When the representatives from the Naperville Library asked if I’d be interested in closing out their staff conference I was quick to say, “Yes.” I used to do hundreds of presentations all over the country and I must admit, I miss it. So, I jumped in. Some of my take-aways included:
- Change matters because it affects relevance.
- It’s important to remember that life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. We can either adapt, ignore and slowly fade from reality.
- Sometimes being uncomfortable allows us to explore areas we might not otherwise explore. If you’re not crazy about change, understand it might take you where you need to go.
One of my favorite quotes about change comes from Viktor Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.” This quote certainly came to life for me when giving my presentation.
As I was preparing to deliver my keynote, it was clear there was a technology glitch which caused my whole deck to be viewed prior to me even starting the presentation. It was beyond the control of the staff and honestly, I sat there panicked as I saw the “surprise” slides reveal themselves. My heart began to race, and I thought, “This is not going to be good.” My nerves got the best of me, and when we finally figured out what was wrong, my composure was shot. I was then challenged to change myself and my attitude. Full disclosure, I didn’t. I pieced through my presentation and walked away feeling completely defeated. Rather than understanding my inability to change the situation, I focused on my inability to change my presentation. #fail
I wrote the staff Members that I felt I had let down. They wrote back to me with words of praise sharing that it was a “great presentation.” What? No, I blew it. Then I received a lovely email from one of the attendees sharing how much she gleaned from my presentation. I was blown away. Perhaps I did adapt, perhaps I was able to change what I thought I didn’t have control over. Wow.
Lesson learned, as much as I think I am a go with the flow kind of gal, that day I was challenged. I thought I had everything laid out just as I had planned, only to realize things don’t always go as planned. We must be adaptable, and we must realize that even though it’s not our best, we can always try our best.
There is one thing I know about change, and that is that it leads to opportunity and experience. This was certainly an experience and an opportunity to discover that sometimes I need to ease back on my expectations, and simply be present in the best way I can. I changed that day and it was good, not comfortable, but good.
Make it a great day,