Push | Past | Perceptions

Push | Past | Perceptions

Have you ever wondered what would life be like if we were not restricted by monetary limitations? Or let us assume the day wasn’t capped at 24 hours? Let us take it a stretch ahead and work on a hypothetical scenario where the world is about to end today – what is that one fear that you would want to overcome? Some of these are real scenarios which we have no control over and some are made within our heads. The questions are, what are we doing to differentiate the two? 

I am kind of scared of heights. While I love the thrill and adrenaline rush, there is always a fear of fall and over the years it has started to grip my feet from taking part in any adventure activities. But recently, at a water park after going back and forth a couple of times, I finally took the plunge from the cliff to the pool. And boy, it indeed was worth it that I did go back another time. It’s always the first step that is the hardest, just break one small barrier, achieve one small victory and you have managed to push past the perception that was holding you back. 

It is contest season time and in all these years of being a Toastmaster I have been able to contest only once; what I am busy doing these days in awarding the trophy to someone else and some of us will wait for next year. We believe that someone else is better than us but you will not know till you hit that stage and push past the perception that is holding you back. 

Toastmasters may not be a priority for all of us and we’ll always be busy, the question is a few years down the line, do you want to look back and regret this moment, this opportunity that lies in front of you? Neither you’ll get the six pack abs nor become a world champion of public speaking by sitting in the audience – push past the perception that is holding you back.  


A few weeks back, the TRIO travelled to Nassau, Bahamas for our District Leader Training followed by witnessing the Toastmasters International Convention. We got an opportunity to interact with the Board of Directors and District Leaders from around the world. It was a great forum for networking and learning best practices from around the world. I am happy to share that the world is watching the Indian districts. It was one of the best conventions I have attended – well planned and executed across all spectrums.

Some of us members represented D98 at the Hall of Fame as members of a Select Distinguished District. Since our formation, D98 has had a best world ranking of #9 and there is a perception that was our best program year ever. I have promised the International President that we’ll back next year as Top 3 Districts in the world and will ensure the perception of D98 is broken this program year. 

The celebration around success of all districts is surreal and that excitement to be on stage is a feeling that cannot be expressed in words. That is one of the biggest takeaways I am getting back to District 98 this program year – to organize the D98 Hall of Fame with a lot more grandeur and the longest in its history. It is important to celebrate these success stories, one small success at a time. 

Nothing feels better when members broadcast their happiness on the world wide web. On days when things do not seem right, I take a look at these screenshots and keep going, breaking through the perception that what I do is not creating an impact – at times the universe works in a way we cannot decipher.

Are you on board this journey with me? 


Hardik Shah

District Director | District 98 | Toastmasters International