A Learning Moment…


We, as humans, spend a lot of time learning. Learning how to do, say, think, feel, react…in essence, how to live. It’s the big “aha” moments that tend to serve as milestones for these things. The moment when you stop and realize that you really have spent all that time learning.

I had one of those today. Actually, I had it shoved at me by a good friend. Zach Hunnicutt, could you please stand up and wave at all the nice people?

Zach is a farmer. Zach is also heavily involved in Farm Bureau on the state level in Nebraska. Zach has also worked in corporate America and has lived in the city. Zach has led an interesting life. He’s got a lot of good wisdom to share.

I had a fast-paced day at work. I felt like my head was spinning. It was overall a good day, but I was filled with a sense of anxiety over a speech I’m giving tomorrow about Facebook. I used to do a lot of public speaking, but for some reason now it terrifies me. In a few spare moments during my lunch break today, Zach and I managed to swap some IM’s. During this, he told me that the speech itself didn’t necessarily matter so much as the intent, the tone, and the actual message.

In a nutshell, I could give a completely cruddy speech, but as long as someone learned from it, and took something from it, it’d be a success.

Doesn’t that apply to all of life? And doesn’t that apply to all of the messages we intend to send?

Another good friend of mine, Mike Haley, is horrible at spelling. Despite that, he’s one of the best communicators I know. This is especially surprising since he’s a farmer, not a professional communicator. He’s a perfect example of Zach’s point. If the message is worth sharing, chances are people will be willing to overlook minor flaws to see the bigger picture. Aside from his normal array of typos, Mike weaves a fantastic story about agriculture. Much like Zach.

The fact is, I learned something. Our messages are different, the minor flaws in the message may differ from person-to-person. However, you should never let the risk of minor set-backs like a few typos or a stutter, stop you from pursuing, achieving, and surpassing your expectations. Tomorrow, I’m going to walk into that board room, give that speech, and knock ’em dead.

Or, I may be mediocre with a few decent take-aways.

Either way, I’m going to give it my all. I owe it to myself, to the people in the room, and Mark Zuckerberg. ‘Cause, remember, I’m talking about Facebook.

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