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Finding My Dharma


tegory, Finding My Dharma, Finding My Dharma, tegory

There is a hidden meaning behind all events.

Last Tuesday I thought I was a MILLIONAIRE

On Wednesday I knew I was SCAMMED!

What’S THE HIDDEN meaning of my millionaire for-a-day event?

Thank you Contest Chair

Good Evening fellow Toastmasters

And Most Welcome Guests

On Tuesday, I OPENED an email suggestion on improving our ESL drama club website It was an invite to take a course in binary options trading and upon completion get rich. You don’t have to be a college graduate with an MBA to know that this is a scam. It was so convincing, so believable, my friend worked ten years in the Chicago options pit, I knew what an algorithm was, I just knew it would work, I wanted to believe so bad that I immediately deposited my $500/¥3,000 tuition fee.


On Wednesday, I got a dear teg email –"Sorry, I can no longer take any more students.” ”What was the meaning? I was a fool. I had been Scammed, Cheated. But what really hurt, way past my pride, I had lost my new sense of freedom. The first thing I did after sending the money was cancel my drama club performances. Why? It was that yucky feeling I get in my stomach when I try selling somebody something – especially when the only reason is for money.

I had been an architect for 30 years, half of that time in sales. I was good at sales as long as I was the helper not the leader but they don’t pay the helper a tenth of what the leader makes. Thus, my career as a lead salesman was short, 18 months to be exact. At age 50 I joined Toastmasters for the first time, in Houston. A third of our members were from India, and they gave many speeches on the philosophy of karma and dharma. It was like every Chinese Toastmaster knowing all about Confucius. This was during my mid-life transition and being under employed as a courier, security guard and store clerk finding my dharma, my purpose in life, my reason for being, seemed like a very good idea at the time.

A year later I got a non-threatening sales job as VP Public Relations for dairy goat farmer – I got the position through guanxi or nepotism, because the farmer was my wife – more importantly she had ¥3,000,000 that we could spend in search of our Dharma’s. It took us almost ten years, but when my psycho-therapist suggested that Shelby, would have to quit her $175,000 IT job if she ever wanted to find her dharma. It only took her three more years to be  successful. By helping Shelby I got to see, feel, smell, taste and touch what it is like to achieve one’s life’s purpose. It was like watching a genius at work. A genius that knew what she wanted to do and with a little help from my 300 plus Toastmasters meetings we did it.

Then one day, my leader, my wife, my lover, was killed in an automobile accident. Now, I was left to find my own dharma. I didn’t want to be an architect, I really didn’t want to be a goat farmer, past retirement age my prospects for a third career as a psycho-therapist looked slim. I’m sure it was fate that brought me to Zhengzhou as an ESL teacher and new member of Middle Kingdom Toastmasters so that I could continue my Dharma search and fulfill my life’s purpose.


As I was writing my speech last night, I watched a TED talk on, that’s right, Finding Your Dharma – I guess I’m not the only one looking – the guru, an Indian guy of course, had five suggestions for finding one’s dharma:

1) Know who you are – a teacher

2) What do you do? – teach ESL

3) Who do you do it for? – my fellow Toastmasters

4) What do they need or want? – to speak English fluently

5) How do they change? – learning by doing


After I answered all five questions I realized that Toastmasters is my path to Dharma and has been all along. Garcia said to me when I first joined, "I bet your students all love you.” Yes, how did you know? Cause all Chinese students love their ‘laowai’ teacher.

I know that even if I had become a billionaire on Tuesday, I would be in Toastmasters.

I know that when I help my fellow Toastmasters it feels really good.


Another definition of dharma is exercising your talents to help others without regard for compensation.


That’s why I like Toastmasters – self-fulfillment. I have found my purpose in life, my reason for being. Every time I attend a Toastmasters meeting, it's a payday. However, the money I earn depends on the amount of my participation, and enthusiastic contribution to the meetings success, which means helping fellow members improve their communication skills and self-confidence.



Thanks fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests, for helping me find my DHARMA.


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