What directs human beings to behave the way we do, be it the way we dress or the reason why we are passionate to attend a Toastmasters meeting? Psychologists would say much of human behavior is learned while the rest of it innate. Learning can be defined as relatively permanent change in behavior that has risen from practice or experience. Every positive experience in life makes our learning process joyful, that we tend to imbibe them in us, making it our way of life. Personally, attending the first Toastmasters meeting was such an enriching experience, that I consciously altered my behavior to attend toastmasters meeting regularly.
We are all born with few innate behaviors and only our existence in this world has thought us most of what we do today, behaviors as simple as walking or speaking. Every lesson in life comes after struggle; the first step you took wasn’t easy. As life goes on, as the essential and most necessitate behaviors required for human survival is learned, our learning declines or rather virtually comes to halt. When was the last time you learned an invaluable lesson? In the mad race to sustain our living, we forget to relish our experiences and fail to understand the lessons. Finally, when life throws up the test, we tend to complain as we had already missed the cue to learn. As the cliché goes, learning is a continuous process. Breathing and learning should never cease, if they do, then we are extinct.
Toastmasters, is one such a platform that provided me with an opportunity to learn and learn with passion. I saw another world, a world of confident individuals who were raring to go; making a difference to their worlds with their speeches. Toastmasters helped me rediscover the speaker in me. I began to realize how I had seized to learn and look for avenues to hone my skills. Toastmasters opened doors to an alternative space, shaping my possessed traits and acquiring new skills. The ignition this spark provided gave me the go ahead to venture into other areas of my interests. I began my exploration into the world of unknown; I began to enjoy every experience that life had to offer. Not only did I garner new skills and enhanced my behavior, it gave me the courage to experiment. Learning has become a way of life for me today. The known is limited; the unknown is unlimited.
We tread through different phases in our lives, stand at the cross roads time and again, yet learning never ceases. It is in Toastmasters, I found the trigger for my learning process in more ways than one.
It is through the process of learning, we evolve.
An article written for the Toastmasters International District 82 Annual conference -Ovations 2010