Go For It

There are times to step back, wait and see, or pause before making an important decision. There are other times to throw caution to the wind and just “go for it.” I am usually a cautious, deliberate person who prefers to think about all of my options before deciding on a course of action. Rarely do I do anything spontaneously, without carefully considering my options. Recently, however, I acted in an uncharacteristic manner in deciding to “go for it.” An attorney from California, of whom I had never heard, let alone met, invited me to co-present with him at a large, international organization’s conference. As luck would have it, I had absolutely nothing to do on the day of the presentation, due to a postponement of a jury selection engagement, even though the attorney’s request was nothing short of last minute. I had a mere two days to find out about the topic, prepare my part of the presentation, and send it to the attorney for incorporation into his presentation. (Thank goodness for computers, electronic presentations, and this attorney’s ability to insert my part of the speech into his pre-existing parts.) David, as always, provided me with lots of help, including finding out the details about where I was supposed to go, contacting the attorney about logistical plans, and gathering brochures and handouts for me. However, due to a prior commitment, he was unable to accompany me to the speech to provide the usual technical and administrative duties that go along with my role as a guest speaker at a large conference. In addition, due to the few days’ notice between the day I was invited to speak and the day of the presentation, there was no one else at Magnus available to assist me during the speech. This has only happened one other time in my entire career; making a presentation to a large audience is, in and of itself, challenging and it is impossible to both make a speech, at the same time, and hand out brochures to everyone in the audience. But, something told me to overlook these obstacles and just “go for it.” So, with the excellent and gracious assistance of a childhood friend, Margie, I not only made the presentation with the nice attorney from California, I had a fabulous time in the process. In fact, the experience I had at this conference was one of my most positive presentation experiences of my career. I’m glad I “went for it”!

As Hannibal Smith (George Peppard) liked to say on The A Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.” That’s how I felt after Melissa reported that the presentation at the World Water Parks Association convention was a success. Doing something so last minute is out of character for Melissa for sure. And, logistically, putting it all together in 2 says was a feat. But, as Steve Winwood sang “When you see a chance, take it…” And, we did. Having gotten a call after 5:00 on a Friday before a presentation on the following Tuesday, there was much to do, starting with talking with the presenting attorney – in a different time zone. And, putting something together like this violated another of our normal practices, that is, not being in control of the electronic presentation, and instead, relying on someone else to do it. We like to have control. But, Melissa’s schedule was open, the group sounded (and was) interesting, and the attorney who contacted us was very enthusiastic and helpful. So, it just goes to show that stepping out of a comfort zone isn’t a bad thing. And, we made a new friend in California. Who knows what else will come from such an opportunity…

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