Career, Life

Staying with Something

Sometimes we say yes to things we then regret doing. Because we are adults, we can also walk away from what we say yes to. Most of the time no one is telling us to stay with it.

I’ve had two re-occurring commitments on my calendar for a year or more now. I recently realized how happy I was that I stayed with them. The commitments are Toastmasters and Read to a Child.

The Toastmasters chapter I am a part of meets every other Wednesday at 1PM. It is a chapter within my company. After the first 2 or 3 meetings, I really never felt like going. I wanted to stay at my desk and work instead. I also felt like I sucked at public speaking. I had these feelings for a few consecutive months. It would come and go. I knew I wanted to practice public speaking so I stayed with it. Now fast forward fifteen months and there is really never a time I don’t want to go. If I didn’t hold onto that desire to improve public speaking, I would have quit Toastmasters before it started to get really fun.

The next is Read To a Child. Every Thursday at lunch I go to a local elementary school and read to a little buddy named Allen. I had the similar feelings as Toastmasters after starting this last year. I was regretting signing up and wanted to stay at my desk and work. @lizkel1 then gave me some good advice half way through which was to bring him candy. I started to see how excited he got during our reading time. His excitement transferred to me. At the end of last school year, Allen made me a letter that is on my fridge today. We also re-united for the first time this year and will meet once a week for the school year. He is in 4th grade. I was pumped about this and of course brought him candy. The point is I also stayed with this one and am enjoying it a lot now.

Sometimes staying with a commitment is a really good call but we’re quick to stop. There are also situations where stopping is a good move. I believe it is about paying close attention to how you feel. In these instances, I had a connection to the bigger picture: getting better at public speaking or connecting with a young kid who could use some guidance. Had I not had the connections, moving on to something else earlier might have been a good call.