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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

CHAPTER 38

Now You Have to Do It!

There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all the virtues are of no avail.

  -- ALDOUS HUXLEY

A wrestling coach told one of his athletes, "You have real talent and you work hard and that's great. However, if you want to be a top wrestler, you need lots of experience." If you want to be a top athlete, working out is not experience, conditioning is not experience, and training is not experience. They are what they are -- no more. The coach was saying that only by going out there and wrestling competitively would this athlete gain experience.

The same thought applies to nearly everything we do. Thinking about it isn't doing it. Getting ready isn't doing it. Practicing it isn't doing it. Visualizing it isn't doing it. Doing it is doing it! There's no other way. To get all the seams ironed out so that you can act effortlessly and naturally, you have to do something over and over again under real-life circumstances until you don't need to think about it anymore. The secret to performing at your best is to condition your mind so thoroughly that your behaviors and responses are easy and automatic.

You have to do a lot of charming.

Your Tools for Charming Others

Visualize yourself in a social or business situation, and see yourself as relaxed, genial, warm, friendly, and charming. Imagine you are exerting your charm on another person and they are smiling and enjoying your company.

Affirm and repeat to yourself regularly, "I am a completely charming person." Every time you say these words, create a mental image of yourself charming another person and enjoying it.

Finally, to program your subconscious mind with the elements of charm, continually "act as if" you are a world-class charmer. Resolve to walk, talk, gesture, and smile exactly as if you already exert a magnetic influence on everyone with whom you come in contact. Allow your conditioned reflexes to guide the way. You don't have to "make" it happen, you let it happen. You have already begun to experience the power of charm. Now you have to believe in your charm and enjoy it.

Always stay "in the moment." For a charming person, the only time is now. There's no "next time," no "tomorrow," no "I'll try again." You can only be charming when you are fully focused on the other person and nothing else. As Ram Dass said, "Be here now!"

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