From time to time, it’s good to have a reality check in your life. A TMOD theme prompting you to do so can be subtle but effective trick. TM Thomas from New York had this in his mind when he announced the theme for the meeting in his club as the TMOD. Have a look.
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THE COMFORT ZONE
It’s six in the morning. You know that right now, you should have been on the track outside jogging to the park and to a good health. Sadly you were too cozy in that mattress you bought recently after the retailer promised “This mattress wouldn’t let you get out of your bed.” The blanket and pillow teamed up to eliminate any desire you had to get out. You are well aware that the only thing you are going to gain by staying on your bed is extra pounds in your body and extra guilt in your soul. And yet, you give up.
That fellow Toastmasters is the most graphic description of Comfort Zone that I could give you. Comfort zone is that hypnotizing land where you are well aware that you should move out and yet you don’t either because of inaction or fear of the unknown. Stay too long in this zone and you risk being there forever. What follows is self-pity and a guilt ride that haunts you for your life. We have all been in this zone at some point in our life, me included. Think about the time when you were in a job you wanted to resign from or when you knew you should meet new people and yet kept hanging out with your familiar circle. The golden rule is the sooner we leave this zone, the better. We will know more about comfort zones as we progress in the meeting but first let me tell you the format of a Toastmasters meeting.
Every Toastmasters meeting is divided into three parts. The first part is the Prepared Speech section where our members prepare a 5 to 7 minute speech in advance, get it mentored and deliver the same. The second part is the fun and exciting Table Topic Session where anyone can speak for 1 to 2 minutes on a topic given by our Table Topic Master. And the last part is the evaluation session where our General Evaluator will give a comprehensive report on the entire meeting. Let me invite our General Evaluator for the day TM Name.
Once the GE is done explaining his role, invite the Prepared Speakers. After this session, continue with the theme as under.
The first step to solving any problem is identifying the problem. So let us see how you can identify if you are in the problem, in the comfort zone that is. The simplest way is to check if you have been unhappy with any aspect in your life since a long time. It signals that you are in a situation that you want to get out of since you are unhappy but haven’t been able to. The second way is to check your to do list. If over an extended period of time, your to do list looked the same, it’s a signal that you are stuck in a loop. And the third way is to talk to people closest to you – your family and friends. Sometimes, things that are apparent to other people are not visible to us because we are too close to the problem. A third eye view helps.
We will learn how to get out of your comfort zone but right now, it’s time to invite the Table Topic Master of the day.
Once the Table Topic Session is over, continue with the theme as under.
So how do you get out of your comfort zone? The shortest answer to this is take action. But it’s easier said than done. So let’s break down the solution to smaller easier bits. First – identify the zone you would like to be in after getting out of your comfort zone. Now, you know where you are and where you want to be. Next identify at least 5 different routes you can take to reach your desired zone. This represents 5 things you can do to get out of your comfort zone. Finally, follow Nike’s words and just do it. Forget about others opinion and their warnings. Take a leap of faith and just do it. You may start with the easiest of the five routes you identified but start you must. Hopefully one of those routes will take you to your desired zone. And if it doesn’t, start the process all over again.
It’s time now for the evaluation session. Please help me invite the General Evaluator for the day TM Name
Once the Evaluation session is over, conclude the theme as under.
Fellow Toastmasters, the good news is you are all here. This means you decided to step out of one comfort zone and face your fear, face the audience. All you got to do is, replicate this in other areas of your life and hopefully, you will have a great story to share in your next TMOD theme.
It’s time now for the awards.
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Thank you so much TM Thomas for this submission.
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For more theme ideas as the Toastmaster of the day, click here.