Dan Thurmon is on stage, and I’m already wondering how I will describe this scene. He’s completely different from other speakers, but I’m not even sure I would characterize this as speaking. He moves effortlessly from motivational speaker to performer. One minute I am furiously writing down nuggets of wisdom to review for later. The next, I am gripping my hands together as I watch him balancing on a unicycle as knives are thrown his way. After he leaves the stage, I intentionally eavesdrop on the others around me. They, too, are trying to put it into words.
Dan Thurmon’s performance may be difficult to describe because he has blended his many interests and talents into a role that suits him uniquely and perfectly—roles that include speaker, author, juggler, and acrobatic performer. Dan is a keynote speaker, a member of the prestigious Speaker’s Roundtable, and the president of Motivation Works, Inc.
Dan dispenses advice that seems to contradict common wisdom. He talks about life balance in a way that gets your attention: balancing atop a tall unicycle as he juggles sharp objects.
Here are five things you may not expect to hear from a motivational speaker:
- Forget balance. The goal to have a life in balance in unattainable and also undesirable. Life is off balance and you must be off balance to grow. The key is to be off balance on purpose. Embrace uncertainty to create a life you love.
- Let go to get a grip. You need to let go of the necessity to control everything. Let go of the need to do everything yourself. Let go of negative emotions. Letting go will free you.
- You won’t reach your potential. It may seem strange to hear this from a motivational guru, but you have an infinite capacity to grow, learn and love. Keep reaching higher.
- Make yourself uncomfortable. When you’re uncomfortable, you’re leaning forward and growing. That’s how greatness is achieved.
- When you want to quit, don’t. Most people give up just before they become successful. Keep at it. Embrace uncertainty.
After Dan’s performance, I sat down with him to talk about all of these concepts and others. His book Off Balance On Purpose is one of my favorites.