boi_headerNew Beginnings.  I recently returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand which I had originally planned as a well needed vacation.  I was fortunate that my trip coincided with the District 72 Toastmasters International Convention in Paihia, New Zealand in an area known as the Bay of Islands. I was especially drawn to this Convention since the theme was “The Path Forward” or in Maori “Te Ara Whakamua.” I also liked the mascot of the event which was the kotuku or white heron which is a rare bird with auspicious connections.  Here’s an excerpt from http://www.tuarangi.com/meaning-of-maori-symbols-and-designs/

[White Heron bird – Kotuku  Kotuku is the Maori word for the rare White Heron bird. It is a symbol of prestige, purity, and uniqueness. One of the greatest compliments among the Maori was to liken someone to Kotuku for its signifies everything rare and beautiful. Sometimes referred to as a darling or treasure. The kotuku is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and is held in particularly high regard in Maori mythology.

 As with other birds, the kotuku stands for the connection between the afterlife, he is a messenger of the spirit world.“The kotuku represents everything pure and beautiful in Maori mythology and oratory. Most importantly, the kotuku represents all the people of this land. The kotuku is a traveller, who came to this beautiful country and chose to stay.”]

naomi_onstage_closeupStrong Connection.  I felt a very strong connection regarding the story of the kotuku with the legend of 1000 Cranes, and I knew I had to attend this convention. After several inquiries with the District Governor, Kingsley Moody, I asked if it might be possible to attend and/or be a guest speaker. Thankfully, he pitched me and my company, 1000 Cranes, to the convention committee, and they were thrilled that my company name and brand aligned so well with their symbol of the kotuku (white heron)!

Reconnect Relationships.  The Convention was fantastic, and it was great to reconnect with so many friends I had met over the last few years through Toastmasters International.  I provided two speeches one on Saturday, November 8th, “Your Path to Becoming a Hero: Sponsors, Mentors and Coaches” and Sunday, November 9th, “Is Fear Blocking Your Path?” and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The convention committee was well organized, and the participants very engaged and enthusiastic.  I was also honored to discover that the last time a US speaker came to visit a New Zealand Toastmasters Convention was back in 2008 when the past International President, Jana Barnhill, came to visit, so it’s been six years!  Had I not initially taken the initiative to ask to attend, this opportunity to speak and attend would not have happened!

Lessons Learned:

1) If you want an opportunity, sometimes you must create it for yourself.  In this case, I wanted the opportunity to speak at this convention in front of over 300 attendees.  Had I not taken the initiative to reach out to key people. I would have missed an amazing opportunity.  It was fortuitous that my company brand and my message aligned with what they wanted and that my presence was appreciated.

2) When I left the US for this trip, I had doubts about my abilities.  Several events had happened in my personal life where a key supporter had lost faith in me and what 1000 Cranes represents.  Presenting to over 300 people at this overseas convention was just the reinforcement I needed to continue with my work and to realize that my beliefs, values and vision for the company are real. Discovering my authentic self took a trip to another part of the world, but it was important to get outside of my normal sphere of day-to-day activities in order to see that.

1000 Cranes, LLC  Naomi TakeuchiCommunication Powerhouse Tip of the Week:  Lose Yourself to Discover Your Authentic Self

Sometimes we can become myopic when we look at ourselves and our life.  We often overlay expectations from others that have been a big influence, and we see the same things from the same lens or perspective.

In order to find yourself,  you often have to lose yourself.

  • Step away from your normal activities and lose yourself in something outside of yourself.
  • Take an adventure to another part of the world.
  • Do something completely different from your normal routine.
  • Interact with people who are not in your regular sphere of influence to see a new perspective.

By doing so, you’ll find your authentic self and realize just what is important to you, your life and your business.  You may be happier with what you discover.

How About You?  Have you ever took an adventure or a new area of growth in your business?  Feel free to comment below or contact Naomi Takeuchi here.