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The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control

The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control

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    My wife and I had a wonderful lunch on Saturday, just the two of us, at an outdoor Mexican cafe. The sun was bright but not hot. The wind was a soft, cool breeze. Our lunch was one of the most peaceful and relaxing times I can remember, it was perfect.

    And then out of the blue, a small car comes roaring off the highway and right in front of the restaurant side swipes another driver then slams on the brakes, makes a sharp turn to the right, and drives off even faster.

    A brief, loud, dangerous, completely random moment.

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    It is not the accident itself that has me thinking, it’s the randomness of it. The driver that was hit, where were they going? What were they hoping to achieve that day? How was their life altered by that single random moment? Most importantly, will this knock them off course? Will it change them and alter the direction in which their lives were headed?

    The answer is actually pretty simple: Only if they let it.

    A single car accident may not have a great impact on our lives, but what about a random event at work? You have been working day in and day out on your career, you have a goal, you can see it, and then a random event happens that could through you far off course.

    The truth is that random events happen in our lives everyday. Some are small, others are huge. There is no way to predict or anticipate them. The only control we have is how we react to them. We cannot control events but we can control our reaction. We are in complete control of what comes next, and therein lies one of the greatest freedoms we will ever know.

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    “Why is the human need to be in control relevant to a discussion of random patterns? Because if events are random, we are not in control, and if we are in control of events, they are not random, there is therefore a fundamental clash between our need to feel we are in control and our ability to recognize randomness.” – Leonard Mlodinow

    Mlodinow is right. We cannot control random events, but with hard work and a whole lot of patience we can control our reaction to the randomness of the world we live in. Try these three steps to take back your control:

    1. Slow Everything Down

    slow-down

      Nothing can be gained from reacting quickly and impulsively to an event, whether it is a car accident, a breakup, or burning your toast in the morning. Our first in the moment reaction will usually just make the situation worse. Humans are generally not very rational, at least not at first. Think about what your first reaction would be if someone hit your car or you burnt your morning toast. Two very different events. One large, one small. But our first reaction is what? Anger? Depression? How will either of these two help you?

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      They won’t. Slow everything down, get past the anger and the depression and ask yourself “How can I gain from this?” or at least remind yourself that this is a random event and it will not deter you from your goal.

      2. Remind Yourself of Your Goal

      personal-statement-4

        When these challenges come you way, and they will, the idea is not to run from them. Do not let them have power over you. Remind yourself of exactly what it is you are looking for in life. Thinking about your goal will help you to recenter your thoughts. Get your thoughts away from the negative emotion of the event and toward the positive action that you can take.

        3. Take Action!

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        action-changes-things

          When life pushes you sometimes the best thing to do…..is to push back!

          After you have taken a pause and let go of any anger or resentment you may have, and after you have reminded yourself of your goal and just what it is you are hoping to achieve, then it becomes time to act.

          In this life we can choose to define our goals. We can choose to be slowed by randomness or to not let it stop us. This choice is a willful action, the greatest power we can claim, and the fuel that successful people use to achieve their dreams. Act! Fight back! Or simply put one foot in front of the other. Choose to keep moving and to keep pushing to achieve more.

          We cannot control what life throws our way. Man has never had that gift. But what we do have is the unique ability to choose our reaction. Once you give yourself this freedom, you will never look back.

          More by this author

          Glenn Killey

          Author, Motivational Speaker, Mindset Coach

          What Is Your Defining Mental Picture? What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control The Law of Reversed Effort

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          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

          How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

          How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

          Did you know that 75% of the population suffers from glossophobia? That scary sounding word is one of the most common phobia’s in the world, fear of public speaking.

          I’ll bet even as you are reading this, you are getting nervous thinking about giving a speech.

          I have got good news for you. In this article, I will share with you a step by step method on how to memorize a speech the smart way. Once you have this method down, your confidence in yourself to deliver a successful speech will increase substantially. Read on to feel well prepared the next time you have to memorize and deliver a speech.

          Common Mistakes of Memorizing a Speech

          Before we get to the actual process of how to memorize a speech the smart way, let’s look at the two most common mistakes many of us tend to make while preparing for a speech.

          Complete Memorization

          In an attempt to ensure they remember every detail, many people aim to completely memorize their speech. They practice it over and over until they have every single word burned into their brain.

          In many ways, this is understandable because most of us are naturally frightened of having to give a speech. When the time comes, we want to be completely and totally prepared and not make any mistakes.

          While this makes a lot of sense, it also comes with its own negative side. The downside to having your speech memorized word for word is that you sound like a robot when delivering the speech. You become so focused on remembering every single part that you lose the ability to inflect your speech to varying degrees, and free form the talk a bit when the situation warrants.

          Lack of Preparation

          The other side of the coin to complete memorization is people who don’t prepare enough. Because they don’t want to come off sounding like a robot, they decide they will mostly “wing it”.

          Sometimes they will write a few main points down on a piece of paper to remind themselves. They figure once they get going, the details will somehow fill themselves in under the big talking points while they are doing the talking.

