The differences were obvious.
As Bishop T.D. Jakes prepared to take the stage at our first ever SUCCESS Live event, held in Dallas on April 21, he wasn't anxious at all. Standing backstage before his introduction, he shook hands and took photos, sipped water and played on his phone. Just seconds away from facing an audience of nearly 1,500 people, he seemed as calm as one might while lounging in an easy chair on Saturday afternoon.
I, on the other hand, was not so composed. A couple hours before Jakes took the stage, it was my job to welcome the crowd and prepare them for what the day had to offer. But unlike Jakes, who preaches from a stage on a weekly basis, this was my first time speaking in front of a group larger than a few dozen. I paced. I talked to myself. My stomach tightened. I fixated on all the things that could go wrong ... what if I forget the words? What if I just trip and fall on my face while walking out into the spotlight?
And then it all went fine--great, even, according to the kind words of people who grabbed me coming offstage. In the moments after I finished my speech, the butterflies floating away, I remembered what I love about working at SUCCESS: Every day, I am put in a position to grow. Some days no one notices, not even me. Other days I make a major leap forward, overcoming a fear like public speaking.
When Jakes took the stage, he encapsulated my morning best. "Stress is an indicator," he told the crowd. "It's a benefit. It's a favor. It lets you know you're at your limits." When we experience stress, Jakes explained, we should celebrate. We're pushing our limits. We're growing.
Wisdom like that makes Jakes the perfect cover figure for this edition of the magazine...