2 Life skills – Toastmasters speech CC10

Two Invaluable Life Skills

Inspire your audience (8 -10 min CC 10)



Thank you and good afternoon

According to the WHO, 121 million people worldwide are clinically depressed.

And a staggering 850 000 people commit suicide each year due to depression.

In contrast , I love Maslow’s Hierarchy of need’s model and I am especially enamored by the highestsegment of the pyramid; Self Actualisation.

Unfortunately you can google self actualization stats and get no answers. No one knows how many people are deemed to be self actualized.

According to Nation Master, however, only 54% of the world consider themselves to be “Happy”.

It would seem then that Maslow’s Self Actualisation goal is far from manifesting.

Lets conduct a quick test.

Have you ever felt despondent?

Have you ever felt disappointed?

Have you ever felt depressed?

Well frankly , so have I.

So what in heaven’s name do we do to change this?

I believe the issue lies in the section’s below Self Actualisation in Maslows model:

Esteem (Self Esteem, Self Image, Self Confidence) and Belonging (our need to be accepted and loved). In other words, how we see ourselves and how people see us.

I was recently introduced to someone who had a very different look at disappointment and depression and I would love to share his thoughts with you.






Firstly Dr John Demartini defines depression as:

“When you compare REALITY (what happened) to your fantasy or expectation of how you think it should have happened”.

 Let me repeat that:

“When you compare REALITY (what happened) to your fantasy or expectation of how you think it should have happened”.


As we explore this concept together, let me ask you all:

What is the meaning of life? I believe it is to grow, Personal Growth, Spiritual Unfoldment, Soul Unfoldment and YES Self Actualization.

Slow but sure growth, over time.

And when do we grow the most? During the easy times or the tough times?

Correct, The tough times.


So the first life skill today, is to accept and understand that in fact the tough times grow us and move us to the ultimate goal of self actualization.


Now, did you know that there are 4628 human traits?

The interesting thing is that they come in pairs of opposites.

Love and Hate

War and Peace

Generous and stingy

Hero and Villain

Saint and Sinner


Here is the scary truth:

We all own all 4628 of them.

Allow me to prove this to you.

Can you think of a time you were:

Loving |Hateful

At peace | At War

Generous | Stingy

A Hero | A Villain

A Saint | A Sinner

Healthy | Sick

Honest | Dishonest

Happy | Sad


The problem is we all believe that we should only be one side of the opposite.

Always:  Loving, honest, generous, healthy, peaceful, saintly

I call this being addicted to perfection or having an unrealistic expectation of yourself to be perfect. When you compare that to reality: DEPRESSION!!



The truth is that we are very 2 sided.


If you have a goal of always being happy, when you are sad you are failing.

If you have a goal of always been positive, when you are not you are failing.


If on the other hand you have a goal of accepting yourself for who you really are, both happy and sad, good and bad, you are always passing.


For me the beauty of owning the 4628 human traits is that you can call me anything you like and you would be right.

Stupid: Yes

Selfish: Yes

Egotistical: Yes

Intelligent: Yes

Funny: Yes

Humble: Yes

I am thus closer to fulfilling the Esteem section of the model.


Once you realize that everyone owns all 4628 human traits then you stop worrying about what others think of you. You realize that you fit right in. You love and accept yourself and soon find others doing the same.


Thus the second and final life skill is realising and coming to terms with your alter image.  Your shadow side.

















Ladies and gentlemen

In closing let me briefly go over what we have covered tonight.


I highlighted that depression is alive and well on planet earth.

I shared that only 50% of the world population deem themselves to be happy.


I have given a new definition of depression and furnished you with 2 life skills to conquer this life threatening condition and move you closer to self actualization.



  • Realise and accept that the tough times are sent to grow you
  • Realise and accept that you are 2 sided and accept your shadow self as normal


I now ask you all to take my sharing to heart.

I challenge you to move out of negative self judgement and into self acceptance

I challenge you to firstly accept yourself for who and what you are

Then accept others for who and what they are

Accept that the world is perfect

And thank God for both the challenges and the support.


Madam Toastmaster




About Stephen van Basten - The Marriage Expert

When you meet Stephen van Basten you instantly realize that there is more to him than meets the eye. This is not a moment to judge a book by its cover. Stephen boasts a list of achievements: He met his wife, Jacqui, 27 years ago, married her 21 years ago and is the proud father of a 'very together' 18 year old daughter. Stephen will immediately tell you with a twinkle in his eye, that Life, Work, Marriage and Parenthood are not for sissies. That while they are all hard work, they can be, and should be, incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Stephen is a past Karate World Champion, a yoga enthusiast and recovering golfer. If you opened Trip Advisor on his facebook page you will see that he has visited 81 cities in 52 countries including the USA, Alaska, Japan, Europe, Australia and China. Stephen has owned his own company, worked in his family's business, being employed by small and large businesses like Shell SA and the BTG Group. His titles include Brand Manager, Sales Manager, Account Manager, Sales Representative and Business Owner. He now sees himself as an Author, Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Stephen published his first book, "So you're engaged, now what? The journey from engaged to married" in December 2013. His ingenious marketing strategy put this book into over 2000 hands in its first 6 months. His second book "So you're alive, now what? The journey from birth to death" is available online and he is working on 5 more books in the series including "So you're married, now what?". Stephen's obvious passion and first love is Human Behavior and specifically Human Behavior as it manifests in RELATIONSHIPS. He is quick to point out that we have many differing relationships: employer, employees, customers, suppliers, colleagues, friendships, marriage, parents, siblings, children, our maker, other drivers on the roads and we generally have issues in most if not all of them. Stephen is a student of the well-known human behavior specialist, Dr. John Demartini and is constantly researching and honing his understanding of this incredibly complex subject. In 2013 he completed over 175 hours of intense training on T. Harv Eker's signature courses.
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