This is my third speech delivered at a Toastmasters meeting. There you go!
Recently, I did some research hoping to find ways to keep myself going after a series of failures. And it worked. So I want to share with you three tips to keep you motivated when you are faced with failures.
First, the single most effective way to cheer yourself up is to do exercise.
Failure causes depression, and it reduces the ability of a brain chemical called neurotransmitter. This neurotransmitter fosters communication throughout the brain. Without it, you brain loses its ability to adapt to new situations. The depressed brain locked into a negative loop of self-hate, and it also loses the flexibility to work its way out of the hole.
Exercise counters that by boosting the production of a protein that helps neurotransmitters perform their function. So it helps you to adapt to new environment and feel more comfortable, and get out of the depression loop.
When you are depressed, think about when was the last time you do exercise. For me, I spent 30 minutes in the gym every two days and I suddenly felt myself a lot happier. Trust me, doing exercise works.
Second, doing something good for others will also cheer you up. You felt depressed because you lost all your self-confidence, so you felt like you are the most useless person in the world. That’s not true. To prove this you can do something for people.
For example, you can do volunteer work. You may join some communities to sell flags, or you can go donate money. For me, since I’m very lazy and I’m very stingy, I choose to go donate blood. Yesterday I donated blood the 4th time this year and I still feel very happy about it. I could just lie down and watch TV. Therefore, find a comfortable way for yourself to do something good for others, that helps to regain confidence.
Third, read some motivation quotes. They do help.
Winston Churchill, one of the greatest wartime leaders in recent history, has this quote: “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” He basically said that the word failure is actually part of the definition of success.
Thomas Edison, who invented light bulb, says that “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” So as long as you continue doing what you do, success is not far away.
Christopher Gardner, a character played by Will Smith in the movie, the Pursuit of Happyness, sad: You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.
After reading this, I simply found out that quitting is not an option. I decided to get back on my feet and continue working hard. So as long as you continue doing what you do, success is not far away.
Over the last month, I was devastated because I bumped into so many failures. Everyone fails and feels depressed once a while in their life time. When you faced with failure again, consider it as a temporary defeat. Don’t quit. Do some exercise, do something good for others, and read some motivational quotes. These will cheer you up, then you can try again towards your goal.
The following is my second speech delivered to the Toastmasters meeting. Good things to share.
[Disclaimer: Most points are emphasized to make dramatic effects. It's fictional]
Tonight I’m going to reveal to you the untold secrets of horse racing. All gamblers want to win, those say the gamble for fun are lying to themselves. But I’m sorry to tell winning in horse racing is very rare. Let me tell you some mathematical background about betting on horse racing in HK. In average, every time you bet $100, the club gives back $80 as dividends. So if you are an average gambler, you lose $20 the moment you put down your $100 note, versus about losing $5 when you bet in a casino in Macau. Since the Club always charge the commission, if you win money, that means another gambler lose money. Therefore, you need to be a damn good gambler to get more than the original $100 you put down.
After burning the mid night oil for countless evenings, I found three types of people who consistently beat the odds and actually are making money in horse racing.
The first type is the professional gamblers. They have super computers running complex statistical models. These people hire a team to do the last minute number crunching. The models will process large amount of data, and buy a humongous number of tickets over a high bandwidth network just seconds before the race starts. They will buy many combinations of different horses, different bet types and allocate different amount so as to minimize risks and maximize return, like an investment portfolio. Their operations are highly secretive so if I tell you more they will probably kill me. So the first secret is, you can beat the odds if you are really good on maths.
The second type of people who always win are those who are the experienced. They are in their 80s, and literally grew up with horses. When I talked to this old women who said she had been living in Happy Valley since five year old. For two times a week, she would kneel at the street and watch the horses strolling from Shan Kwong Road stable to the racecourse. After 50 years of watching horses she would know whether the horses are having a flu, whether they had diarrhea, or even whether they had a good night sleep. It is also very common for horses not having perfect conditions. Think about it. If there are 10 horses in a race and by observations these people know 5 of the horses have no chance to win, this has immediately become an unfair game and these people have much higher chances than we do. So the second secret is that you have to accumulate at least 50 years of horse watching experience.
