The Mind vs. Body Challenge

The path to becoming a professional speaker looks like this…

The path is to become a subject expert, write a book or seminar about your expertise. Study to become a professional speaker then learn how to become a marketer. Then take it full time and become a travel warrior, get a lot of air miles become a star and be a keynote speaker and facilitator.

By using my business experience, I became a keynote speaker for REDKEN and the Allied Beauty Association – travelling all over Canada, US and two speaking tours of Australia. Focus Salon Management and Retailing.

Then I was inspired by the Pursuit of Excellence and asked what was needed to become a facilitator of the program. So, back to school I went 2 years later I became the lead facilitator for Context leading the Pursuit of Excellence from Ontario to British Columbia.

My next step was writing and leading Presentation Power…

Tired of travelling and using my experience as knowledge base and using my speaking and facilitation skills I launched a workshop on public speaking, it became “Presentation Power” which I taught at the University of British Columbia. The next step led to coaching presentation teams in the US and Canada. The hi-light was helping win the 2010 Winter Olympics for Canada.

After 45 plus years as a road warrior, I had a lot of air miles and very sore back. I did learn some lessons about being a middle-aged in the company speakers who where the average age of 26. Some of those lessons were about life on the road, some were about being a professional speaker – two very different things.

Being a professional speaker in competition against well-educated 20 years younger speakers is a challenge. The travel schedule seems much longer, the luggage seems heavier, the opportunities seems smaller. That’s when you come face-to-face with the mind-body problem: the relationship between the consciousness of the mind and the stubborn bag of bones that is your body.

As a young speaker, the mind and body seem joined in purpose and performance, best friends enjoying mutual excitement and reward. The ego mind tells the body what to do, the body obeys and both benefit.

But aging for a road warrior speaker is a slow relentless decline. The body doesn’t respond with the same speed, the same strength or the same intelligence. Your best friend has become tired, of planes, trains and automobiles, of cold drafts, bad beds and a sore back. When young, your only challenge is the performance. Older, you have two more challenges: the competition and your reluctant body.

Then you make a deal with your body to keep at an elite level, you promise to treat it better, eat healthier, stretch more, find the balance in your mind that soothes the body.

I did that through yoga, meditation and jogging. They gave me more control over my mind, body and soul which helped me handle jet lag, airline food and mind-numbing repetition. They helped me be mindful of what I could and couldn’t do yet let me push myself to perform at my peak levels.

The aging speaker/facilitator/consultant hears a nagging continuous loop: “Do I still have it in me to perform? Do I even belong on the stage? Don’t embarrass yourself.” At a very deep level, it is like facing death. Not dying, but rather the death of one’s identity. How you see yourself? How others see you? Do you value yourself as a human being? There is a vast difference between being a professional speaker earning large fees and loud applause and resting on past accomplishments. Past accomplishments seem to grow smaller in the rear-view mirror, you feel like a fraud still milking them so many years later.

I have decided to redefine my purpose as a speaker/consultant/knowledge worker. In choosing a new expression of my purpose I needed the same challenge I had as a speaker, except now is the time the body would rest and the mind take the lead.

Love and peace, Geoffrey

Coming soon very soon..

Zen & The Art of Leadership

Geoffrey has coached CEO’s, leaders, architects, engineers, public speakers and entrepreneurs: Here is a small collection of success stories from the different areas of Geoffrey’s background as a coach. Geoffrey has over 25 years coaching experience. He has led teams for 2010 Winter Olympic Bid, CN Financial Division, Shaw, Rocky Mountaineer, Sandwell Engineering, FKP Architects, Telus and Stantec. Geoffrey taught at the Sauder School of Business, Executive Education, at the University of British Columbia.