This may be the best talk I’ve ever given.
It’s had over 150,000 views on YouTube, which is significant for a 30 minute video. People at Cambridge University came across it and asked me if they could do research on my speaking style. Hundreds have contacted me because of it and this has lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. I have no idea how many people it has helped, but I still hear from people often thanking me and telling me how it has impacted them.
For the first time since I published it almost seven years ago, I watched it in full today.
What stood out for me is the planning I had put into this. I had specific points I wanted to make. I had specific phrases I wanted to speak. I knew all of the stories I was going to tell. I had spent so much time planning it that I did not need a script. It was all in me in at the front of my mind. And in hindsight, it was the perfect blend of preparation and improvisation. Since then, I have leaned more and more into speaking improvisationally because I love the state of being I am able to transmit when I speak without a plan and from spirit. Watching this talk though reminds me that it is the integration of both planning and improvisation that creates a masterpiece.
The funny thing is, I had no plans to give a talk like this. At the time I was working in the relationship field, helping single men and women in London to connect and create love.
One day in 2011 Matt Kendall, founder of the new meetup group Interesting Talks London, asked me if I’d speak on living a passionate life. Despite it not really fitting with what I was already working on, I surrendered to his confidence that I had something to say about it and agreed.
In hindsight, this was a massive turning point in my life. The willingness to follow the call, despite my plans, took me in directions and to heights I had hadn’t even dreamed of yet.
What is the world asking of you? What call to adventure have you been ignoring?