Nowadays we are asked to volunteer for many different things – from serving at food banks, to walk-a-thons, to participating in breast cancer awareness events. All of which are important. But while volunteering, we often act mechanically without a thought – except to just to get it over with.
To volunteer is to give of one’s self and to truly find out who you are and what you are made of.
There are many advantages to volunteering, but I’d like to highlight three that I believe are the difference in finding one’s passion and determining one’s destination for life.
Before I began my professional speaking career, my younger sister approached me and asked if I’d speak at her school about the topic of teen pregnancy. She indicated that they were having a panel of speakers to talk about their experience. I immediately said, yes. And the experience was life changing. I discovered that I had the ability to tell stories that were very relatable and at times even funny, but, I could get a serious point across. After my initial presentation, I was rewarded with a request from teachers asking if I’d come back to speak to the students because of their positive response.
I found myself volunteering to go to the school once a month to speak with students. What I got out of the experience was well above what I believe my audience received from me. I realized I had the skill to speak. I also realized I had a story that needed to be shared, which brought value to others through my experiences and message.
The first level of volunteering is to say yes. So often we hesitate to say yes to an experience that will cause us to move out of our comfort zone, but yet moving out of our comfort zone is the key to finding your “zone.”
The second level of volunteering is willing to be vulnerable. Had you been at that presentation on teen pregnancy, you would have heard how nervous I sounded, how much I stuttered and stammered during the presentation, yet it seemed like the students were willing to allow me not to be perfect because the message was authentic. This brings me to the final level in finding one’s passion.
The third level is to be authentic. When my sister asked me to speak, it was because she witnessed the point in my life where I struggled, yet she also saw how I was living my life authentically. I wasn’t trying to be anything other than a great mom to my son. While she saw the challenges I faced every day; she believed that my story might help other teens to delay having a child at a young age. She believed I could help them to move past their current challenges and become successful in their lives.
So how does one find their passion? First say “yes,” secondly by being willing to be “vulnerable” and thirdly by being true to thine own “authentic self.”*
The rest will follow.
*To Thine Own Self Be True” is a quote from the play “Hamlet” Act 1, sc.iii by William Shakespeare. The speaker is a father who is giving advice to his son before the son leaves home. If the son remains true to who he is, he will never be false to any man.
To learn more about Andrea Mosby visit https://campuspeak.com/mosby