I M Possible
by Arunima Bhattacharya, EC2, ALB, ACS
While writing down the hand-over items for the incoming Area B9 Director, I started reminiscing; what I felt was incredible and hard to put into words. All I did was convince myself that “It is IMPOSSIBLE, I M Possible”.
My lifetime mentor, the late Craig Zbrowski asked me whether I want to be the Area B9 Director and I said ‘Yes’. Little did I know about the huge responsibilities which were waiting for me and every step was awaiting with knowledge flow. It is hard to quantify how much I learned in this one year; however, I can feel it internally, it enriched me.
Being an Indian with English as a second language (English was my third language in Grade 7 and 8, first language in Grade 11 till M.Sc.) it was extremely challenging to understand regular colloquial usage of English in Saskatchewan, Canada. I was shaken, terrified, and not at all confident whether I will be able to express myself clearly. All my technical knowledge was obstructed by my fear.
One day my father said, “Don’t worry. Nothing is Impossible. Even in Impossible there is a possibility. Strive and get succeeded.” I was motivated. I challenged myself and joined Toastmasters in September 2016 in Regina. What an amazing group of people; positive to their core. I got the opportunity to choose my mentors. My journey began in full pace. The mentors I had and have were always there to hold my hand if I fell. They were passionate about my success. The kindness, integrity and love they shared were unmatched. They always reminded me that Impossible is nothing but “I M Possible”.
In my first 9 months of Toastmasters, I participated in 2 club contests, 2 area contests, did 9 speeches, visited 7 clubs with one of my mentors, was awarded Area B9 Rookie of the Year and took up the President and VP of ED club executive role in my two clubs for the Toastmaster year 2017-2018. Opportunity hides under challenges and probable failures, and there is always a possibility of success if we do not give up. Have I ever had a moment when I thought of giving up? I had several times. However, my mentors never gave up on me.
They encouraged me to continue and I am glad that I trusted their trust in me. I achieved my CC and ACB educational standing in the Toastmaster year 2017-2018, learned a lot, started understanding the bigger picture of Toastmasters International, was introduced to DCP; the Distinguished Club Program. The club I was President at end the year by becoming distinguished and during this time I met another wonderful mentor Craig. He was the Area Director of my club in 2017-2018.
My tenure as an Area Director is due to end in a couple of days and I have all the hand-over information ready. I have a strange feeling mixed with awe, amazement, excitement and happiness in this remaining couple of days. Let’s retrospect the Toastmaster year 2018-2019. I could never have imagined how much I learned. I had 5 amazing clubs in Area B9. The members are extremely elite, and I visited their meetings as many times as possible because I loved to learn from them. Today when I look back, I feel grateful to all Area B9 Toastmasters that helped me grow. All 5 clubs earned at least 5 DCP points of the maximum of 10.
Two of them are President Distinguished and 1 is Distinguished which helped make my Area B9 a Distinguished Area. All these amazing members taught me a lot which impacted my personal growth as a communicator and a leader. Those members also helped me complete 2 High Performance Leadership (HPL) projects, helped with my first invocation in my first district conference, helped me finish 2 Levels in the new Pathways program, and supported me in finishing 3 CL projects, ALB and ACS educational levels. I look forward to applying those learnings in my career and my real world.
What are you thinking about?
I do not have any better idea for you than to join and strive in Toastmasters if you want to excel as fast or slow as you want. Toastmaster members live the core values – Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence – RISE. However, I do not think I could achieve anything if I did not turn the word ‘Impossible’ in my dictionary to ‘I M Possible’ and always strive to find out the possibilities among challenging scenarios.
Let’s make possible what never existed before – Let’s make possible “A Better You”
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development, with over 352,000 members in 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. The world needs leaders. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program