Some people fear public speaking more than death. I guess that makes me the outlier.
I’m a high school Spanish teacher by day. On the weekends and during the summer, I speak at conferences and events. I work with teachers to challenge how they think about education and to encourage them to incorporate technology in their classrooms.
I love seeing teachers get excited about new practices that they can use with their students. It means the ideas from my sessions are spreading farther than I could take them myself. The reach of my conference sessions is limited, though. I wanted to spread the ideas that motivate me to as many teachers as possible. So, I sought advice from a fellow teacher and presenter. His suggestion: write a book.
I love hearing great speakers present a well-crafted message. I especially love presentations when the speaker is an author whose books I’ve read. Even if we’ve never met, it feels as if we have a connection. I’m eager to hear my favorite authors speak because their message has already intrigued, entertained, or inspired me.
So when I learned that Lysa TerKeurst was scheduled to speak at an event about an hour down the road, I knew I would be there. TerKeurst is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of three New York Times bestsellers—and 16 others books. Of all 19 of her books, I’ve read one. And I only read that one last fall when Proverbs 31 did an online Bible study using The Best Yes as a study guide. She’d written 19 books in a genre that I enjoy reading and I had never even heard of her until last fall.
I recently accomplished a life-long dream: I wrote and published a book. I have always heard that writing a book is more about who you become while writing the book than the book itself. I now believe that is true. I had started this book before—many times. This time, from start date through planning, outlining, and writing was just a few weeks. What made the difference this time—what did I have to do and believe to get this book out of my head and onto the page?
Have you ever read a book or heard a story that just had too many themes to follow? For example, I have a hard time with novels that have multiple families—each with people who have their own issues. It’s a challenge for me to keep the characters straight in my head, especially if the names are at all similar or difficult to remember.
We live in a world overflowing with opportunity and choice. With so many options, sometimes it’s difficult to choose. Rather than settling on one thing, be it a career, brand of coffee, hobby or target market, we either decide not to choose or we dabble in lots of different things.
I’ve always wanted to be writer. In fact, for as long as I can remember, I’ve written.
I wrote in a diary when I was seven. I wrote papers and stories in junior high and high school. I majored in English literature in college. I got a job in marketing where I was able to do some copywriting.
And, because I wasn’t great at being in the corporate world and needed to moan about it, I took to writing in a diary again though, as an adult, it’s called journaling and the writing this time was much less peppy than when I was writing as a second grader.
If you had asked me when I was 21 and fresh out of college what my dream job was, I would have said writing articles for magazines. I didn’t pursue that, though. I think I was intimidated by what I thought of as a glamorous job reserved for up and comers in Manhattan. I was living in the grunge era of Seattle and perhaps I just didn’t feel I fit the part. So, I did other work.
I began this year with really excellent plans. Really excellent. I planned to blog weekly and post a weekly guest article on MyWritersConnection.com. I planned to connect with speakers, authors and coaches on 48 Days Ultimate Advantage Cruise with Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, Rory Vaden, Sue Detweiler, Chris McCluskey and slew of other fabulous people. I planned to launch new programs and host another amazing MWC Retreat and Workshop. And I planned to connect with you weekly.
Congrats to Paul Solarz on his newly released book, Learn Like a PIRATE!
But life didn’t go as planned. My family and I returned to the States from Ireland in early February when a monthly contract abruptly ended. In less than 30 days, we packed up and moved back across the Atlantic. Another four weeks later, we rented a house on Florida’s Emerald Coast, got my son enrolled in a new school, and bought a couple of beds so we’d have somewhere to sleep. And in the middle of all the crying, packing and wondering about what’s next, I helped a fabulous, first-time author get published, edited a soon-to-be-released book, and went on that cruise—and it was an absolutely fantastic place to connect.
ReLaunch: Personal Growth for Business Success is a daily radio show for career changers, difference makers and those with a dream. Features interviews of today’s most in-demand experts, thought leaders, and ReLaunch! artists. Hosts Joel and Pei. Fresh ideas, inspiring stories, and practical steps—delivered in a fun, conversational, easy-going way; Monday through Saturday.
In this interview, I share how the stress of being over-busy took its tool on my life and health. Joel and I talk about how I learned to simplify. A few lessons I had to learn:
- Being Busy isn’t a Sign for Achievement
- How to Say No and Simplify Life
- The Hidden Reason Why Some of Us Can’t Say NO
- What to Do When You Have Too Many Obligations?
||Relaunch Podcast –>Learning to Simplify
I have been a book author, speaker and a trainer for twenty-seven years. I have written sixteen books—most of them on motivation and leadership. On May 4, almost three years ago, something happened that changed my life. My wife of thirty-two years died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. On Friday night I was married and on Saturday morning I was a widower. Needless to say it was the most tragic and shocking moment of my life.