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My Dear Toastmaster Friends,

I am privileged to announce my candidacy for the office of Second Vice President, Toastmasters International. You have given me the courage and the strength to take up the challenge to serve the Toastmasters world. Thank you.

My campaign theme: Change Yourself. Change the World is based on the changes I have personally experienced through the Toastmaster program while moving through various levels of leadership, from Club officer to International Director.

We all agree that change is a natural phenomenon: it’s inevitable; it’s constant; it’s necessary. Unchanged, our vision is limited. Once we change, our vision of what’s possible changes. We now see clearer, further, and with greater insight. Our vision of the future is only limited by the vision of ourselves. This restricts our ability to develop and serve. Ultimately, our futures lie in our own hands.

Everyone wants the world to change, but we all resist changing ourselves! Mahatma Gandhi is often quoted for his insight, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change ourselves. Toastmasters gives us the tools to learn and understand what we must do to change. Change will never occur if we do not have courage to see ourselves for who we are. Lack of courage and understanding leads to fear, and fear inhibits our growth.

The first step towards change is awareness; the second step is understanding. This in turn leads to a call for action – a plan to change. Change is the end result of all true learning.  Just as every drop of water makes the ocean larger, similarly, every small change makes an impact on us. To make the correct changes, we must have a vision and direction. Our vision must not only benefit ourselves, but others as well, and however ambitious it may sound, each of us must be a change agent. I believe that the foundation of positive change is service to others.

Vision needs strategy! The Toastmaster program offers a time-tested strategy to help improve our communication and leadership abilities. Even minor increases in these abilities will enhance our self-confidence, and we’ll soon notice that we have improved our abilities to: set goals, plan and execute them, build teams, offer positive and constructive feedback; take charge, and accept and complete tasks we never thought we would attempt. When we experience change, change brings opportunity and opportunity is merely a door that we may or may not open. But at least we have a choice.

My fellow Toastmasters, there will be no progress in our lives until we begin to understand ourselves, and then begin to change. Only then can we begin the journey to a better life. The Toastmasters program can be a great catalyst for change, allowing us to improve our communication and leadership skills, thus enhancing our self-confidence.

Once we have changed ourselves, we can begin to change the world around us, and then, why not join me and others as we venture forth and change the world together?

 
 

Balraj Arunsaslam, DTM
Candidate for Second Vice President Toastmasters International
‘Where Leaders Are Made’
 

 
 

"Ours is the only organization I know dedicated to the individual, we work together to bring out the best in each of us and then we apply these skills to help others."

Dr. Ralph Smedley

 

 

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What people say about change...
 

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

Jim Rohn

 

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy

 

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

 Steve Jobs

 

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wayne Dyer

 

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. 

Charles Darwin

 

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

C. S. Lewis

 

 

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