Rudders and Sails

Here’s the final speech from my Toastmaster series (view Speech #1: Love Stories and Speech #2: 94 Feet).

This actually served as my farewell speech of sort because I gave this during my last week with my previous employer. It was flattering because I received a couple of emails (from people not really close to me) after giving this speech.

Again, my brother helped me edit and organize the content.


Rudders and Sails

Kahlil Gibran once wrote… “Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafairing soul, if either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.”

Image from Google Images

[Expound on the conflict…]

Fellow toastmasters and guests, good afternoon. Making tough decisions is part of life, it’s part of growing up. I have a couple (like I’m sure most of you do as well) under my belt. Decisions about love lives, about family, about our careers and so much more…

Now, I cannot speak for anybody else but I sure have been guilty of making some of these decisions relying solely on either my feelings or my intellect…

Let me cite a couple of examples…

Almost a decade ago, I fell in love, well at least I thought I was in love, with a much younger girl. I know what some are saying… age does not matter, and I agree… my wife is 5 years younger and I could not be happier… but this was a different situation.

You see, this happened while I was leading a youth organization. Please don’t judge… I know, at least now, that I was supposed to be the Kuya but somehow, I let my heart win, in other words, I was stupid in love. I knew it was almost illegal, no come to think of it, it could have been illegal because I was 23 and she was only 17 at that time, but I was not thinking. I was just going with my feelings.

Looking back, I was lucky that she did not feel the same way. I say lucky because, could you just imagine, what would have happened… her parents would have killed me, or at least put me to jail.

My passion, my feeling was good… but following it solely proved dangerous.

Looking further down memory lane, I recall an instance when I did the opposite. This was when I decided to take up Business Management in my university. I did not necessarily like business subjects (Accounting, Economics and Commerce) back in High School, but I got good girls so why not. I did not enjoy them but it was the safe choice. OK, I am lying a bit… I did enjoy the pretty girls coming up to me for help but that’s another matter. I’m sure it helped me in some way or the other, but as we now know, no career came directly out of that decision. It was an intellectual choice alright but without passion, it led nowhere.

My reason, my intellect was good… but abiding by it solely proved worthless.

Fast forward the recent months, I was again faced with a tough decision. No, this is not about my wedding because that was an easy decision. Both mind and heart were in sync… please give me a copy of this recording, in case I ever get into a lover’s quarrel with the wife.

No, this is more recent… this is the decision I had to face when I was offered a position by another global IT company. Boy was there a struggle.

On the one hand, reason was telling me… Higher Position, Higher Salary… you must be High not to accept it? Even if you don’t want it… you know that you need it. Your family needs it.

On the other hand, passion was telling me… That will entail a lot of adjustments, you will be stepping out of your comfort zone again. More importantly, how about the people you will leave behind, the team members you are trying to develop, the friends you love.

That was a tough argument… one I was about to follow.

But reason spoke out… I have gone out of my comfort zone in the past and was able to succeed. In fact, it made me stronger. As for my friends… leaving them doesn’t mean I will stop loving them. I may leave but if our friendship is true, then it will be forever.

And so, after listening to the arguments from both, I came to a decision to bid farewell to Navitaire and to my friends. Only time will tell if this was indeed the right decision but I am sure that I will not have regrets.

Fellow toastmasters and guests, I encourage everyone to do as Kahlil Gibran suggested, that in every decision, we consider both our reason (the rudder) and our passion (the sails)… because only then can we be at peace with our choice.

Good afternoon and Thank you.


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Coach Rye

Head Coach at Coach Rye
Ryan Salvanera is an Executive Coach who helps teams and individuals maximize their unique powers, taking them from good to great to AWESOME! Ryan is the Founder of Coach Rye and a Co-Founder of Wissen Solomon and StrengthsCoach.PH.

Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.

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