It has been a very long time since I blogged!
I’ve missed writing! I normally have much to say! It’s time!
A year ago after a testing 4 year season of unemployment, I became a qualified tour guide with the South African Tourist department, registered to guide in the Western Cape Province. The classes, required study and final exam really tested my capacity to still retain information at my tender age of 61! To keep it short, I did well in the exam and proudly received my badge and card, identifying me as a ‘competent’ tour guide.
It’s been a great ‘learning year’ in a complex, tough industry, but it has also been a wonderful discovery of a profession that fits me like a glove! I’ve had such fun with my guests and have been exposed to so many aspects of the industry, it has surprised me. My combination of love for people and my country and driving, a desire for adventure and expanding my experiences and knowledge have had all the boxes ticked So….this was a great choice of career in this latter season of my life!
Recently I was challenged again by a weakness I have of finding the 1 negative that tends to counter the numerous positives in my life! This is something that I have struggled with over the years and I know I am not alone. I make statements like “I don’t care what others think” or “I don’t need others’ approval“, yet recently I was again found wanting. As a guide, I ask for feedback on my services toward the end of my touring with guests.
Recently I had the privilege of guiding 11 guests from the USA, together with an old missionary friend experienced and knowledgeable in community development and social work. Following intriguing and sobering visits to vulnerable communities mixed with ‘touristy options’ I presented through my guiding, I again asked for feedback. 10 of the 12 chose to do so and 11 of these gave above average to excellent reviews of my guiding and driving abilities.
I should be happy right?
But no….1 individual gave a scathing report on my dangerous driving and my apparent habit of ‘talking too much’ instead of concentrating on my driving skills! And what do I do?…immediately sulk over the words spoken over my being and abilities!!
Thankfully I remembered quite quickly how I have been prone to this in the past…allowing 1 negative to alter my thinking about who I am and what I do! As a man of faith I have got into a habit in recent times of declaring my life to be lived for an ‘Audience of One’, in the form of Jesus who I receive my affirmation from! Oh…and the 1 negative report was not only about me..but the whole experience….so should be seen in context 😉
Ultimately this is true for me, but it does not take away the fact that I DO actually care what others say. However I have grown in that I am able to see that the majority of my guests were affirming of my service.
What about you…..who is your audience in your life and how do you respond to that audience?