The Power of 26 -Endless Opportunities

‘It was a knockout blow. A punch so overwhelming I didn’t get back on my feet for fourteen years. And to deliver a blow like that, they went to a lot of trouble.’

So begins the powerful opening of the international bestseller entitled Papillon.
The story of convicted felon Henri Charriere who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colonies of French Guyana for a murder he steadfastly denied every committing.

Recently I re-read this novel. I was as thunderstruck with the powerful vocabulary of
Mr. Charriere now as I was nearly 30 years ago in the first read. His richly detailed and highly powerful scenes of the full panorama of human emotion of love, fear, torture, betrayal, murder, brutality, solitude, courage, passion, escape, and redemption make it a book bigger than its pages.

Recounting the drama he lived, he invites you in, moment by moment, where you can feel the brutality of the unrepentant guards, the hostility of several wardens and the incredible generosity of other gatekeepers, strangers and fellow inmates.

While it was ultimately made into a blockbuster of a film with Steve McQueen and
Dustin Hoffman, the raw energy he emits from the pages is nothing short of electrifying.
No film can ever do justice to the range and diversity and intensity of feelings and experiences Papillon shares with us. He recounts with riveting narrative the amazing life and near death he endured in his incarceration.

I believe it is this unfiltered delivery of the message that always appeals to the writer within me. Someone who can make words come alive while teetering on the edge of death is a skilled wordsmith indeed.

There is no limit too on the capacity of the writer to keep us enthralled in their storyline regardless of the subject, if it is well told. That is the hallmark of any writing.
Be interesting, provocative, informative, outrageous, coy, raging,  a demon at the keyboard spinning golden stories of business, fiction, fantasy, adventure…..just don’t be boring. Grab your reader by the eyeballs and don’t let go.

As near as I’m aware, Mr. Charierre had little formal education. He was not illiterate, but he was neither a University Graduate.  Yet his storytelling captivated the world in multiple languages in 1969 and his legacy lives on through his words.

There remain endless opportunities to tell your story, make sure The Power of 26 is put to good use.

Incidentally, several followers have kindly inquired about my other writing for my work. The best sequeway I can offer is for you to take a look at my e-mail series of 57 Media Spikes (https://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca/free-trial–57-media-spikes.html)

It is also available in completed book form and you can secure a copy quickly through Amazon by clicking  (http://tinyurl.com/57-Spikes)

Will it be as compelling a read as Papillon? One can hope. What I can tell you is it is written with the same passion as Mr. Charriere, but without the brutality endured!!

 

The Power of 26 – A Rebirth Everyday With Words

We remain extraordinarily fortunate to live in this day and age.

Our lives are so richly blessed with food, families, possessions, technologies, healthcare, pleasures and freedoms that it is a utopia by many standards.  Not for a moment do I dismiss the challenges many of us equally face with employment, sickness, drug uses, tragedies, accidents, political unrest, war zones and the ever volatile economy.

However it strikes me that each day is an opportunity for new successes. However large or small. Personally and /or professionally. We look to and find and celebrate those events with great delight. Birthday (it is always someone’s birthday)- no matter what day of the year. Anniversary. Job Promotion. Arrival of a new child. A family member safely returned home from travels. You finally got through that office project which had you stymied for weeks. Maybe, after all your blogs, somebody noticed enough to say something.

Congratulations. Well Done. Atta Boy. You Go Girl. YOU Did It!. Kudos. So Proud of You. Nobody Deserves It More. You Worked Hard For It. How Fabulous. Welcome Home.

Every one of those accolades can get you recharged. Fired up again. Okay, what’s next?
I can do this. The powerful element here is they are sincere, warm, genuine recognitions of all your time, energy, effort and it was so simple for the sayer to say it.

Not long paragraphs of stories and mountains climbed. Just a few simple, powerful words that can reinvigorate even most worn spirit. I express this in the hope that it perks you up to share a Well Done with a co-worker. Applaud and say Congratulations when a neighbour gets a new job. Those are very modest but powerful ways to boost the spirit of those closest to you. And it doesn’t have to come from your wallet.

Nearly every week, I have an electronic consult or phone call with a good friend and colleague in my industry. And every week when I praise him for always being there to support me, he comes back with a few inspiring words that make me want to try again harder next time.

Everyday can be a rebirth like that. It really only takes a few words to deliver emotion
that can transform lives. I am always amazed, and a bit saddened, that the best words we have for each other, all too often ,come when the person who most needs them can no longer hear them. Funerals are the minutes when a lifetime of emotion comes rushing out but the key listener is hearing from a different realm.

