Years ago while speaking to a close friend of mine, we were discussing the idea of going to the next level. He said to me, “Rob, you will go to the next level in your life and in your business when you learn to trust that voice inside of you.” I thought long and hard about what he had said to me that day. Whenever a great idea comes to you, what usually happens? Initially, you are fired up about it! You’re excited! All of these thoughts begin to spin through your head of how great an idea you have and what could possibly come of it. Where do you think that idea comes from? Especially, if it’s a good one!
I believe that idea comes from a higher power! I believe that idea is a gift from God. But what do we do as human beings? No sooner do we have this great idea, we do whatever we can humanly think of to defeat that idea, to sabotage it, or to put it down. We might think we’re not good enough to follow through on it. Here is an example of something that occurred years ago.
This story begins about a year after I had that conversation. At the time, I had been in Toastmasters for a few years. For those who are unfamiliar, Toastmasters is a public speaking forum where one goes to better hone their public speaking skills. I was asked to be the guest speaker for a Toastmasters contest. It was an Evaluation contest. I would give a seven minute speech and then ten Toastmaster contestants would evaluate it. The catch was that I would be going into prison, as a guest I might add, to give this speech to inmates who were part of a Toastmasters group inside of the Jessup prison facility. When asked, I immediately agreed to do it but when I walked away I thought to myself, “What did I just get myself involved in?”
I had a few weeks to prepare but all I could think about was what would I speak about to the inmates in prison? I did not want to give them any old speech. I wanted to impact these guys! Yes, they obviously did something wrong to be there and some would argue, why should I care, but I wanted to be an inspiration to them. I wanted to give them a message of hope. So, I thought and I thought and I thought about it. While doodling one night the thought came to me. The title of my speech would be “Jailbreak”! Wow! What a great idea! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was at the thought of giving these guys a message of hope with a speech titled “Jailbreak”. I was literally jumping out of my seat!
Not even a few minutes had gone by after that energizing thought that I began to downplay it. I thought there was no way I could take a title like that into prison. No sooner would I utter the word, JAILBREAK, I figured I might cause a riot. I had visions of guards standing outside the room where I was presenting and as soon as they would hear me say the word JAILBREAK they would cock their rifles and initiate a good old fashioned lock down. “Who was I to think I could impact these guys”, I thought. At that moment I was thinking of any reason possible not to use that title for my speech.
Then it hit me! What my friend Curtis Oakes had said to me years ago. “Rob, you will go to the next level in your life and in your business when you learn to trust that voice inside you.” That was all I needed to think about. I was all in! “Jailbreak” it was!
For the next week I want you to think about how often you have had the opportunity to listen to that voice inside your head but instead rejected it. See if you can catch any moments this coming week where that voice is talking to you. How will you respond? Tune in next week to see how the story ends.
Until next time my friends…
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