The Mother Teresa Rule

Don’t waste oxygen talking about what you don’t want.   Fuel your goals not your fears.

For me, the opportunity to speak to a group is a tremendous privilege.   Everybody’s time is precious, so for people to give me their undivided attention to share my thoughts, opinions or ideas should be treated with the greatest respect, and used wisely.

Mother Teresa is quoted as saying “I will never attend an antiwar rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.”   Hmmm…Anti-war / Pro-peace…isn’t it to-may-to / to-mar-to??  I think you’ll agree there is a subtle yet powerful difference between the two.    To be anti-war is to use your energy pushing against the unwanted and focus on the unwanted – it’s exhausting, and even if the war ends you are no further forward than the day before the war began.   On the other hand, to be pro-peace is to focus on what you DO want, it’s effects go way beyond the day the war ends to a brighter, more harmonious and prosperous future.

From a speaking perspective, when you speak in the positive it offers energy, excitement and opportunity, you are lifting the energy of the room and focussing your audience on solutions.   When you speak in the negative without providing an alternative, you are lowering the mood and leaving people feeling worse than when they walked in (politicians take note – give people something to vote FOR not against).

It is something that you will hear me harp on in my presentation upskilling workshops – it can be the difference between getting the job and not, the difference between being thought of as a leader or…not.

So when you’re gathering your notes and your thoughts to share in a meeting or deliver to a group – consider the opportunity before you, remember the Mother Teresa Rule and give the bulk of your presentation to the solution, not the problem.

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