Being a motivational speaker or deciding to become one calls for dedication. Sharing what you know and inspiring others can’t happen without commitment. Yet, even speakers like me need our own inspiration. Whether it’s the people who influence us or our own inner passion, each of us needs something to drive us forward. Let me share with you the journey I went through in becoming a motivational speaker.
Motivational Speaker | A Journey to Success
Even as a child, I knew deep inside I was meant to be in front of people, entertaining, and inspiring them. When I was a kid, I used to perform magic tricks in front of my parents.
Then, in the fifth-grade, I had to give a speech about the men who first flew an airplane, the Wright brothers. I loved that class activity. I knew I wanted to keep on doing that.
Yet, I did not watch motivational speakers when I was in fifth grade. Based on my experience, we need to trust the fact we know. I knew what I wanted to pursue — and it was a huge thing.
My First Career
Speaking my truth and sharing my story gave me the ultimate freedom. pic.twitter.com/gI6aXbuGRp
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) April 8, 2017
Though I knew what career I wanted, I still suppressed my ambition. I let other things, like drinking, get in the way. This caused me to feel guilt. I thought I wasn’t good enough. I could have become an inspirational speaker or an actor earlier on in my life, but it wasn’t the right time for me.
Instead, I started my first career in the financial sector. I became a leader and manager in New York and I was able to train and speak to our agents. I realized, the only reason I was there was because I enjoyed teaching and public speaking. It was not about finance at all.
How Films Played A Role
Believe it or not, my love for films had a hand in why I finally pursued motivational speaking. Before, when I watched action movie stars, I would always admire the passion and the rage they exuded. I also aspired to be able to express myself like that, without inhibitions.
When I got up on stage, it was when I fully realized I had a gift. Then, the feeling of unworthiness and inhibitions faded away as my gift shone through.
For me, it was more of an imaginary thing than a real person who influenced me as a motivational speaker. It was the actors who inspired me, whom I loved watching. It was the feeling I had when I watched movies. Finally, it was me knowing I belonged in front of people, inspiring them. Those were my influences.
My Inspiration For Theater
Without vulnerability, your message loses power. pic.twitter.com/NW0qrPWHXC
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) March 21, 2017
For theater, I found inspiration to do my own show through a performer named Bo Eason. I had seen his one-man performance titled Runt of the Litter, and it blew me away. Never had I seen a Broadway play to inspired me so much — that’s how good Eason was. He made me aspire to create and star in my own one-man theater show.
I didn’t have much experience in theater. I had only taken an introduction to theater class in college. Without experience, I didn’t have the confidence to stand in front of an audience. It petrified me.
As an actor, you have to be vulnerable and open. In speaking, you can mask your emotions, but when you go into a theater, you need to have a full range of emotions which is actually what I came to love about it. Bo Eason was a huge reason why I was able to realize my passion for theater acting.
When you look at your own role models or life pegs, choose people who have touched and inspired you. Consider the kind of impact they have made in your life. Though I became a motivational speaker without the explicit influence of other people, it’s never a bad thing to find inspiration in someone you admire. What is important is you always have something to drive you to keep moving forward.
Who or what do you consider to be your biggest motivation in pursuing your ambitions? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.