“Unique” is probably among the most overused and misused adjectives in contemporary society. However, I do believe that most of my readers will not quarrel with me when I say that I recently had a unique response to one of my speeches – a very humbling, unique response.
I had just finished presenting “A Strategy For Winning” as a keynote address at a state business association convention. I was in the back of the room exchanging comments with people and signing books. One of the participants, probably in his forties or early fifties, came up to me, enthusiastically shook my hand, and said, “I really enjoyed and appreciated your speech today.” I thanked him. Then he said, “No, I really mean that I really, really liked it.” I thanked him again while noticing the deep sincerity of what he was saying. He continued, “It was inspiring, entertaining and thought-provoking.”
Then came the zinger. By this time we had sort of stepped aside and separated ourselves from the others still in the room. He told me, “I’ve had two brain tumors removed and the doctors have just found a third one. And I really want you to understand how much this meant to me today.” There was a brief silence as we looked at each other. Then we exchanged a few other comments, and he concluded with a bright smile, saying, “It’s in God’s hands and I have no fear.”
Can you imagine the feelings I experienced as I listened to his words, saw the glow in his eyes and witnessed the sincerity in his expression as he shook my hand with his right hand and clasp over it with his left? Quite frequently following speeches or training sessions, people will tell me about the help they received for business or personal matters. We will discuss leadership, communication, teamwork and other principles of achieving success in business and personal lives. But – well – how else can I describe it? This was unique.
The experience caused some deep thinking and prayer on my part as I packed up and left the convention hotel. I’ve seen those “Have No Fear” stickers on vehicles, mostly on trucks and motorcycles, and there is a “Have No Fear” line of merchandise. But those things are in a very minor league compared to the league the gentleman at the convention is in with his “Have No Fear” comment.
Having spoken to many groups, there have been other heart-touching experiences. I specifically recall a woman telling me about her son who committed suicide, a man telling me of his wife’s death, and the president of a corporation sharing with me the ups and downs he and his wife were facing due to his daughter’s experimentation with drugs and sex.
But maybe it is because this recent event was just last week. Maybe it is because I can still see the man and experience the warmth in his presence that causes it to remain so vividly etched in my mind as I face my own challenges – challenges that dropped a few notches in importance by comparison. I don’t know what your challenges may be in business, school, family or life. They may be greater than, equal to, or below this man’s level of challenge. But whatever the situation, maybe the description of his countenance and his “Have No Fear” attitude will inspire you today – and tomorrow – and tomorrow – as it has inspired me.
Carl Mays, author of over a dozen books and speaker at over 2500 events, can be contacted at email@example.com or 865-436-7478. His books, including “A Strategy For Winning,” “People of Passion,” “Anatomy Of A Leader” and “Are We Communicating Yet?” are available in stores, at www.carlmays.com, and on www.amazon.com.
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