It’s Day 2 of the “Two Minute PSD”
You’re in your seat again – and still resonating with Seth Godin’s “Pick Yourself” message from yesterday.
Godin’s excellent presentation overcame the musty and dusty warehouse surroundings, and since your allergies haven’t kicked in yet, you’re still good to go.
Best-selling author Bernadette Jiwa is now behind the “copypaper box” podium.
Good morning, everyone.
What good advice we received from Seth Godin in PSD session one. I hope you’re looking forward to all of our other speakers.
I overheard many of you talking about session one last night at dinner – which, of course, was on “your own” – no thanks to Tom.
But … and this may be as shocking to you as it was for me… sometimes Tom’s conference-organizing malfunctions work out for the best.
You see, in the emails I received from Tom, I was informed that I was to be Monday’s presenter… so I got here a full day early.
Crikey! I wasn’t a happy camper yesterday.
Since I now live in Australia, this mistake rankled me more than a little bit, and I was going to take it up with Tom immediately – and by the way, has anyone seen him around here yet? – but everything had a way of working out just fine.
I’m glad I was able to stand in the back yesterday and listen to Seth.
You see, his sincere “Pick Yourself” message is near and dear to my heart.
Let me explain.
I grew up in Ireland… in fairly modest circumstances.
I was blessed with a loving mum who would do anything for her children.
When I was 12 years old, our town – as many towns and villages in Ireland do – scheduled a town fair, and one of the judged competitions included a cake decorating contest.
I loved to create and I loved to bake.
So I set my eye on winning this contest. (I’m kind of competitive, and this is as good a time as any to confess it.)
I found an old magazine that featured a color photo of a fantastic chocolate cake its cover – and with this delightful vision in hand, I made my preparations.
I was determined to enter that “cake on the magazine cover” in the contest.
And my mum made some sacrifices to stoke the fire growing inside me.
I’ll bet she devoted half of that week’s grocery allowance to my cake… but she allowed me to buy every ingredient I needed.
More importantly… she gave me free rein of our small family kitchen for the two days leading up to contest day.
She did other chores and took care of my brothers and sisters, while I became a whirling dervish in her kitchen – taking up all of the counter space and using every mixing bowl.
The mess I made is one we still talk about at family gatherings!
And I don’t mean this next part to sound arrogant… but my chocolate cake turned out spectacular.
It matched the photo perfectly – as I had made sure not to miss a single flourish, dipped strawberry, frosting twist, or curly-cue.
When the time for the contest arrived, I carefully set my cake on the table with the cakes from the other competitors.
I was so proud. I had worked so hard… and I could plainly see that all of the other kids’ cakes looked just like… well, simple cakes made by kids.
I had never been so excited. I could hardly wait.
I was mere minutes away from being handed the first place ribbon.
So you can imagine my surprise and sense of failure when my cake did not win anything at all.
I was crushed.
My mum went up to the judging table and asked for the copies of the judge’s written score cards.
On every card, all three of the judges had written something to the effect that they “did not believe” that a 12 year-old could’ve made such a beautiful cake without adult assistance.
They didn’t believe me… and that was that.
On the way home from the town fair, Seth Godin would’ve been proud of me.
I know my mum was.
I resolved from that day forward, I would “pick myself.”
The world contained so many dreams, stories, and opportunities that I wanted to pursue… I just knew that I couldn’t let other people judge any of them for me ever again.
I will create. I will work hard. I will try to do what’s right.
And I will not worry about anyone else’s stamp of approval.
Maybe I’m overstating it somewhat.
But when someone comes up and says to me, “I don’t believe you.”
It’s very satisfying to give the response I’ve been giving since that town fair,
So that’s my message for you today. Pick yourself – and always have your “so what?” handy.
Thanks for being a great audience this morning.
You know, I’m going to hang around another day and hear OAISD Superintendent Karen McPhee tomorrow.
I’m eager to find out why she runs background checks on all of you.