This summer I spent considerable time thinking about what makes someone successful. Recent events in my life, both personally and professionally, provided plenty of opportunity to reflect on my philosophies, the philosophies of others, and how I want to lead the rest of the my life. Through many trials, tribulations, and triumphs, the 8 Principles of Success evolved from these transformative experiences. Our team tried to live these principles in the classroom, in the forensics arena, and in our daily lives.
The first SPEAK2compete Principle of Success: DO NOT LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR JOY. Regardless of your passion, speech, athletics, music, theater, etc., we consume ourselves with it because we love it. It is our passion. It drives us. It motivates us. It is why we live. Obviously, it brings joy to our life. This is not to suggest we enjoy all aspects of our true passion. Anything worth having is worth earning, and earning comes with setbacks. Setbacks come in many forms, but most often it is people trying to steal our joy.
Never let someone else determine your self-worth. People will challenge your passion, questions its value, question your commitment. Basically, people will attempt to devalue what brings you joy. I have been told I am "just a coach." I have been told competition is NOT education. I have been told speech is not educational. I will not let anyone steal the joy my passion, coaching speech, gives me on a daily basis. Watching a student find his/her voice, advocating for his/her beliefs, and influencing an audience is infectious and energizing. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning. When we let people steal our joy, we let people dictate the direction of our life. This philosophy led me to co-found SPEAK2compete.
When faced with this challenge, I encourage you to identify YOUR WHY. In other words, why are you investing in your passion? Take the next week to really reflect on this question. A true competitor (yes, life is competitive) will routinely ask this question. Your answer will change and evolve over time, but never stop asking why.
If you want to be successful in life, DO NOT LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR JOY!