I grew up in a family that was rich with traditions. One of my favorites was our tradition of “packing” into the new year. As we gathered on New Year’s Eve each year, we would discuss the things we wanted to leave in or add to our backpack for the year to come: things that fueled us, nourished us, helped us, and made us better. And then we discussed the things that we needed to take out of our backpack. These were the things that had become useless or weighty. Things that slowed us down or kept us from moving forward.
On this dawn of the new year, what’s in your backpack? What do you need to leave in and take out? Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao-Tzu put it this way, “To attain knowledge add things every day. To attain wisdom remove things every day.” This ancient quote can give us a framework by which to rise to our potential in 2019.
Status quo is comfortable for most people. If we don’t change things, we don’t have to take risks. But we also don’t grow. Attaining the knowledge that Lao-Tzu talks about is an active pursuit. It’s a challenge. How will you actively pursue something better in the new year? Is there a book that you need to read? A healthier practice you need to develop? Or perhaps you need to educate yourself further.
At Presentation Mentor we have crafted a results-driven course for building your presentation skills. Presenting isn’t just about public speaking. It’s about how you write, how you organize ideas, how you portray yourself, how you build your confidence, how you think about others and their needs, how you disseminate information, and how you persuade. It’s about communication. And we believe that improving communication skills is one of the most important and beneficial things a person can do. After all, 83% of employers say communication skills is one of the top 3 things they are looking for in potential employees. Investing in a communication course not only helps you, but it helps everyone with whom you communicate. If you are looking to add something in the new year that will impact nearly every part of your life, consider adding a communication course to your backpack.
I have continued the tradition of packing into the new year with my two teen-aged daughters. During a recent road trip to visit family for the holidays, we talked about our backpacks for 2019. This simple conversation gave us the chance to affirm in ourselves and in each other practices that are healthy and positive, and it allowed us to talk about the things which we wanted or needed to leave behind. The process of editing our lives is an important one. We only have so much capacity. We can’t simply add and add and add. We have to remove some things, otherwise, our relationships suffer, the quality of our work suffers, or our health suffers.
What do you need let go of? It could be an app on your phone that sucks up all of your free time. Maybe it’s an unhealthy relationship or negative self-talk. Maybe it’s anxiety about something. Perhaps you are one of the 27 million Americans who struggle with fear of public speaking. Imagine how this new year could be different if you found confidence in yourself. If you spoke up more frequently about things that were important to you. If you challenged yourself and rose to the occasion. If you made the big sale, the big pitch, or the big presentation without fear.
As you think about journeying into 2019, examine your backpack. What needs to be added or removed? At Presentation Mentor, we would love to walk part of this new year with you. We are ready to help you master the communication skills that will make for an amazing new year.
To add presentation greatness and newfound confidence to your backpack, register for our online course here.