Archives for posts with tag: WordCamp Raleigh

Two members of the Toastmasters’ group I have been visiting gave “Icebreaker” speeches at the last meeting. (An “Icebreaker” is a member’s first speech, intended to introduce the speaker to the group.) Both speeches were enjoyable, but one resonated with me. The title: “If You Do What You Have Always Done, You Will Get What You Have Always Gotten.”


I have spent this year focused on that message, trying, often unsuccessfully, to not do what I have always done. Specifically,  avoiding situations that make me uncomfortable. Like drawing attention to myself.

So I considered Toastmasters’. After weathering three shots at “Table Topics” (short impromptu speeches) I am done considering. I will write my membership check at the next meeting.

In some cases, I have stopped doing what I have always done by not doing nothing. In English, that means I have substituted action for lack of action.

Instead of telling my very career-savvy friends that I might ask them for help with my resume, I have sent them my resume for suggestions. You should see it now. I’m impressed.

Rather than wondering if I should approach people I know who are working in fields or companies that interest me, I have told them that I am looking for work, and asked for information. Oddly enough, they have been more than accommodating.

Reaching outside of my comfort zone again, I registered for WordCamp Raleigh, and attended alone. I learned a lot, and talked to folks I never would have met otherwise. I left with a few great ideas for future consideration.

And there is more.

Every little risk I have convinced myself to take has encouraged me to try something else. It doesn’t matter whether any given risk “pays off.” The payoff is in taking the risk.

Nov 23, 2013

“Today’s Horoscope for Virgo”

Presented by

“Important new information could come your way, perhaps through classes, books, or conversations with friends. This might open new personal and professional doors for you. You could learn new skills with technology, enhance your artistic ability, or both. Whichever you choose, this is a great day to train your talents. In doing so, you could form some powerful new friendships.”

From time to time, I will go through a phase where I check my horoscope. Typically, I engage in this ritual when I am looking for reassurance or inspiration. Frequently, the day’s prediction is wildly inaccurate or irrelevant. Today, however, I have to give the above horoscope provider full credit.

I’m on my way to WordCamp Raleigh, a conference for WordPress users, where I expect to do exactly what my horoscope predicts.

Have a great day, y’all, and check your horoscopes- this may be the day that they’re right!

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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