Not long ago I had a speaking engagement in Destin, FL. The resort was located on a beautiful beach. The morning of my speech I skinnied-up sideways into an already full elevator for the journey down to the main level. Clearly everyone on board—3 adults and 6 small kids—were headed out for a day of fun in the sun. Meanwhile, I am dressed in business casual and clearly NOT going outside.
I smiled at the oldest boy and said, “Looks like you are headed for some place more fun than me.” He blinks but does not speak (you know, “stranger danger” and all). But his father replies, reacting to my laptop bag in tow instead of a beach bag, and says, “Yeah, it really sucks when they have meetings at a gorgeous place like this and you have to go listen to some dumb speakers all day.”
Ouch! He had no idea!
To which I reply, “I know what you mean. What makes it even worse is I am the speaker!” The whole elevator broke out in laughter as the doors open and we went our separate ways. From several paces away I heard the kid say, “Way to go dad. You’re the dumb one!”
That family might think I was offended, but instead they handed me a great opening story for that audience and that audience only. The story won’t be funny next month, it is only funny in that moment.
Many people ask me where we, as speakers, get our material. We will all tell you the same thing – we look for it daily in the scenes around us and the conversations we have. If we stay aware, the good stuff will find us. And the same is true for you. What is it you seek in life? Are you literally looking for it, actually EXPECTING it to present itself? Set your intention out loud and then actively look for it. I promise, it’s there waiting.