Don’t Settle for Comfortable

Wise Words from Maya Angelou

A speech can truly transform a person.  I had the pleasure of hearing Past International President, Jana Barnhill, speak at the Toastmasters Conference in Chapel Hill the weekend of May 1-3rd.  During one of her speeches, she challenged us to push ourselves and “Don’t Settle for Comfortable.”

As many of you know, I’ve often pushed the company into new directions.  In the case of last year, we looked at the cartoon characters to work toward the children’s market.  That’s still on the roadmap, but due to some personal challenges, that had to be put on the backburner.  In fact, it might have been a blessing in disguise as we decided to move forward with an audio program with a partnership instead with Terry Bartlett (see previous post.)

Hearing that speech started me on the path of declaring my candidacy as a floor candidate for International Director for Toastmasters International.


This is a board position on the International board where 14 different board members represent portions of the world.  Should I win this election, I would represent Region 7 which spans from the Pennsylvania/Ohio region down to North Carolina.  You can hear more on our BlogTalkRadio broadcast from last Tuesday.

During my campaign tour, a quote from Maya Angelou kept me motivated.  It reads as follows:

“I’ve learned that people don’t remember what you said, they don’t remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

It’s a quote that I’ve taken to heart to remember that when I leave a situation or an event, I want to make sure people feel valued and respected.  I know I always feel better when leaders make me feel inspired after meeting them.  I found that this quote has been a great motivator for me, and it also makes me realize that when I may have said something that may have offended someone that it’s best to reflect back on how my words made the person feel.

Sometimes it isn’t in what you say, but what you do.


In one case, one of the members offered to let me stay on his couch while I was in town, and it was nice to be able to relax in a casual environment and get to know him better.  I also had a chance to brainstorm some great ideas for the campaign as he and I have similar philosophies.

“Jana Barnhill made me feel inspired and that I had the ability to push myself forward.”

I am working toward doing that as well with others.  When I leave this earth, I want to be remembered as someone who made others feel valued and made others feel that they could accomplish anything they set their minds to do.

The next three months will be a roller coaster ride as I get ready to campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada in August.

Communication Powerhouse Tip:  Value Others


I am grateful for the opportunity and feel that no matter what the outcome, it’s best to remember to make people feel valued.  The way you make them feel will leave a lasting impression.

  • 1000 Cranes, LLC  Naomi TakeuchiHow did you feel the last time someone inspired you?
  • How did you feel when someone didn’t treat you with respect or ignored you?
  • How did you feel when you accomplished a large goal?

If someone or some people make you feel that you are extremely special.  These are the people you want to surround yourself to achieve greater things.  Remember, people will always remember the way you made them feel.

How About You?  

How do you show your colleagues and clients that you value them? I would love to read your comments below or contact Naomi here.