Defeating the holiday blues
December 6, 2012
NATICK, Mass. -- If you ever invite Sporty King to a party, you won't have to worry much about whether he's having fun.
"I'm always trying to have a good time, and I take my party with me," King said. "I don't expect anybody to entertain me. I entertain myself."
Except when he's entertaining others, which he did during a Dec. 5 presentation at Natick Soldier Systems Center, where he spoke about "Handling the Holiday Blues." Acknowledging that some people struggle during the holidays, King picked up his favorite weapon to defeat those blues -- laughter.
"You have to laugh at least once in a while," King said. "Have a whole bunch of 'whiles' every day. If we can't laugh at ourselves, how can we laugh at somebody else? Laugh at yourselves. It's a good thing to do."
A former Wall Street Journal employee who struck out on his own to give inspirational talks after placing among the top nine speakers in the 1996 Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking, King urged the NSSC audience to take care of themselves and others not just during the holidays, but year round.
"You have to commit to your life," King said. "Commit to being happy. Commit to turning negatives into positives. Commit to you. Commit to being who you are and who you become today."
King suggested that the audience begin each day the way he does -- by winking at the image he sees in the mirror.
"It's about you," King said. "You control your world."
While he accentuated the positive, King admitted that everyone experiences difficult times. He had some advice for handling those.
"You talk about going through something tough," King said. "Well, you just said you're going through. You didn't say you stopped. You're going through.
"You know you're going to come out of it, because your track record says that you will. Pat yourself on the back and keep on moving. You're going to get through it."
King pointed out that even the negative people we meet can ultimately have positive impacts on our lives.
"So, all those knuckleheads in your life lead to where you are now," King said. "Please, let's give those knuckleheads a round of applause. They didn't take you down. You got over it."
Rather than dwelling on the past or projecting into the future, King told his audience to concern themselves only with the present.
"Has anybody ever made it to tomorrow? Every day you get there is today," King said. "So, there's no tomorrow. There's only today. Deal with today."