I’m just back from running a three day intensive speaker training retreat.
There were 15 of us, working together in a beautiful setting – a hotel in acres of ancient parkland, giant sequoias towering over the lush, green grasses, birds singing.
The building itself is steeped in history too. It’s stunning and full of energy.
But that’s not what I want to talk to you about the most.
I want to talk to you about the courage these people shared.
We created a safe space from the start – all agreed to help and support each other, and to keep it sacred – nobody would share details of the stories we told outside of that room without permission.
Over three days, we shared tears, laughter and encouragement.
We rooted for one another.
We shared in each other’s triumphs and challenges.
When one person stumbled, the rest of us held them up – not unlike those giant redwoods we could see from the windows of our double conference room.
Barriers came down very quickly.
It was an international audience – we had people from the UK, USA and South Africa, just for starters, but none of that mattered.
What mattered was Team Human.
There were coaches, authors, therapists, accountants, business owners and managers – a real mix.
We spoke about topics ranging from miscarriage to miscarriages of justice, appearances to addictions, inventions to injuries, life, death and beyond.
What made this special was how this magical group of people, all of whom wanted to become speakers, to share their stories with the world, all conveyed such deep insights, such magical motivation, such power-full, heartfelt teachings.
Nobody wanted to sell from the stage, or convert everyone to some flakey millionaire mindset mastermind programme, or just flog copies of their book.
These people were motivated by something deeper.
They were willing to connect their heads to their hearts to their guts and deliver a real service to the world.
They were brave enough to show their own vulnerability so that others might learn, maybe avoid some of the pitfalls in life and use knowledge of the journey they’d been through to thrive.
That’s why I call my speaker training programme The Heart Of Speaking… it’s because we all need to show – and have and feel – more heart.
Society suffers from head/heart disconnect far too much. We’ve become nations of heads dragging around bodies.
We’re obsessed with making the next buck and growing our fortunes, ahead of connecting with other human beings at a deeper level.
One of our delegates – a wonderful guy called Steve – talked about “Dropping the L-bomb”. It’s what I’m about to drop onto you right now.
LOVE is more important than logistics.
FEELINGS are more important than finances.
HAPPINESS is more important than high rises.
CONTENTMENT is more important than commodities.
INTEGRITY is more important than investing.
Somehow, somewhere, we’ve lost our way.
We’ve bought into consumerism above compassion, capitalism above kindness, profits above people.
I’m not going to go entirely #hippyshit on your asses – I know money is important. I know we need to carve out the life we want to live. I believe in creating, and taking responsibility for, our own futures.
I believe we need to remember that a rich life is about far more than cold, hard cash.
You can have all the dollars in the world, but there’s not much sadder than counting it on your own. Coins aren’t much to cuddle up to. Bullion doesn’t make a comfortable bedfellow.
Without love, without passion, without kindness, without vision, inspiration, integrity, compassion, the person with billions of dollars at bank becomes poorer than the penniless guy who holds his soulmate’s hand and gazes at the stars in wonder and gratitude.
This world isn’t made up of binary choices. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
We don’t need to either have a job or joy.
We don’t need to either have a career or contentment.
We don’t need to either have financial freedom or feelings of fulfillment.
We need to stop dividing ourselves up.
We need to stop separating our heads from our hearts.
We need to stop buying into the bullshit agenda.
Just like those brave, beautiful speakers are setting out to do.
They’re living in their truth. They’re determined to make a positive impact in the world, with a full heart and pure intentions.
They’re aligned to their highest purpose… and it’s not *just* about making money, though I know they will all be rich beyond their wildest dreams.
As can we all.
Step out onto the great stage of life with purpose. Walk in truth and beauty. Be in balance. Seek not only material riches, but the relationships and experiences that fill our hearts and souls with richness too.
Find your courage. Make a difference. Be rich in every sense of the word.
Set out to leave every place, every connection more beautiful than you found it.
Give something back.
Grow from your experiences and encourage others in their own growth too.
Until next time,