The reasons I joined Toastmasters were solely about me. The reasons I stay are still ultimately about me, but they are sparked by fellow members.
Toastmasters Evanston held it’s first meeting in February 2013. I saw it as a way to practice presentation and leadership skills with a diverse crowd that encourages one another.
The motivation to keep going with forming the club ebbed and flowed. Some days I was all about it. Others I wasn’t. Turns out, being in it just for me isn’t sustainable motivation.
The days leading up to a meeting were toughest. Riding solely on selfish motivation left me feeling like it wasn’t worth it.
But, every time I headed home from a meeting, I felt energized and more optimistic than ever.
It was the people. From the guest with the guts to give an impromptu speech to the members that joined and stuck with it. Seeing them seize opportunities that previously didn’t exist and benefit from them in countless ways, that’s what got me excited about Toastmasters.
The unexpected lesson here is that passion with staying power is built over time and with people, not in a vacuum on your own. Sure, you could have a lot of passion for something on your own, but how cool is it and how much does it grow when you find someone else who loves something as much or more than you?