I think most people get nervous speaking publicly. One way I work my way through it is to simply accept everything. I had a professor of a writing class in college who told us she knew a famous actress. I would tell you who if I could recall but at the time I didn’t know her since she was a very old actress and the name didn’t imprint in my memory as a result. At any rate, this professor of mine, who was getting to the retiring age herself, mentioned to us that the woman had such grace and elegance in the way she ran her affairs.
It was evident in this woman’s gracefulness in life, she had a contentment few possess.
My teacher took care of her library for her and cleaned the house a bit while in college which was nearby. Because I really respected this teacher as a confident writer, I was all ears when she told this story.
One day she asked the woman how she lived with such grace, happiness, and success and was now aging the same way and the woman said this simple mantra:
Let’s look at that wisdom three ways. It could mean:
- Don’t shut any person or idea out. Let it run completely through your mind and stand or fall on it’s own merits. This is a tough one to universalize. It is more like an inner mantra that can’t be directly applied to some concrete issues. Still, I like the idea of accepting everything in this respect.
- Don’t be too good for any offer that comes your way. When you get work accept it. If you get a job for $8 do it like it was a job for 80K. I really like this idea.
- And finally, be gracious. This is by far the best way I can think of to interpret it.
We had to write something on those 2 words when she shared them and I don’t have the paper I wrote at the time. I do carry the two words with me in my mind and I say them often.