Monday Morning Momentum™ with David J. Pollay – April 13, 2009
There was a hum of conversation as the audience settled in. The band members quietly took their places on a dimly lit stage. The theatre operator brought the lights down. The audience grew quiet in anticipation. The emcee entered stage left; the spotlight followed him. The audience welcomed him with applause.
The drummer started a quiet drum roll. The emcee began speaking in a Charlton Heston-like voice. He mesmerized the audience with a story of accomplishment and adventure: he told us about the act we were about to see. The drummer and emcee engaged in a choreographed dance of excitement: the drum roll matched the words as they came out faster, with more energy, and with the power of anticipation that a great event was about to take place. And all at once, the emcee called out their names, the band started playing, the act entered stage right, the spotlight swung over to meet them, the audience erupted in applause, and the singers launched into their first song in full voice.
I saw this introduction many times. And each time my parents would come on stage, standing tall, walking confidently, chest out, arms extended, and smiling with the majesty of a king and queen. The stage was their castle and the theatre their kingdom. The audience believed they were in for a magnificent journey. And so did my parents. They were ready to perform.
It was during these years that I learned the power of words and music in setting the stage for greatness. When my parents listened to the emcee introduce them, they focused on their mission. The words and music they heard centered their attention. They believed in themselves, and they were committed to giving their best performance.
All great performers, athletes, and leaders are introduced in a similarly powerful way. The audience and the performer are made to share a powerful narrative that what they are about to experience is going to be spectacular.
Over the years I have learned a critical secret to success. I call it “The Law of the Narrator.” Here it is: The voice that narrates our life determines our success.
Our life is not a silent movie. It is one that is narrated every moment of the day. Sometimes our narrator is an emcee, a host, or an announcer. But, most of the time the voice is ours. We are introducing our every activity and narrating our every move consciously and unconsciously.
Just think for a moment about today. What have you been saying to yourself? What words have you been using? If you were repeating, “I’m tired,” “I don’t feel like doing that,” or “I’m worried,” you have limited your ability to perform at your best. But if you said instead, “I’m excited,” “I’m ready,” and “I can,” you have engaged some of your best energy to support you. The bottom line is that The Law of the Narrator is always in play.
Throughout each day we have an opportunity to choose our narrators. And we determine what they say and how they say it. When we wake up, see our loved ones, face a challenge, start a project, encounter a problem, work on a task, and see an opportunity, we have a chance to narrate our story in a powerful way. We get to choose the words and soundtrack of our lives. Our mind sets the stage for our performance.
So, the next time you begin something important in your life, bring out your best narrator. Cue the band, turn on the spotlight, listen to the emcee’s introduction, hear the audience applaud, and enter in full voice.
It’s your stage; bring down the house.
Copyright 2009 David J. Pollay
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David J. Pollay is the creator of The Law of the Garbage Truck™. He is a syndicated columnist with the North Star Writers Group, creator and host of The Happiness Answer™ television program, and an internationally sought after speaker. David’s book, Beware of Garbage Trucks!™, is due out this summer.
David is the founder and president of the consulting and seminar organization, The Momentum Project. He is also a founding associate executive director of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). If you want to reprint one of David’s columns, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s David’s full bio.