When the City of Pasadena invited me to speak at the Conference of Aging, I was very reluctant to go through that door of intimidation. I’ve been in this position before with athletic events, but this was somehow different I thought. This is getting up and speaking in front of other people! What’s more terrifying than that? But as I thought about it more, I realized that my presentation really wasn’t all that different. It represents doing something new, getting outside of your comfort zone and risking failure. (Who wants to do that!) So in the spirit of practicing what I preach… down the hill I went to Pasadena one snowy morning to share stories of encouragement and success with others.
Wow what a great event it was! There were a variety of presentations and topics available to attendees. From health insurance reform to the local public utility company, there was something for everyone. The opening “act” was keynote speaker was Fritz Coleman who not only is the local TV weatherman but also a very good speaker and comedian. When Fritz was finished, attendees dispersed to listen to a variety of different conference speakers. This is where I got nervous. I kept wondering, what if no body shows up? What if I fail?
Slowly but surely, people filed into our meeting room. We had almost 20 people! I was thrilled to have a good turnout – whew! They were all there to find out more about Get Off The Couch And Go! Well, one lady just came in to hear about how I managed to accomplish 26 events in one day.
Out of fifteen other presentations, I’d like to think that ours was the most fun. We had a great audience participation which made it a lot of fun. We shared some videos of great people, spoke about different events to get involved in, talked about some emotional subjects and told some corny jokes. After the presentation I was truly surprised how many people were looking for validation for what they already doing. This made me realize that my job is not to only encourage people to get off the couch and go, but to encourage people to stay off the couch.
A lot of time and effort went into this presentation. I am very fortunate to have a great team to help me succeed. I want to thank everybody who were present to hear what I had to say and to thank them for giving validation for what I am trying to do! Thank you to Cynthia Rosendale of the Pasadena Senior Center for inviting me to speak, to Mike Porter for the great video production and sound, and Laura Johnson for helping create this whole program. Lastly and most important, a very special thanks to my wonderful wife Uli for her support, funny comments and for just being there for me.
So now that I have gotten past the first presentation, the next one will get easier … I hope.
Remember – NO EXCUSES!
PS: Check out our video broadcast of the seminar here: