the price he paid was hostility from his children.

If there’s one thing which the events of September 11th 2001 should have taught us, it’s that there are no guarantees in this life.

In one of her early books, Shirley MacLaine tells of a recurrent dream she had, in which she’s chased by a huge gorilla.    Coming to the edge of a cliff, she can go no further, and turns to face him, asking “What now?”   The gorilla replies, “I don’t know, kid.   It’s your dream.”

The choice IS ours.   We can stay in our comfortable rut, or we can get out there, take the world by it’s ears, and shake the stuffing out of it !!!




  1. oh my-and I thought I was the only one that could not be told 'you can't do that'
    what will people say?
    Don't tell me NOT to do something
    I'll break my neck trying...LOL
    Are we sisters,LOL

  2. This was so well written...I imagine most of us have felt this way, feel this way and not stepped out and shared it. Thank you for doing it for us.
    You have given me much to think about.
    I think the best thing about me getting older is I am getting smarter...I learn to listen, absorb and think.