The third kind of people who made money in horse racing are those big families of horse owners. I have known people whose parents, grandparents and great grand parents are all horse owners. They would pay the costly membership fee for their kids to groom their racing interests. When their horses have a race, they personally know the owners and trainers of other horses in the same race. This has become their own game! They are in the inner circle to share insider news. Not only do they win from betting on the horses of their close friends and uncles, but they also win the prize money if their horses win the race. So these people living around this horse racing sport are also frequent winners. Therefore, the third secret is to start grooming your kids in horse racing, but build your network around this sport. After three generations you will become a winner.
If the above three are the winners, who are the losers then?
Those people kneeling outside the jockey club branches, wishing to get some quick money.
Those people who buy solely because they read some tips from newspapers or heard tip from the radio.
Those working class who decided to go to the happy valley for a beer after a busy day on Wednesday nights.
These people pay the price for those winners.
To summarize, next time, before you place a bet and if you want to make some quick profit, here are the secrets:
Are you super good in maths and have a team of analysts working full time making bets for you?
Do you grow up living next to horses and have a wealth of experience so you can feel the horses conditions?
Does your family have generations of horse owner so you can own the game?
If not, let me tell you, you don’t have a chance making money in horse racing.
So, these are the secrets of winning in horse racing. I wish you good luck in horse racing.
Speaking in front of people is getting more fun after more practices. Today I for the first time played the role of the grammarian and learned much.
1. It’s tiring to stay attentive throughout the speeches. That also implies that I need improvement in this. For times I found myself doing something else so I missed some parts of the presentations. e.g. I looked up the dictionary, I went to find a blank piece of papers. These are distractions that weakened my listening skills. So I should avoid doing this in real life.
2. It’s easier to find people’s mistakes than strengths. Common mistakes are “provide people (with) tips”, play (with) balls and toys but play a role. Give this to someone is better rephrased to giving someone something. And the general evaluator gave me this comment: mention names only on good observations, don’t mention names for bad things. Such valuable comments!
3. The word I chose for Word of the Day was “trivial”. It looks like people forgot to use this word after the first few speakers. I should make the word larger on the board next time.
4. One speaker said a woman’s beauty depreciates… Depreciate means decrease in value. The word should be deteriorates, which means getting worse. We can tear paper into pieces, but it’s better “shredding” them. I always forgot to mention the best points during the speech. Does this happen to all speakers?
5. People reacted much when I said “women are like wine, they just got better when they age.” They thought this is philosophical. I thought that’s a fairly common saying.
Oh I like being the grammarian. I probably should do this again.
Being a long time reader of the South China Morning Post, I cannot wait to give SCMP my first hand comments regarding their new mobile app:
1. The ad banner is way too big. Will it still be there even if I subscribe to it?
2. Can I download it for offline viewing? The App seems to download the text for offline viewing automatically, but not the pictures, or not supported at all?
3. Flipping through articles by swiping the finger from right to left seems to be not very responsive. The previous iPad app allows me to do it much quicker.
4. Is it possible to see all the articles and their length at a glance? The new layout seems to display only the headline or the full article, which is not enough for me to scan through articles and find those I really want to read.
In general I’m disappointed at the new mobile app. If the subscription fee of the digital version is $20 per week, I have a much better reading experience with the paper edition, which is only $25 per week.
My name is Kelvin. I did a search in the company directory this morning, and found that there are 16 Kelvins in the same building, since we have 16 floors, so in average, one Kelvin per floor, and I haven’t counted variations such as Kevin’s without the L, and those Calvin’s starting with a C, somehow they spelled their name wrong. I know I have to work harder this afternoon to show that I’m not just another Kelvin.
There are some characteristics about me that make me a little bit easy to remember. I can describe myself with three letters: B.A.D.
B stands for BAD. Over the last five years I have been working with one of the biggest casinos in Macau, and with the Hong Kong Jockey Club. In both companies my job is to find marketing strategies to ask people to gamble more.
But wait a minute, we don’t use the word “gambling”, instead we use the word wagering. The difference of gambling and wagering is like the difference between getting drunk and wine tasting. When you gamble, you gamble your life away as if there is no tomorrow. When you wager, it’s more a life style thing to add some excitement to your monotonous city life.
Additionally, we don’t ask poor people to bet, we are only asking the super rich to gamble instead of with the illegal operators, they should really spend their money on us, which is under strict government regulations and monitoring. Then we create jobs and donate most of our profits to those in need. Or you can think of us an agent to tax those who do not know how to calculate odds, and spend the tax earned to those who know.
So to be fair, I am not really that bad.
The letter A stands for Afraid. I’m going to tell you what I’m afraid of. I am afraid of blood. A couple years ago I did my pre-marital body check. The nurse took out the blood tube and a needle. The nurse tried to distract me by having some casual talks with me. I told her I am afraid of blood, so she’d better don’t let me see my blood.
That nurse must have a very boring day. She filled a big blood tube with my precious red blood, then she, right in front of my eyes, somehow split the tube of blood into two tubes. Then she said, well, blood is not something to be afraid of… The next second, a very dark cloud came right into my eyes. Boom! I was already lying on the desk next my my chair. That was totally embarrassing when she has to helped me to a bed and asked my then fiancée to come in and look after me.
After that, my wife doubted whether I would be able to go to the delivery room, because I might have to see a lot of blood. If I passed out, the nurses will be too busy taking care of her and me at the same time.
The last letter D stands of Dad. Yes, I am a dad with a two and a half year old son, and his name is Kyle. When Kyle was born that was a C-section, so I couldn’t go into the delivery room and didn’t see blood. Being a dad is the most rewarding life experience I have in my life. There is just no another person on earth that makes you feel so loved. Kyle would feel so unhappy to see me leaving home for work, and burst out laughing when seeing me back home.
There is a common saying that there is no perfect dad, but being a dad makes a man more perfect. That’s so true. After being a dad I repeatedly found weaknesses in me and started to do something about it. It seems like there is a voice in me telling me how to be a role model of my Kyle. For example, I was afraid of blood, so I have been donating blood three times a year so I get more exposed to my blood. I am probably the first person on earth who tried to overcome blood phobia by donating blood. Also I also found that I’m not good at public speaking, so I joined toastmasters to get more opportunity to practise and learn from all of you here. These are some things that I have done to make myself a better dad and a better role model.
So, after today if you and other fellow toastmasters are gossiping about Kelvin and want to make sure you are talking about this Kelvin, you may refer me to the bad person who is afraid of blood and who always rush back home to see his son right after our toastmasters meetings.
Attended the first regular meeting as a Member of the Toastmaster. Excellent experience, here are two major takeaways:
I gave my first table topic speech. In fact, before I went to the meeting I tweeted that it would be my goal of today to give a table topic speech. So it felt wonderfully well to reach a goal,
The speech went horrible. The topic was “are limits necessary.” I did follow some recommendations online saying that thanking the audience can buy some time, but still my mind went blank. I talked just over one minutes and ran out of stuffs to say.
Comment by the evaluator: I spoke too fast and the speech was too short.
Comment by a DTM. Strength: confident, improvement: don’t move without a purpose.
During this tea time break, I thanked my mentor Daniel for being my mentor. He encouraged me to sign up for speeches. I said, other speakers speak so well so I felt embarrassed. He said, don’t compare yourself with others, compare with your last speech, and you will improve.
One of my colleagues recently quit. We had a drink afterwards. It is the first time in my career that someone under my direct supervision joined my team and left after long period of time. Here are some lessons-learned for me.
He said, “I feel stressed when you first threw me into deep water.”
I was totally shocked. He was upset at the beginning when he was assigned some challenging tasks. I wanted to see his limitations, he said he assumed a more step-by-step approach.
That’s due to different work style. For me, I like to be thrown into deep water, in which I can survey the environment, frame the problem and come up with a solution. I can demonstrate my skills. It would be a pain for me to be given guidelines and asked to follow. The lesson-learned for me is that don’t assume your style to everyone around you.
He said, “Our boss thought I am not busy enough, while I was very stretched already.”
It is our own responsibility to do good work, and show it to our boss. Our boss is probably too busy doing his good work and showing it to his own boss. So, my lesson-learned is, we need to proactively present ourselves, don’t expect hard work gets to our boss automatically (well, mistakes do, very quickly).
“You said my English is not good. You are correct, I am better in mathematics.”
Is it the company’s responsibility to make the most out of your strength, or is it the employee’s responsibility to improve themselves to meet the needs of the role? We always see challenges as threats, while we should be able to turn them into opportunities. In fact, when I first graduated, I thought I was the smartest person in the world, and companies should be fighting for me. But when I gradually earned my work experience, I see more weaknesses in me such as presentations and soft skills.
Believe you can learn from any one. I have learned much from this colleague.