We live a life of levels. This is something everyone at Toastmasters can relate to, especially with Pathways. Persuasive Influence, Level 1.- that’s my current level at Toastmasters. Fellow Toastmasters, what level are you?
About 10 years ago, when I had just started my career, I met a few old friends from primary school.
“I wonder what our primary school looks like right now?” Barbara asked.
“Only one way to find out,” I replied.
“We should take some computers and a projector, maybe,” Innocent added.
And just like that, we had a road trip on our hands – 409 kilometres away to the countryside in Kabale District far west of my country, Uganda. It was approximately six hours by car.
That trip took me to a place where my academic journey started, – my Level One, educationally speaking at St Maria Gorretti Primary School.
After we visited the school, Barbra remarked. Nothing much has changed at all.
That’s right, Innocent added. Even the teachers are still the same.
Well, one thing is for sure, Barbra and Innocent. We have changed and moved to higher levels.
There’s not much to write home about with regards to my academic life. I was never the brightest kid in class, but I remember I always worked hard.
For my Level two at university, near Kampala, I did a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology, because I did not get into medical school.
Here I am today. The next level, I am a self-taught web developer and digital marketer. I am currently teaching myself graphics design – another skill set that complements the other two professions.
Everything that I am today, I learned how to do on my own. So why did I spend all that time and money on school? Perhaps the purpose of school was to teach me how to read and write and to create a curiosity in me for wanting to learn more – to level up.
This curiosity led me to Toastmasters – such a crazy pursuit. So many people meet online and clap their hands for what at first seems to be for no reason. So many people virtually travel around the world without visas and passports. So many people leveling up.
Someone who really knew levels, is a famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed many beautiful buildings, homes, and other magnificent structures. Toward the end of his career, a reporter asked him, “Of your many beautiful designs, which one is your favorite?”
Without missing a beat, Frank Lloyd Wright answered, “My next one.”
Adopting Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy, I never want to feel settled in my life. It has been a story of what next? The story of a boy who started his school life deep in the hills and valleys of the countryside. The story of a boy who is now a self-taught web developer and a globe-trotter with Toastmasters. I am constantly trying to achieve the next level in all areas of my life.
Fellow toastmasters and guests, what are you doing to level up?