Have you ever been part of Toastmasters? Ever participated on a speech contest and lost? After months of uncertainty, the contest finally took shape this morning; in fact, all day. I won the Table Topics or impromptu speech while lost the International or prepared speech contest. Post participation, I wasn’t too bothered about the outcome. I took my victory with a smile.
However, when defeat knocked on my door, I experienced trauma. My ego was hurt. I spent the day glum and refused to try anything to come out of sorrow and anger. Cliched lines like, ‘You win some, you lose some’, ‘There is always another time’, or ‘It’s okay to fail’ and ‘Feel grateful for everything, there is always a plan’, didn’t seem to work at all.
But by late evening, as though a switch turned on, these thoughts engulfed my mind – I always thought I was a great storyteller. But today, the very craft failed me. As I subconsciously kept analyzing my speech all day, it became clear that I am damn good at creating imagery or bringing out a scene alive. However, I get so engrossed in this virtual reality that I hardly focus on the message. And what is the true success of any story?
That the audience drive home the message and live the story their way, make it their own. That went completely amiss. I failed at making a connection with my audience. And that is exactly why I lost.
It was my eureka moment when all sorrow vanished and my head cleared. And for the first time, gratitude dawned and those cliched lines made real sense. I call this progress. This doesn’t mean I shall gear up for the next contest. It just means, I have found the missing link that kept leading to failures in several areas of life.
I finally see light at the end of the tunnel. And shall I make a toast to my spouse and the girls? Supporting me when I am at my groggiest best by cooking, bearing the brunt of my mood swings and still spilling kind words and calling me a winner are all examples of their love and undying support.
Today’s Lesson: There is light at the end of every tunnel. Failures look nasty in the face, but they always follow you as long as you need to grow. They show you the way. You win some, you lose some.