Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Speaking of Persuasion

Kurt Mortensen
What a deja vu experience today! I had my old public speaking teacher come and teach our class. I think his main goal was to prepare us for our book presentations, but I was sent back to some good memories. His class is still my favorite class that I have taken at BYU thus far. It’s real! It’s a class that teaches you real skills and then you put them to work and practice on them. His class made a HUGE impact on my mission and my life. I can’t even thank Professor Mortensen enough. 
I remembered a lot of the things he taught today form his class. It was basically a quick version of his first class period, the basics of public speaking. What stuck out to me this time in class is how similar public speaking is to leadership. They have the same principles.  These three principles of speaking stood out to me today:

Keeping the hands moving
1) Passion-If you want to be a powerful speaker or an influential leader you have to have passion. Passion is the foundation of why you lead or why you speak. Knowing your purpose is very important. 

2) Persuasive-A leader wants to help people to become better. A speaker wants his audience to take action. In both instances the focal point is the people. You know what you want them to do, but if it is for you, then you can forget any bit of success. The success is directing people to act because it will help them. If people can trust you as a leader or a speaker they will follow and they will act.

Yes we are prepared

3) Mistakes-This is a principle that has come up probably 1,000 times this semester; or maybe just 3 or 4 times. Professor Mortensen gave a few examples of his bigger speaking mistakes, but he said you are going to make a mistake every time you speak. I know that is my biggest fear. My fear is to fail or do something wrong. My pessimistic side says, “Why try if you aren’t going to do it right or the way you expect.” I have fought this mentality for a long time. I feel like I’m 50-50 on this. My desire is to do better at having a better attitude or mentality. I want to be able to not be afraid of success. 

Presentation Goal/Statement: I will help my audience have a desire to read “Toy Box Leadership”. I will do so by using testimony, examples, stats, and a story. I will speak from my heart. My audience will feel the impact the book had on me.  I will speak without focusing on mistakes. I will be done in 6 minutes. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't Hide-Be You

That's not really me :)

This week we had a great speaker, Dean Kau. He is my BOSS, in a very round-about way. I work in the Student Leadership Office. My boss is our student lead Sarah, who reports to Angela, who reports to Br. Ward, who reports to Dean Kau. He is over the office I work in. Crazy huh! 

His presentation was on being leaders in the community. It really inspired me. In class I had some creative thoughts come into my mind. That is the first creative thing that has popped into my head in the past month. It was real inspiration because it pointed me back to the bike trip that I want to go on. 

He said told us his philosophy on working in the community. It simply is, “Don’t hide in your community.” That was a dagger to the heart. I can say I have been hiding lately from a lot of things. I’ve had a lot of stresses that has made me just want to get away from things. I have been blessed though as I have been guided from the Lord slowly but surely to get through them. 

My TA for this class Bekah asked me a question that came to my mind after this class. I work in, like I said, the Student Leadership Office. I did volunteer work in the office my freshman year. Bekah asked which I liked better. It is clearly the volunteer aspect. There is no personal gain. It is pure helping. Being in the office as an employee has been a drag. It’s like a burden to come and be there. I sit there and get paid for doing nothing. At least when I didn’t do anything before I didn’t get paid. And when I was doing things it was more rewarding.

I know that leadership in the community can be in a program at BYU, it can be in a ward, or an apartment. The two things that came to my mind where I can help in the community are the bike trip and helping out a local basketball team. The bike trip has just been popping up all semester. I can’t ignore it. Dean Kau quoted a student that said, “Choose to be committed and go for it.” Helping a basketball team has been something that I have thought about in the past 2 months and came back during class. I feel like that is something I know and love and can share with others. 

I’m trying to find myself again. I’ve been very lost since coming home and I feel like I have only got more lost trying to be some new person. I feel like there are good habits I have picked up but for the most part I feel like I have been forcing a lot of things. Maybe it’s not forcing, but rather a pre conceived notion of what I should be as a return missionary that I disappeared. Instead I need to be me. I need to do things that I enjoy, service is one of those. I have got so caught up in school and trying to find the answer to what I’m going to do with my life that I have just got more confused. A better way to think about it is I have found 99 things that I don’t want to do and I am 1 closer! 

I want to lead by being happy again. I feel like next semester is going to be very different. I feel like I’m going to make some changes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Foundations of My Life

As a missionary I actually, not knowing, created my own code of ethics. The week before I left I pondered on what I wanted to make of my mission.  These are the things that came out: Faithful, Grateful, and Love.

This is how I fulfilled these foundational stones as a missionary:

Faithful—is a term that describes patience in affliction, diligence against opposition, trusting the will of God. I can say I worked my hardest in each area. Did I always know what to do or how to do it? No, but I knew that God would help me to know and to do. I know part of being faithful is the work of harvesting and the work of preparing.  Sometimes you have to start from scratch and build it up whether it is a relationship, area, ward, etc.  In those times your faithful labor goes to establishing. Other time it is your time to execute. That is when you make the most of what God has laid before you.  I have played both roles and my only regret is I wish I would have turned to the Lord more when I did not know what to do.  I would ask the Lord to forgive me if I ever thought to give up. 

Grateful—I am very grateful for the testimony I have received of the Plan of Salvation and of the Restoration. I am grateful for each companion. I am grateful for each area South Chase East, Apopka, Buena Vista, Osceola East. I am grateful for opposition I received in each area and also for the success.  I am grateful I could be humbled. I am grateful for the two years of service. I have had to learn to live off of what you have and make the most of what has been given to you.  You can look at the same thing in two different ways, it is better to look at it with light and happiness. 

Love—I love my mission completely and fully.  When I see it in God’s eyes I know I did my best.  I tried my hardest. I know I loved because the things I have learned have become a part of me.  I know I loved because the Lord loved me enough to polish me off at the 
end.  I learned how love is correcting, love is showing mercy, love is judging righteously, love is not make judgments. I know love is repenting.

Ironically I wrote this next section first. I went and found the responses above. It’s cool to see how my perspective has changed. Those weren’t just answers, but values that have become a part of me. This is how I plan to fulfill these as I continue on with my life:

Faithful-Is to trust others and allow them to trust you by keeping commitments that you make with people. I will be true to my lovely spouse—I will endure trials to keep my family together—I will strive to have no empty chairs—I will be obedient to the Lord and what He asks me to do—I will diligently provide for my family—I will stand true to my covenants I have made with the Lord

Grateful—I will quickly turn to the Lord to remember him by writing in my journal--I will be eternally grateful for the lessons I learned on my mission—I will be grateful for the my parents—I will be grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ—I will be grateful for the necessity of life that the Lord provides—I will be grateful for my family—I will be grateful when the Lord provides a way or relieves me from struggles

Love—It isn’t just a great affection for someone. To love is to help someone to become their best. That means sometimes there is need for correction, encouragement, patience, telling them the truth, opening our hearts to each other. I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength—I will love eternal companion forever—I will love my children—I will love the circumstances I will be placed in