It’s been three weeks since our team and FFA members all over returned from a place of inspiration, fellowship, and purpose: the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo. As the lights came on and the streamers fell on the closing session, we were bustling out, urgently trying to beat the crowd on our way back home. But as dusk fell on our home-ward bound suburban, I found myself grasping, as always, at ways to keep the convention empowerment going. As many of us might recognize, conferences and gatherings of our favorite organizations can challenge us to think bigger, grow ourselves, and pursue new goals. But on those car rides home and the weeks following, I inevitably find myself struggling to keep the expanded frame of mind. It was in the days following convention, that I may have found a helping hand.
The retiring addresses of the National Officers have always been one of my favorite parts of convention. All have such unique and amazing stories that are shared exquisitely. They all share one catch, though. Just like almost every inspirational speaker anyone has ever heard, 99% of the speech is missing from our memories a week later. Parallel to the inspirational feelings that they help ignite, so too are these speeches rare to stick with us. I was reflecting on this point in the days following convention but circled back to one piece of a retiring address that has stuck with me over the years: HOME. The key point of past National President David Townsends RA was a memorable trigger that pushed me to relive that one experience (and I encourage others to do the same). I searched google and immediately was directed to National FFA’s YouTube page and David’s RA. After watching the address again, I was quickly left feeling the same inspired, motivated perspective shift that accompanies a convention or conference. This was a breakthrough.
I’ve since discovered a treasure trove of past retiring addresses on the National FFA’s YouTube channel and have sampled another one or two when I’m feeling like procrastinating or lethargic. Talk about a bank of wisdom and passion. I want to use these nuggets of inspiration to keep that extraordinary post-convention drive going strong!
What are the things in life that get you fired up? It may or may not be conventions. It could be time with loved ones, volunteering in your community, or dwelling on something larger than yourself. Whatever it is that gets us fired up for life, let’s harness that. Let’s spend more time inspired, and less time tired. Whether it’s retiring addresses, life chats with mentors, or consistent reflections, what can we do to take advantage of our capacity for change and change-making? Find your inspiration, and then find what reignites it. Keep great going!
Living to Serve,