I knew that if I wanted to pursue a career in business, I needed to become much more comfortable giving presentations and talking among crowds of people.
After the Rotary Club speech, I began purposely putting myself in uncomfortable situations that required an extroverted personality. Soon, I was elected to the Florida Business Leaders of America district vice president, which required me to talk in front of groups of 200 students or more. I was also elected as president of the student body, where it was necessary to remain in constant contact with the students, principal, and administration of the school.
During my senior year of high school, I was again selected as the Rotary Club Student of the Month and asked to speak at one of the Rotary Club’s meetings. This time, instead of being nervous, I was confident and excited to give my speech to the members. I knew this speech would be a great test to prove to myself how far I had come since eighth grade. I walked up to the lectern, said the first few sentences, and was completely comfortable with the situation. During the speech, I even told a joke and improvised part of it on the spot. It was at that moment that I realized that people could change, it is just a matter of how badly one wants to.
The hardest thing a person can do is change an aspect of himself and make it last. Anyone can wake up and decide, “Today I am going to be nice for a change.” However, it is the days afterwards that make the difference. Changing oneself can be even more complex when one does not feel the need to do so. I found myself in this situation after giving my first speech at the Rotary Club. I was comfortable with being shy and introverted; however, I knew this personality trait would not bring success in the future. This speech marked a milestone in my life because I realized how beneficial it often is to step outside my comfort zone.
Craig’s story discloses his deeply rooted commitment to teamwork, motivational skills, and doing what it takes to succeed:
During my earlier days I was an avid soccer player; I lived for early Saturday mornings. Getting up early to get my equipment together, lacing up my cleats, and the fellowship that I got from my teammates were unsurpassable. However, it was not all fun and games on the field. As team captain I had a duty and responsibility to my team to make sure we were achieving our goals through a strong work ethic, and a strong commitment to our team.