Do you remember your first time when you spoke in public, took a big task, or started a job?  Were you so nervous that you felt sick? Did you review what you were supposed to do over and over, hoping you wouldn’t mess things up? After the first time, did you reflect on how you did so that you could do it better next time? There is a first time for everybody for everything. When you try it the second time, you feel more comfortable than the first time.  Things get easier every time when you try. Eventually, you don’t think too much.

When our relatively new member, Aprille Isham, took the Toastmaster role for the first time this month, she asked me for my advice. I didn’t want to give her wrong information by telling her what I knew by heart, so I relearned the role. While I was reviewing the Toastmaster’s scope and tasks, I remembered what it was like when I took the role for the first time.

In Japan, we say “Don’t forget the beginner’s humility.” When you are a beginner, you try hard to do better, but as time passes, you tend (more or less) to lose your aspirations. Even when you cut corners, your experience make you look like you’re doing a decent job, but in reality, you’re not growing. It’s important to remember how green you were in the beginning and remind yourself from time to time of the humble intentions that you used to have. It makes you realize how far you have come and that you still have room to grow.

Aprille, thank you for sharing your journey and giving me the opportunity to go back to the Beginner’s Spirit!