I do a fair bit of public speaking.
As I do more of it, I realize that life is like speaking or performing on a stage in many ways.
Let us take a closer look.
Preparation and nurturing
Before the audience sees the speaker on the stage there are a lots of things that go in the background. There is communication between the host and the speaker, confirmation about schedule, venue, and topic. Then there is travel.
A good speaker prepares well by reading, researching and rehearsing.
Today you are ready to make choices and perform on the stage of life. Before this, your parents and family were responsible for nurturing your being. Your nurturing began even earlier when you came to exist in your mother’s womb.
Finally after this nurturing, background work and preparation, you – like a speaker – get on the stage to play your role, to deliver your talk, to mesmerise the world and find meaning.
During this performance you learn a great deal about yourself, move up or down based on the choices you make and also give value to those around. Just like a speaker when she is on stage.
Like on stage, you also experience emotions – joy, satisfaction, amazement, fulfillment, bonding, also pain, sorrow, shame and despair at times.
A good speaker learns from mistakes and moves ahead to deliver even better talks. You also get a chance to get on the stage of life when you wake up every day. It is up to you to give your best shot at making each day of your life better than the last.
How to perform well on stage of life?
Now look at how one can sail through life well – like a speaker sails through a talk.
1. Observe and learn.
We need to observe and learn from those who have mastered the art of living the life well. My love for spiritually is not hidden from you. So much that I almost became a monk. So I get inspired by great sages and also learn from the philosophers and entrepreneurs – old and new.
In old times this used to be first hand. Now this can be done online. You can start by reading the autobiographies of people who you admire.
2. Know Yourself.
Take time to know yourself – your pain points, your reasons of joy. Think about how you reached where you are. A good way of doing it is to share what you find. This is what I am doing right now. Sharing with you – what I have learned through these words.
In the process you will find a part of yourself which is hidden from you. Of course there are finer way of doing it, but what I shared above is a good starting point. You can start it from where you are right now.
3. Treat your body and mind well.
Know that your body and mind is the most important instrument that you will ever have in this life. With this understanding, take care of it.
Do not get worked up but sleep enough and at right time (This is a lesson I need to learn as I sleep really late at night – but i’ll get there :)).
Exercise to stay fit and sharp.
When you are in good shape and in right frame of mind — you can create things, come up with ideas and make these ideas worthwhile by nurturing them with consistent action.
A speaker takes care of her body and mind – so that when her time comes, she will sound and look good on stage.
4. Find your own reason to perform and live.
A good speaker does not choose her speaking topics – based on what others are speaking about. She speaks about topics that she really cares about.
You may come across speakers and freelance writers who will claim that they can write about or speak on any topic on the earth. They are right. But it is a pain to write or speak about something that you do not care about.
Similarly it is no fun to live doing what you do not like.
You will live your life to the fullest and live up to your true potential if you do what makes you come alive.
When you do that it is easy for you to give your best shot.
5. Avoid having too many moving parts.
On the stage of life and on speaking stage avoid having too many moving parts. Keep it simple. An experienced speaker can deliver her presentation without slides and lots of gadgets. For her the story and audience are at the core, everything else is secondary. In life learn to move ahead without lots of bells and whistles.
6. Learn to keep balance.
Understand the importance of keeping a balance between fixed and fluid elements in life. A speaker uses this to improvise when faced with unexpected situations – like when during her talk, power goes off. Use this when in life you face unexpected and unwanted situations.
7. Do not hold back, give your 100%!
When you give you get also. So when a speaker gets on the stage — she not only gives, she gets also – she not only shares, she learns also.
Similarly in life you do not live only for yourself. Sure, take care of yourself well. But think about those around. Help them grow.
8. Aim for oneness.
After many years of being on stage, a speaker tends to get one with the stage – a moment comes when the topic, stage, audience in the room and the speaker become one. Similarly if you live life well, you become one with it. You feel centred and connected with the core.
That is when the magic unfolds. In moments like these you experience joy and peace. Aim for this.
For now, happy rocking on the stage of life.