This month we enter into a very special three month phase of Toastmasters around the world. Toastmasters membership cycles are September-March and April-August. Therefore, Feb-March is when members across the world, such as you and I, renew their membership. In essence, we renew our commitment to our personal growth and development.

Why commitment? Because, as you surely know, growth does not come just from paying our dues, excellence cannot be purchased, skills can’t be bought. For rich and poor alike, it is earned with persistent efforts. We don’t commit because we have paid our dues, we pay our dues because we are committed to our own development. And once we commit, everything else follows. Are you committed to your own personal growth?

March is also a month we look forward to because this is when the districts around the world enter into their respective Area contest stage. Whether you are representing your club at the area contests, participate in the organizing committee or as an observer, you witness the energy of competition which if done in the right spirit helps everyone win irrespective of the final standings.

And this energy continues through the Division contest in April and to the district stage at the largest event of the year, our (online) District-101 Annual Conference on May 15 and 16. The last year’s District Conference was attended by members from all 6 continents. It takes no less than an entire village of motivated Toastmasters to make it happen. If you would like to be involved and learn from these organizing experiences, contact our Program Quality Director, Shyamala Sista and express your interest.

Not unlike any other initiative at district level, Area, Division Contest, the District Conference aims at adding to your Toastmasters experience. You and I, like every other member of our district, are part of a team. I have the honor to lead the team this year as your District Director. Together this team strives to make Toastmasters the most fun and constructive for all of us. And like any other team, for this team to succeed every player counts. We can only win together if we all commit to do our parts.

What’s your part, you ask? Your part is both simple and hard. Your part is, you guessed it, commit to your own goals and engage.That translates to remembering why you joined Toastmasters. Be open to edit that mission but never take your eyes off of it. The goal doesn’t have to be so big that you never start. On the contrary, small goals, something that you can stay consistent with, lead to big outcomes. Staying consistent with your small goals, that’s your part. That translates to planning and participating in making effective club meetings. You welcome guests, just as someone else welcomed you. You help your club operate smoothly by paying your dues/renewing ahead of time. You engage and discover the leadership experiences that Toastmasters has to offer. You grow and you shine, that’s your part.

And now some good news and congrats, please join me in welcoming Intercontinental Advanced Toastmasters Club, VSF Toastmasters, California Lions Toastmasters Club, A2C Toastmasters Club, Women L.E.A.D. Toastmasters Club and Readership-101 which became an official member of the District-101 family last month. If you are inspired to start a club of your own, you can still take advantage of an excellent TI promotional offer. My congratulations to I’m Feeling Chatty Toastmasters Club which attracted 6 new members last month and once again won “The Most Vibrant Club” recognition. 11 other clubs won the distinction of the “Vibrant Club”. This monthly recognition is given to clubs bringing Toastmasters to 3 or more new members in that month. It’s my hope that all the clubs in our district win this distinction.

As always, I would love to hear from you: your stories, your hopes, and your experiments with Toastmasters.

Stay well, stay safe, stay engaged and keep shining.

And remember to renew ahead of time.

My mission is to bring out the best in my readers. Most of the blogs here are my messages to District-101 members.