          The problem is that unless this is a topic you know inside and out and have spoken on it many times, you’ll wind up missing key points. It’s almost a given that as soon as you are done with your speech, you’ll remember many things you should have brought up while talking.

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          There’s a good balance to be had between over and under preparing. Let’s now look at how to memorize a speech the smart way.

          How to Memorize a Speech (Step-by-Step Guide)

          1. Write Out Your Speech

          The first step in the process is to simply write out your speech.

          Many people like to write out the entire speech. Other people are more inclined to write their speech outline style. Whichever way your brain works best is the way you should write your speech.

          Personally, I like to break things down into the primary points I want to make, and then back up each major point with several details. Because my mind works this way, I tend to write out speeches, and articles for that matter, by doing an outline.

          Once I have the outline completed, I will then fill in several bullet points to back up each big topic.

          For instance, if I was going to give a speech on how to get in better shape my outline would look something like this:

          Benefits of being in shape

          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          Exercise

          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          Diet

          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          Rest and hydration

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          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          ConclusionNo need for points here, just a few sentences wrapping things up.

          As you might imagine, this step typically is the hardest because it’s not only the first step but it also involves the initial creation of the speech.

          2. Rehearse Your Speech

          Now that you’ve written your speech, or outline, it’s time to start saying it out loud. It’s completely fine to simply read what you’ve written line by line at this point. What you are working on doing is getting the outline and getting a feel for the speech.

          If you’ve written the entire speech out, you’ll be editing it while you are rehearsing it. Many times as we say things out loud, we realize that what we wrote needs to be changed and altered. This is how we work towards having a well rounded and smooth speech. Feel free to change things as needed while you are rehearsing your speech.

          If you are like me and you’ve written the outline, this is where some of the supporting bullet points will begin to come out. Normally, I will have written several bullet points under each main topic. But as I say it out loud, I will begin to fill in more and more details. I might scratch certain bullet points and add others. I might think of something new at this stage while I am listening to myself and want to add it.

          The key to remember here is that you laying the foundation for your awesome speech. At this point, it’s a work in progress, you are getting the key pieces in place.

          3. Memorize the Bigger Parts

          As you are rehearsing your speech, you want to focus on memorizing the bigger parts, or the main points.

          Going back to my example of how to get in better shape, I’d want to ensure I have memorized my primary points. These include the benefits of being in shape, exercise, diet, rest and hydration, and the conclusion. These are the main points I want to make and I will then fill in further details. I’ve got to ensure I know these very well first and foremost.

          By practicing your major points, you are building the framework for your speech. After you have this solid outline in place, you’ll continue by adding in the details to round things out.

          4. Fill In the Details

          Now that you have the big chunks memorized, it’s time to work on memorizing the details. These detail points will provide support and context for your major points. You can work on this all at once or break it down to the details that support each major point.

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          For example, the details I might have under the “exercise” big point might include such things as cardio, weights, how many times a week to exercise, how long to actually exercise, and several examples of actual exercises. In this example, I have 5 detail points to memorize to support my major point of “exercise”.

          It’s a good idea to test yourself regularly as you are rehearsing your speech. Ask yourself:

          What are the 5 detail points I want to talk about that support my 3rd main point?

          You need to be able to fire those off quickly. Until you can do this, you won’t be able to associate each of the details with the main point.

          You have to be able to have them grouped together in your mind so that it comes out naturally in your speech. So that when you think of main point #2, you automatically think of the 4 supporting details associated with it.

          Keep working at this stage until you can run through your speech completely several times and remember all of your big points and the supporting details.

          Once you can do that with relative ease, it will be time for the final step, working on your delivery.

          5. Work on Your Delivery

          You’ve got the bulk of the work done now. You’ve written your speech and rehearsed enough times to have not only your main points memorized but also your supporting details. In short, you should have your speech almost done.

          There’s one more step in how to memorize a speech the smart way. The final component is to work on how you deliver your speech.

          For the most part, you can go give your speech now. After all, you have it memorized. If you want to ensure you do it right, you’ll want to hone how you are delivering your speech.

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          You work on your delivery by rehearsing and running through it a number of times and making tweaks along the way. These tweaks or changes may be are’s where you’d want to pause for effect.

          If you’ve found you have used one word 5 times in one paragraph, you might want to swap it out for a similar word a few times to keep it fresh.

          Sometimes while working on this part, I’ve thought of a great story that’s happened to me that I can incorporate to make my point even better.

          When you work on your delivery, you are basically giving your speech a personality as well.

          The Bottom Line

          And there you have it, a step by step approach on how to memorize a speech the smart way.

          The next time you are asked to give a speech don’t let glossophobia rear its familiar head. Instead, remember this easy to use guide to help craft a powerful speech.

          Using the method shown here will help you deliver your next speech with increased confidence.

          More About Public Speaking

          Featured photo credit: Anna Sullivan via unsplash.com

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