The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on May 26, 2011.

I was recently asked to be a guest speaker at a Toastmasters Club’s 65th Anniversary Open House. They wanted me to speak about what Toastmasters has done for me. That was easy. It’s done more for me than I had ever imagined was possible. And it’s something I love to talk about to others.

As a writer, I joined Toastmasters because I could express myself fairly clearly and eloquently when I was speaking in print, but not so well when I was speaking out loud. That’s just one area in which Toastmasters helped me immensely – so much so that within a few years I knew I wanted to become a professional speaker. I had already started working on that goal when I discovered Dream Coaching through a friend of mine who had recently become a Certified Dream Coach. I started working with her on my dream of becoming a professional speaker, and that led me to an Inspiring Speakers Workshop led by Marcia Wieder, the founder and CEO of Dream University and the creator of the Dream Coaching program.

It was at that workshop where I discovered the “buried treasure” that became my purpose and passion in life, as well as my company name and my personal and professional philosophy. It was also at that workshop when I realized that Dream Coaching was to be part of my mission in life as well. So I went through the training and certification to become a Dream Coach, and discovered the most satisfying and fulfilling work I have ever done in my life. What gives me the most satisfaction and joy are the results I see with my clients, when they discover all that they are capable of, when they realize and visualize everything they truly want to do, and when they develop the courage, confidence and conviction to learn and live their passion and make the most of everything that’s inside of them – just as I’ve learned to do since I started this journey.

Tracking my progression from Toastmasters to Dream Coaching helped me realize a few things, which I shared in the speech I gave at the Open House last week. Among them was the fact that it helped me figure out – in my fifties – what I wanted to be when I grew up. And it led me to the work that I now know to be the reason God put me on this planet. This was a powerful and empowering realization, and saying it out loud gave me a sense of peace and serenity unlike any I have ever known before.

This journey from writer to Toastmaster to professional speaker to Dream Coach took several years. And to some people, it may look as though I jumped from one thing to another, shifting gears and switching directions whenever something new came along. That’s hardly the case, though. Writing is and always will be my first love. Speaking to small or large groups, whether in Toastmasters, at another club or event, or at a paid speaking engagement, is something I enjoy – especially when I’m able to inspire others with a message of hope and encouragement. And Dream Coaching allows me to work one-on-one or with small groups of people, to ignite the spark in them that will help them to shine on their own and to light up the world in their own way, with their own special gifts. All these things work together – and for me, they work very, very well.

Right now, it’s graduation season. And many people, young and old, are still going through job changes and transitions that came about because of the economic situation of the last few years. I think the lessons I’ve learned – and that I shared at the Open House last week – are some that can be of benefit to many people in many different situations. So I’d like to share this advice with everyone:

Follow your heart. Pursue your dreams. Never give up, and never stop exploring. You will be amazed at everything you discover, and at all that you become.

© Betty Liedtke, 2011