33. Do You Walk Your Talk?

The Great Gadzoni had just completed a challenging tightrope walk across Niagara Falls. The wind was howling and stinging rain pelted him as he inched across the rope.

Met with enthusiastic applause on the other side the Great Gadzoni was wringing the water from his cape when an excited fan approached, urging him to make a return trip but this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the fan just happened to have with him.

The Great Gadzoni was hesitant, having barely made the first trip across in the high winds and pouring rain. But the spectator insisted, stating that he knew the Great Gadzoni could do it. “You can do it, I know you can” the fan insisted. The Great Gadzoni thought for a moment. “You really believe I can do it?” “Yes, definitely” the fan responded. “OK said Gadzoni. Get in.”

Have you ever been caught out like this?

“Walking your talk is a great way to motivate yourself. No one likes to live a lie. Be honest with yourself, and you will find the motivation to do what you advise others to do.”
(Vince Poscente)

When I was younger, working in the theatre, I was caught out by the great theatre director, Tyrone Guthrie.

I had said I would create a stage effect for a production I was a stage manager on. When we came to the all important technical rehearsal with the actors, I had not set it up. When the time for it came, nothing happened, Guthrie stopped the rehearsal, called me out on stage, in front of everyone. “You said you would create this”, he said, “what happened?”

As I started to make excuses he stopped me with a wave of the hand and just looked at me. I stood there and thought quickly, “it will be ready for the next rehearsal, and it will work,” I said. “OK”, he said, “just make it happen”. I learnt a great lesson that day, do what you say you will do, no excuses, no hesitation, just get on with it.

Many years later I still sweat when I think of that story and the lesson it taught me.

  • Do you do what you say you will do? Do you follow through?
  • Do you do what you want or ask others to do, do you honour what you say to others?
  • When, recently, have you not lived up to what you say, not lived up to what you want?
  • What one thing could you change that would transform this area of your life?

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