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Every Wednesday evening except holidays and summer.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kings Way Care Centre, 8 Squire Drive in Quispamsis, NB (it's the seniors home on the Gondola Point Arterial) - in the Boardroom.

We'd love to meet you.

There are no meetings on storm days.

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What Is Your Bigger Dream?

by Darren LaCroix

Ever feel like you're so caught up in "surviving" and "being too busy" that you don't even have time to dream? Nevermind actually having time to pursue it! Then we look for ways to justify why we aren't pursuing it. We say to ourselves: "I've got to catch up on e-mails first... I must focus on work right now, but my kid needs me..."

So, I'm on the plane traveling home for Thanksgiving and the flight attendant says through the over-modulating speaker system, "Put your oxygen mask on first, then put it on your child." Why? Because we can't take care of children if we're passed out ourselves! Besides, your kids are watching everything you do. They're modeling you. You're also teaching them to "not pursue" their dreams. They see actions clearer than words.

As I'm flying, I'm reading a book: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson that was given to me by my friend Jamey. (Molly's husband from the last Stage Time issue) I'd been mostly reading business books lately, so it was a welcome change. I got so caught up in it that I couldn't help but to reflect on my own journey.

Some of you know my story... I was driving down the road listening to a tape by Brian Tracy, and he asked, "What would you dare to dream if you knew you wouldn't fail?" I thought: I'd be a comedian! To make people laugh and earn a living at it... that would be the ultimate!

People ask me if I know where that came from. I'm no psychologist, but I believe that as a child, watching my brother and cousin making people laugh, I noticed that they got more "love" than I did. Though it wasn't true, as a kid I think I created that belief.

Being Thanksgiving time, I do look back and appreciate even more now the obstacles that I had to overcome to get where I am today. I'm thankful for my sandwich shop failure. Were it not for that, I would never have felt like I had "nothing to lose" to try it. If my sub shop was successful, I may never have scratched the surface of who I could become. I would never have pursued something different.

Before comedy, I tried acting. Although I did a few commercials and a "B" movie I was not very successful. Thank Goodness! I may never had tried stand-up.

As I worked my "day job" and pursued my dream of being a comedian, I found Toastmasters as a place to make mistakes and work on my stand-up. I didn't join Toastmasters to be a speaker. I didn't know there was such a thing!

Notice that I thought my dream was to be a comedian. It was making people laugh and earning a living at it. For me, although I achieved the level of "middle act" at best, many would never say that I was successful as a comedian. Depends how you look at it.

Literally, I was able to accomplish it, but I never became a headliner on the circuit. Another failure that I'm thankful for. I never felt like I really belonged there.

My true dream was to make people laugh and earn a living at it. Being a comedian was a crucial part of my journey to find my "Bigger Dream." Educating and inspiring using humor was what I truly desired. I give thanks everyday for the life I have, though there were a multitude of times when I felt like giving up.

As we "give thanks" this holiday season, remember to give thanks for some of your failures, too. Where would you be right now if some of your dreams did work out the way you hoped? There are usually lessons for us when things don't work out. What failures are you thankful for? They could just be the key to your ""Bigger Dream."

What is your "Bigger Dream"? What's holding you back? Maybe you're just one crucial part of the journey away from it. I invite you to look inside... that's what slowed me down. ME.

My "Bigger Dream"? I have two that I'm working on at the moment. I'd like to keep them to myself right now, but I'll write about them as they get closer.

Will you take the next step to your "Bigger Dream"?

About the Author

Darren LaCroix has travelled the road from rags to riches as failed Subway restaurant owner to award winning speaker - he's the Toastmasters 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking. As Darren said in his winning speech,

"After 4 years of business school I went for the American Dream. I bought ... a subway sandwich shop. You're all impressed - I can tell. I don't want to brag but I took a $60,000 debt and in six short months ... I doubled that debt. I turned my subway sandwich shop into a non-profit organization."

As you can tell, Darren's a humorist. He's also a film producer, speech coach, and professional speaker.

Learn how Darren proceeded from being the world's least funny man to a man who helps others learn how to be funny. Check out Darren's website, www.humor411.com, for newsletter articles and resources for better public speaking.

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