THIS is the third and last part of my Past President’s Message delivered last Dec. 13, 2019 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Taipan Toastmasters Club.
If you can do it well, do it better. If you can do it today, do it yesterday. You temper your expectations. You change your perspective. But you never ever lower the bar. You aim high. You run the extra mile. And you hit the ground running. Every single day. Not every other day.
But if you’re tired, stop. But don’t give up. If you’re sad, cry. But don’t give up. If you’re angry, chill. Walk away. Choose your battles. Some things are sacrosanct. But not everything is essential. You don’t have to win every battle—only those that matter.
Work hard. But love more. I have few regrets in life but when I was diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that came to my mind was, “I should have worked less.” When I lost my mother, the first thing that came to my mind was, “I should have loved more.”
Get your priorities in order. Now.
Work hard but don’t kill yourself. Love truly. Not everyone will love you back with as much faith and fervor but love with all your heart, anyway.
Take umbrage at poverty, injustice, poor health care, discrimination, corruption, environmental degradation, sexual abuse, oppression. Indifference is the greatest disservice you can do humanity.
Take care of yourself. But know that life offers no guarantees. Live well not because you want to live longer but because you want to live better. And because you want to live happily despite what happens after.
It’s not about longevity. It’s about legacy.
Growth is the goal, not success because when the goal is to grow rather than to succeed, it is not possible not to be able to find joy, bliss, success and significance on the road.
I left Taipan because I needed to grow in other directions. Sometimes, relationships need a break. I took one when I needed it. And I have no regrets. Of course, the risk in taking a break is that sometimes, the break becomes permanent. But life’s like that.
I delivered my first speech in 1990. I joined the club in 1991. I left in 2001. In fact, I didn’t really stay that long. But it seemed like a lifetime. And it was. Because Taipan left me with a lifetime of memories I will always hold dear and amazing friendships that have incredibly survived through the years.
I’m like a ship that constantly needs to be out at sea because though high winds and huge waves terrify me, the lure of new frontiers beckons irresistibly. I do sometimes hanker for the safety of the harbor but more often than not, I crave for new ports of call and exciting adventures.
Thank you, Taipan, for providing me safe harbor—30 years ago, tonight, at every point in my life when I needed it. My heart is full. It’s been real.