Getting to the Point.

I'm taking a public speaking course. One of the things we're practicing is eliminating filler words. Examples of filler words are um, you know, like, so, - basically words that dilute your message and make you come across as not as smart, clear or confident. Using filler words is a largely unconscious habit which makes it a hard one to quit. Awareness is the precursor to change, so once we know our tendencies, we can take steps to shift them.  

We often use fillers when we're not clear or confident. We "fill the space" while we process our thoughts and form our sentences. If we haven't taken time to refine our message, we're unsure of ourselves and hesitant so we diffuse it by using filler words.  

I was thinking about how this relates to life. Before I was clear on who I am, what my values are and what I want, I "filled" my time with extraneous activities like reading magazines and other time-wasters (disclaimer – there's nothing inherently wrong with reading magazines for pleasure if you're taking a break from the "real work").  

Over the years I've refined my direction in life and crystalized that I want to do with it. I'm more "on purpose" and my time is more intentional. I get a lot done because I know exactly where I'm going.  

One of my favorite quotes is by Tantric philosopher Douglas Brooks. He says: 

"You are the point the universe is trying to make

The invitation of that quote is to discover your dharma. What's the point your life is trying to make?  

In life, just as with our words, we want to get to the point. And state it with clear conviction - loud and clear. We want to stand strongly in who we are, speak our truth and unabashedly go for what we want. 

Everything - a horse, a vine - is created for some duty... For what task, then, were you yourself created?” Marcus Aurelius  

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