Eric had a presentation yesterday in Boulder, Colorado. It was in front of about 200 teens from 14 different high schools in the area, all members of their respective student councils. (He doesn't speak to youth very often any more, so this was a rare opportunity for them, and for me) Although it may seem at the time that our high school years last forever, he demonstrated how quickly they pass by and how precious that time really is. He spoke about the importance of making the most out of these influential years as they help form the foundation of your future.
Eric told these teens about how Visions, Decisions, and Collisions impact their lives. We first must develop a vision for what we want to achieve. This causes us to make decisions, or the choices that provide the means to achieve that vision. But it's those collisions with other people that really count.
About half way through his program, he surprised the audience and introduced me as the one week job guy. I was then given the chance to share my story with the students and to experience first hand what it's like to be a motivational speaker - standing in front of a large group, all eyes directed at you, feeling the nervous rush, sweaty palms... and deliver a meaningful message; something that they would take away and hopefully make them think and act slightly different from when they first walked in the room.
I have been given the opportunity to speak to youth a couple times over the past 43 weeks about my experience and all that I have learned throughout the past year as a result. Eric gave me that opportunity yesterday in front of 200 student council leaders from 14 large high schools throughout Colorado, and I realized yet again how much I enjoy doing it.
It went really well and I received a very positive response with the kids. Many of them came up afterwards to meet me and ask questions about my different jobs. It was really special to see their faces light up with excitement and to hear that sharing my story had a positive impact and resonated with so many of them.
We often don't realize the impact we have on others. I think this becomes even more true as a motivational speaker. There is a lot of responsibility. The stakes are high and you never know how someone is going to be impacted by your presentation. What you are saying better be true and be something practical that they can incorporate into their own life no matter what background or home situation they are coming from.
As Eric said, standing up and speaking to a group is a privilege, not a right and I can see how much pride he takes in this role and realizes it's importance.
I am often asked, "Sean, you are 43 weeks in, what do you think you will end up doing?" I don't know I can put a definitive title on it, though I want to affect change in some capacity, I want to know that what I am doing means something, makes a difference and has a positive impact on others.
Yesterday, I accomplished this.