Naomi Takeuchi "Heart of a Toastmaster" by Sheryl RoushThe last week has been a whirlwind of activity since hearing the news that my story was not only accepted into a book anthology called “Heart of a Toastmaster” but my face will appear on the front cover of the book as well.  It has been an honor to have this new attention brought to light, and I anticipate there will be more excitement on Wednesday, August 21st when I will share the stage with several Toastmasters from around the world during the “Heart of a Toastmaster” book launch and book signing.

Life Lessons.  Several people have asked me how I had managed to get my story accepted and my picture on the cover of the book, and I mention several things.

1) Say “Yes!” – I had mentioned in previous posts about how I have adopted the Tina Fey philosophy of “Say Yes!” Even when you have doubts about your abilities, if someone asks you to take on a new role or position, just “say yes” and accept the new role.  You will not know all the answers, but you are smart enough to figure it all out.  If you don’t “Say Yes!” often the same or similar opportunities will not come your way again.

2) Be mindful of deadlines and respond quickly – Another important philosophy that has become more prevalent in recent years is the need to check on deadlines and respond quickly and on time.  In this case, I responded to a Call to Action from Sheryl Roush to submit a story for her upcoming book.  She had posted this for several months, and I took the time to write my story and submit this to her on time.  Even if you have the best intentions, if you don’t deliver when the deadline is due, your brillance will never be seen!  This is true whether it is a story, a response to a “Call for Speakers” document or a client deadline to complete an important business plan.  Deadlines are important, and people respond more favorably when you can beat those deadlines and respond quickly.

3) You can’t win if you don’t play. – When I was an Area Governor for Toastmasters several years ago, I would often carry a trophy with me when I would visit a club.  I would hold the trophy up before the club and tell them, “You can’t win this trophy, if you don’t compete.”  At the time, several clubs were reluctant to participate in speech competitions, and it amazed me since several of the competitions (Table Topics and Evaluation) don’t require advance planning.  These are things we do every day in our respective clubs.  I think the same holds true for why I appeared in and on the new book.  If I had chosen not to submit a story, then none of this would have been possible.  You can’t win if you don’t play.

1000 Cranes, LLC  Naomi TakeuchiCommunication Powerhouse Tip of the Week:  You must get in the game in order to win. Visualize your success to add extra energy into making your success a reality.

This whole cascade of events started when I made the decision to submit a story for Sheryl’s book.  Once that had been completed, the idea of having three pictures of members on the front cover came about later from the Toastmasters International world headquarters months later.

After I submitted my picture, I knew I did not have any guarantees that I would make the cover, but what I did was visualize myself on the cover.  In my case, I had printed a cover masthead of Toastmasters magazine, and printed a picture of me underneath as if it was the cover of that magazine.  I would look at it everyday and visualize myself on the cover.

At the time, I thought I was going to be on the magazine, but I later found that I had been chosen to be on the book itself.  I truly believe that my success here was due to being in the game and visualizing my success!   I am a true believer that you can shape your destiny by believing and visualizing your accomplishments before they happen.  Try it sometime, you have nothing to lose!

How About You?  Were you able to visualize the success of a certain situation?  I look forward to your comments below.