As I write this, the world mourns the recent loss of the musical artist Prince. Only in the wake of his passing have I learned what a generous and talented musician he was.
The tributes pour in from everywhere. How amazing and wonderful and supportive.

For all his on stage persona, I hear from reports he was a gentle and appreciative soul. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear some of the words of praise about how good, kind, smart, caring etc., you are while you’re still here to hear them?  Then maybe consider using the Power of 26 everyday to tell the people closest to you just how much they mean to you.

We remain extraordinarily fortunate to live in this day and age. Yet for all that we accomplish, nothing, but nothing starts without the words.  My business thrives on it.
So do thousands of others. Don’t let another day pass you by without realizing and using The Power of 26 to brighten someone else’s day. It will do the same to you at the same time.

The Power of 26- Write Like You Speak

To capture someone’s attention you tend to RAISE your voice so they can hear your invitation to pay attention to you.

Try doing the same with your writing. Whether that effort is for a book, an article, an ad, a memo to your colleagues, the boss, write like you speak. Give emphasis to your written word as powerfully as you would to your spoken word. To do that, simply write like you speak.

Why do we feel the need to be convoluted in our writing when it’s so simple to be clear and concise

Ie: When constructing a new underground channel where the waterway to the house would be directed, the workers were obliged to use hand held earth-moving devices.

Translation: When digging a new trench for plumbing, the men used shovels.

We stumble over ourselves finding new and old and cumbersome ways to communicate to our audience instead of telling them directly in simple language. Your message has much more impact if it has short, snappy paragraphs. Ideas that flow logically from one line to the next, to the next to the next until, son of a gun, before you know it, you’ve read the whole page.

Here’s a neat test you can give yourself. It’s painless. It’s private, and it will show you just how good a writer you are. Trust me, you are better than you think you are.

1) Get a blank piece of paper and a pen (pencil). OR
Open a new page in your Word program.

2) Get yourself a timer. On your computer. Or a watch, clock, etc, one that you can set for 5 minutes.

3) I want you to begin writing a story on any topic you want. Movies, drugs, toys, food, sex, birthdays, etc. Whatever you want. There are only two rules.

A) The first rule is the first line must contain three words: orange, sidewalk, and umbrella.

B) The second rule is you have only five minutes.

Now, begin writing- or typing your story, and make it as creative and colourful as you like, but write it like your telling me about it over a couple of beers at our local pub.  The idea here is that you are writing as though we are having a conversation, and your are telling me all about it. But you are breathless and can’t wait to get exciting news to me within 5 minutes.

NOW – Go write. I’ll wait right here.

Perfect. How’d you do? See, I told you. It’s very powerful, painless, and exhilarating to discover how amazing you already are in your day to day speaking. Remember, every great speech, the ones that history has remembered, recorded and referred to, every one of them started by being written, before being spoken.

Write like you speak. The Power of 26 is always there.

Dennis Kelly

dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

P.S. If you’d like to send me whatever you write, at the above e-mail address, I’d love to see it.

I won’t share it with anyone, but I will send you a complimentary copy of one of several copywriting or advertising books in my possession, just for sending it.

 

 

 

 

The Power of 26 – It NEVER goes out of style

Welcome back. Gosh I’m so pleased you are able to join me again. Yes you’re right, it has been a while- I think since January this year- since my last entry. To my avid followers, thank you for remaining avid and my regrets for the long hiatus.

Sometimes for all of us, life spirals seemingly out of control, personally, professionally medically, emotionally….pick an ally and it sometimes is no friend at all. Suffice to share 2015 had more speed bumps than usual.

Just a couple of days ago, I had the great good fortune to teach. I do not do it as frequently as I should- I learn so much when I teach and this was no exception. There were 20+ students in the class and I tried to distill some media planning and buying tips and strategies and experiences of 30 years into an hour or so.  Exactly – Good luck with that one.

They were all eager sponges and seemed to enjoy the presentation which was wonderful. I like it when the audience enjoys themselves.  You try to anticipate every question and hope you have an answer.

Developing the presentation reminded me of the need for brevity and how critical it is to make every word count. There is limited time and space to communicate everything. Mastery is the art of saying novels without writing them.  Write with power. With Conviction. With Drive and Muscle behind your words. They need not be callous or vulgar to strike with force and resonance.

