Seth Godin wrote:*
“’I bought the diet book, but ate my usual foods.’
“’I filled the prescription, but didn’t take the meds.’
“’I took the course… well, I watched the videos… but I didn’t do the exercises in writing.
“Merely looking at something almost never causes change. Tourism is fun, but rarely transformative.
“If it was easy, you would have already achieved the change you seek.
“Change comes from new habits, from acting as if, from experiencing the inevitable discomfort of becoming.”
Godin’s comments apply to Toastmasters learning; we can join a club, rarely take a meeting role, avoid prepared speeches as much as possible – and be a “Toastmasters Tourist.” We’ll just visit and “watch the natives.” We will be entertained, little more, since “merely looking at something almost never causes change.”
Or, we can participate when assigned, put moderate effort into preparing for meeting roles, and practice our prepared speeches once or twice. Feedback won’t be very painful; since we didn’t try very hard anyway, we know we could have “done a lot better if we’d had more time to practice.” We’ll learn a little about speaking, a bit about leading.
“Change comes . . . . from experiencing the inevitable discomfort of becoming” though, which suggests another choice. We can choose to commit – to focus, to participate and to care about how we are doing. We’ll feel uncomfortable from time to time, we’ll experience disappointment, and maybe embarrassment as we strive – and fall short. And we’ll learn, improve and polish our speaking and leading.
As Seth said, “If it was easy, you would have already achieved the change you seek.”