As I was sitting in a Toastmasters meeting the other night the call went out for people to compete in a “Table Topics” contest. The moderator went around the room asking for volunteers. One after another the audience members signed up… some reluctantly. When the moderator got to one person, the cries of “no” came up loud and clear.
The experience reminded me of the new Staples commercials where people are able to get out of tough places by just pressing an “Easy” button. I could visualize a large Easy Button at the front of the room… If you don’t want to speak… just press the button. It is amazing to me how many “Easy” buttons we have in our modern societies.
The question becomes… should you press the “Easy” button? After all who wouldn’t want to press it? Life should be easy. We shouldn’t be bothered by things that might cause us a little pain or embarrassment. But is the “Easy” way out always the best? Are we missing growth opportunities and life experiences that are really beneficial?
Ask yourself a simple question… where do you grow the most? Is it doing “easy” things or is the challenging and difficult tasks that bring real fulfillment? Is it doing something where you might fail… where you may be less than perfect… where you might be embarrassed… that brings learning?
Author John Maxwell in his book, Failing Forward, offers this inspirational advice, “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” This has been so true in my life and in hindsight I’m thankful there wasn’t an easy button in many situations.
In Toastmasters and other organizations the persons who rise to the top are those that refuse to take the easy way out. They stick it out and drive through it. Next time you are facing a tough challenge… just say “NO” to the easy button!