In the past 2 years or so,  I have struck up a wonderful international e-mail relationship with a talented and outgoing professional copywriter based in the United Kingdom. He’s been writing ads for 30+ years, while here in Canada, I’ve been buying ad space for 30+ years.

He correctly bemoans the laziness of many of today’s writers who rely on a tag line and photos to get by. There is nothing, BUT NOTHING,  more powerful and persuasive than a well written letter. They are becoming harder to find. Even less readers appreciate them. A good writer is GOLD. Is money in the bank.  Spinning those 26 letters into a sales story that compels customers to buy your product is a rare and priceless talent. Hang on to him or her with both hands. They are the keys to the vault.

Despite all the platforms of communication now available to me as a buyer, it all comes back to the same source. The Alphabet. Good Writing Never Goes Out Of Style.  That’s the Power of 26

The Power of 26: Writing Is For Life

Hello and welcome back.

It’s so nice to be in this space again and I’m thrilled you chose to rejoin me.

Reports of my disappearance have been magnified beyond all measure.

I have remained here all along, just under this radar due to some professional obligations.
But I see it’s nearly 10 months since I last contributed. Thanks for missing me.
Sorry to have been away so long.

For those of you wondering, in the past year I became a 1st time Grandfather and
my 10 month old sweetie steals away my vocabulary to describe the joy she brings.

The Power of 26 continues to resonate in everything I touch it seems.
Sometimes with unintended results but mostly with unexpected wonderful
news at the end of it.
Some readers have made themselves familiar with my advertising work and
I’m very thrilled. Thank you.

If this is your baptism with me, I am a professional media buyer by trade.
I have the great good fortune of being steward of my clients advertising funds
and recommending where we can achieve the best value and best exposure for them.

If you’ve wondered about The Power of 26, consider these two disparate but
related events. You are among coveted readers of my Spike of Angels Blog and
I thank you wholeheartedly for sharing your eyeballs on my words.
Many of you are repeat readers – followers I think they’re called. At the moment
it’s a modest fan club – but they’re MY fans. How lucky for me. And they’re drawn
here by the Power of 26.

In the time I’ve been away, I was thunderstruck to learn that my articles to
date ( a mere dozen) have had more than 2,100 reads. That’s just staggering,
but wonderful to discover. Thank you to all of you for being part of that personal
universe.

Part Two is again an unexpected but welcome treasure brought on by other writing.

In my professional role, I’ve created an e-mail series entitled 57 Media Spikes.
At the moment, it is available in its original format from my website, http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca/starting-now-improve-your-ads-for-free.html
and my readers have kindly shared they have extracted a few gems of guidance,
information and help in their combined messages. How cool is that?!?
My spins on 26 letters have helped multiple readers in their jobs.

During my absence from this Blog, one industry publication learned of my 57 Spikes
series. After reading the first 1/2 dozen, they startled me beyond measure by asking for permission to run the e-mail series as a Blog on their on-line edition.

I Know – my eyes went WOW just like yours did.

Since October, my series has been meted out at one or two articles per week as
my Media Blog. Here’s the drop your jaw part. I asked for a performance summary
and in the period of Dec 6th to January 6th, I had 10 of the Top 19 Blogs that month,
including the #1 position at 943 Hits. The average across all ten articles was 500.6 Hits
per article.

Maybe you do that in a weekend. Good for you. But this was just freaking awesome to
me and it continues to fuel my writing and it seems to continue to draw in readers
and that’s fabulous.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they made me an irresistible offer.
Wanna hear what they did?

The second wave of my 57 Media Spikes (#’s 30-57) are soon being released with a
sign-off link back to my website where my e-Book in PDF form,
Nine Secrets to Improve Your Advertising
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca/online-store–start-with-9-secrets—.html
is available for purchase.  Valued at $197, it’s being offered to readers from that
on-line link (and to you –Power of 26 reader) for an unheard price of $30.

HOWEVER- that deal lasts only until the original 57 Spikes are posted on this OnLine
publication. Then the $30 offer expires and it returns to $197.  Act Now is a good plan.

The part the Publication did? Not only am I able to provide links to this e-book,
but they are assisting by providing a Big Box ad in both Desktop and Mobile sizes at an irresistible offer. How could I say no?

I share all this dear readers of the Power of 26 to demonstrate that Writing is for life.
You just never know where or when or how your words  (those same 26 letters) will
impact the people you are trying to influence and those who are an unintended bonus.

My last article spoke of being Speechless. Happily that seldom happens for me,
as the above will attest. And despite me being below the radar, I was able to continue
to weave those 26 letters into action, which just may impact the writer as much as the
readers.

Never, ever, ever let the power of the alphabet be diminished. Indeed, in many
forms through the ages, a similar refrain rings true’ The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_pen_is_mightier_than_the_sword

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

The Power of 26 – From Wordsmith to Speechless

Does it seem each day flows seamlessly into the next?

Same routine such that you could do things blindfolded and not miss a beat?

Here’s a way to shake the stagnancy. Write.

Excuse me?

Yes that’s correct. I said write.

If you are already blogging, perhaps your are of a similar mindset.

This is a wonderfully cathartic exercise to put your thoughts on paper- or
electronic paper at least – and get clear what you want to do with a project,
a stage in your life, an idea, or your next plan for success.

If you’ve read my blogs to date, you’ll know how much I value the Power of 26,
and the incredible power attached to words. The meanings expressed and implied.
Those overt expressions of passion and rage, and the subtle expressions of passion
and rage.

Many of you who have been my followers are aware of the nature of my work as a
professional Media Buyer. At its simplest – someone who buys the advertising space
in newspapers, radio, television, on-line, magazines etc., so that my clients can put
their message in front of you.

This capacity- ever evolving through 3 decades- has given me the opportunity to at
long last put my writing skills to the test like never before.

Dozens of times through the years, I’ve bemoaned my clients unfamiliarity with the
media and why don’t they know better. So went my private rant.
Here’s why – No-One has told them!

That’s why they hired me.

To do the job they can’t or won’t or don’t care to or don’t understand well
enough to do it well themselves.
Then it’s up to me to provide some education – through Words- to show
them my thinking.
The skills I offer. How I can help them.
So I at last began a project that was 30 years in the making.

In approximately 6 weeks, I composed 57  separate e-mails, totaling 36,000
words and have them as a specialty read opportunity through my website.

Why should that matter to you? Well if you’ve ever wished you had said this…
Or cursed yourself quietly that  you didn’t say that to a client, or co-worker
then writing it out will help you master your thoughts.

It will give substance and reality to your planned actions and strategy so that it’s
not just vague ideas drifting around your greymatter.
You actually put these thoughts and plans on to paper.
Seeing them staring back at you is a chance to view a window into yourself
and refresh and refine and improve endlessly.

And so it was in this project where I devoted time and energy to sharing media
strategies, education, philosophies and explanations which I hope will be of
assistance to current and future clients.

If you’re so inclined, you’re invited to visit our site where you can sign up for a
Free- Spike of Angels Media Briefing Template and register to receive these
57 Media Spikes (also free)

http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca/spike-of-angels-media-briefing-template-and-e-mail-sign-up.html

There is no obligation or pressure. I hope you like the style and I hope
they impart some education for you.

As for Speechless from today’s title, I’m thrilled to share that in the past
couple of weeks, I have become a first time Grandfather. I was privileged to
hold my new baby granddaughter for a few moments when she was
only 11 hours old. No alphabet can do that moment justice.

Sometimes the best part of The Power of 26, is knowing when to stop!

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

The Power of 26 – Touching Hearts and Nerves

Thanks for joining me again.

Everyday we encounter gems and hiccups it seems, and I found it interesting
to see how some people respond. An extension of my writing this blog is also
my role as a media planner and buyer. http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

This compels me to remain as conversant as I’m able in both traditional and
new media.

It continues to evolve and I’m not certain there will ever be a concensus.
As long as humans are breathing, their media communication networks will
remain as individual as their DNA.

Some would have you believe we should revert to only magazines and
television as all we need are print and broadcast. Isn’t that right?

Other thought leaders will surely convince you that this
Internet platform is evolving to be the ONLY platform and it will
ultimately assimilate all others in its path, devouring them like
the BORG™ of Star Trek Fame.

In a recent soapbox by yours truly, I acknowledged the growing presence
and influence of The Internet and Social Media respectively.  Make no mistake,
they are with us to stay I believe. For better or worse will be decided by history,
but it is a changing/(changed) media landscape.

Digital media choices thrive on speed and personal communication unlike
anything in history. These are very powerful and aggressive tools to deliver
our messages in a heartbeat. But the scope of the messages is handcuffed by
character limitations or relevancy.  The traditional media, tried and
true, remain in the same arena. Their roles changing, but their contribution
every bit as vital as ever.

Your blogs give you an unrestrained opportunity to share personal and
professional joys, triumphs, tragedies which is a wonderful creative outlet
in most cases.

Alternatively, the social media vehicles which proliferate are impressive
in their exponential growth.

They remain frightfully deadly in their capability to have an anonymous
assailant destroy your reputation with vicious attacks and misuse of personal
information. I’m startled to learn stories of people sharing amazingly intimate
details of their lives on line with friends and strangers, then are crushed when it is
used against them.

If you want it to stay private, then don’t share it. The Social Media grapevines
are treated like ‘Dear Diary’ and many a contributor has been irreparably destroyed
when pictures, events, and shared confidences are unearthed and betrayed.

It remains a dubious marketplace which has thrown wide open the doors of
communication to anyone who will devote the time to typing.

Other segments deem it an enormous breath of fresh-air allowing the ultimate
freedom of expression. I will not moralize here the right or wrong of the capability
this new found electronic bulletin board offers.
There can be no turning back now, and it will live on in some incarnation for
perhaps generations to come….or not.

One hundred years ago as we entered the 20th century, a new world was on the
horizon as Mr. Marconi pioneered radio. At the time, who could have envisioned
how the world would explode from there in unprecedented technological growth
through the next eleven decades. Today our words can scarcely describe how we
are pushing the boundaries of growth to unexpected- nay -unimagined horizons.

The technology of our forefathers helped pioneer the way for what was to become
our reality. When our grandchildren’s, grandchildren inherit the earth, I daresay it
will hardly resemble what we see and hear around us today. But if history is any
indication for the future, the will still have words.

They will still hold and use the Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

 

The Power of 26 – Worth a Million?

Did you know every day there are approximately fifteen (15) new words created which are added to the English language.

Each and every one of the 26 letters of the alphabet have formed our learning and our lives and our communication.

Considering as a species we are ever evolving, it only makes sense our communication keeps pace and reflects how we express ourselves. Many of the same letters used in this e-mail have themselves found their way into the great missives of history.

Not for a moment to suggest these few lines compete with epics of the past. Not by a longshot. But it continues to intrigue me that those same letters available to poets William Wordsworth and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, songwriters Lennon and McCartney, and prodigious writers Gene Roddenberry (StarTrek) and JRR Tolkien (The Hobbit & The Lord of The Rings) are available to me. And to everyone who conspires to string letters together to make words. Words of  Power. Influence. Persuasion. Compassion. Tenderness. Sensitivity. Rage. Anger. Violence. Upheaval. Chaos. Reconciliation. Good. Bad. Purity. Evil. Dark. Light.

One would think that the full complement of words has been reached by now. Hasn’t every human condition been experienced? Hasn’t every conceivable birth, death, richness, poverty, exhilaration, tragedy already been lived and recorded. Do we not have enough written witness to the passage of time?

Yet we constantly crave more. We want to experience it all…well if all means always having the good life. Everyone is lining up for those experiences. The poverty, pestilence, and tragedy are typically not on the wish list to Santa.

When you read works from any of the preceding names I mentioned, you can’t help but marvel at their incredible gift of painting vivid pictures with how they assembled letters. A new portrait is revealed to every reader as they all experience the same words through the voice in their own head. The story is always constant but always changing. The letters and the words and thoughts and ideas all remain the same. The experience received by the reader is likely never duplicated by any video or movie which comes after.

Some are very good at a retelling or distilling a story to its essence, but the words are what move the story along and give it life and vibrancy. The talent which smolders under some fingertips is delivered with fiery ferocity when keys strike the page.  Clearly, and it took me a long time to get this – the power of the words is welling up within the soul of the writer. The letters are simply the tools the wordsmith uses to bring his thoughts and feelings and inspirations to fruition.  Never, ever give up on the power of words.

I initiated this post asking Worth a Million. While many writers and publishers correctly seek a dollar sign beside that, I approach this from the staggering influence and power of 26 simple letters.  There are more than 1,013,913 words in the English language according to the Global Language Monitor, and even that number may be an understatement as it’s increases each day. Genuinely I think I’d be hard pressed to incorporate even 10% of those into my vocabulary.

I share this for those who moan there is nothing new to say. It’s been done. Don’t dismiss or diminish any writing. You may not agree with the content or the motivation, but looking past that, I implore you to marvel at the dexterity of the words the writer used to work you into such a state. What else but 26 letters, woven by skillful design and mastery, could awaken such intense feeling within you.

That is The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

 

The Power of 26 – A to Z Connects You and Me

Never ceases to amaze me.

The infinite power you hold in your fingertips.

Wielding a firm grasp of the alphabet and the talent which
sends the reader to the skies with unparalleled joy and vision
of the landscape you have painted.
Artistry goes beyond the brush my friends. I have tremendous
admiration and a touch of envy for those gifted individuals who can
paint a portrait, landscape, emotion with the right colours and textures.
Equally it is hard to not be impressed by someone who draws well.

Regrettably talents which have eluded me to date.

For better or worse, my artistic passion was and remains the alphabet.
Or perhaps more correctly how we use those letters to form the words
which guide our heads and hearts.

Last night I stepped somewhat out of my comfort zone in presenting
a new speech format.

I was a ‘guest’ in a simulated TV interview and my ‘host’ asked
me 1/2 dozen or so questions. I learned, in reviewing my tape,
how important brevity is. My answers, while solid, were too long.

It was a departure from form which to my surprise, unnerved me
more than I imagined it might.

Change is always scary. And so is staying in the same place.
What last night’s experience taught me was the importance
to relax, have a conversation not one-upmanship with my host.

Several individuals commented how well they thought I did.
I ‘reached them’, engaged the audience and all those things that make
you warm and memorable to your listeners.

No doubt about it dear readers, If It Ain’t On The Page, It Ain’t On The Stage.

It became evident to me the importance of knowing the words of my
answers ahead of time…but the most startling moment was my spontaneity
when asked an unplanned question. And my tongue did not desert me.
The words were right where I needed them and I was
the master of the moment just as I needed to be.

Our ability to convey a thought or emotion on paper is, I believe, a great talent
in and of itself. Many people know how to write. Fewer are writers. Those who
are, are revealed quickly, as their words explode from the pages, and resonate
with the reader long after the passage was written.

As I continue to discover in my professional capacity, the carriers of these thoughts
and words are endlessly evolving.  Newspapers and magazines – The Print Media- are
being hastened to the sidelines it seems, by the masses who can’t wait to usher in a world
of exclusively digital communication.
This may or may not be a good thing. Every change means leaving something behind.
Sometimes the items brought forward are less valuable than they seemed.

The mere act of me connecting my A to Z’s with you through this electronic post
is proof enough that change is always constant. In another age, I would be hard
pressed to reach you as openly or as inexpensively as this media allows.

As you march your letters forward into your daily challenges, battles, praise,
I implore you to always remember the magnificent power you have at your fingertips.
The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

 

The Power of 26 – On The Tip of My Tongue

In a recent post, I shared the disheartening experience of finishing
3rd in a 3 person contest, but philosophically expressed the importance
of being prepared.

It’s one thing to be bested by someone else in any contest or event.

It’s another when you are defeated because you didn’t try or offer up your best.
Dad taught me hundreds of lessons, but among the most memorable was
after a baseball game, when there were too many losses in a season, he asked if
I had played my best. When I said yes, he said ‘That’s ALL you can ask for.’

Being prepared and playing or participating to the best of your talents is all
you can offer. Finishing less than first is no shame if you’ve given it everything
you’ve got.

But the importance of being prepared was not lost on me because only a few
days later I was called upon to be a substitute in the next contest.
It was to be 90 seconds to 2 minutes of unrehearsed presentation.
A demonstration of how well you can think on your feet and
come up with an engaging story without benefit of writing it out
ahead of time.

And this my dear readers is where preparedness takes over. It was a topic
right in my wheelhouse and the gods were smiling on my silver tongue as
I was able to weave 26 letters together for the First Place Speech.

This time I was first of 3 speakers. While it was unrehearsed, I was no less
prepared by having done similar situations perhaps several hundred times now.
The words flowed readily because of the comfort of having done it before.

Everyday is a rehearsal for your next success. Sometimes it seems invisible.
Beyond reach. Out of your grasp.  And all the while the right moment is simmering,
waiting for the chance when your talent and opportunity come together to become
your stage to shine.

Don’t ever stop practicing. Rehearsing. Preparing. Reading. Learning.
Training. It has been expressed by many successful people in all fields of
endeavour that they are ‘lucky’.  Nearly everyone of them will attest that the
harder they work, the more luck they have.

Your successes are not ‘once and done’. Rather they should be an ongoing
stream of opportunities tried. Some resounding successes where you are showered with
accolades and or riches. Other efforts it may feel like ‘she got the gold mine,
and you got the shaft’, but these are only occasional hiccups
to spur you to greater successes.

Don’t ever let one success or failure be your defining moment.
Your growing power to wield those 26 letters with authority and confidence
will move the world to behave exactly as you wish it to be.

That’s The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca