Day 1 of the PRSSA Red River Conference was one that no one who attended will forget any time soon. During a delicious meal (a relief to all the college students who eat more fast food than they’d like to admit), PRSSA’s National President took to the stage to discuss some of the many reasons why PRSSA is the “it” organization for PR majors. Aspiring PR professionals were then in for a treat when Glenn Morshower was introduced as the keynote speaker for the night. An actor in the Hollywood business for years with appearances in shows like Full House and Law & Order SVU, as well as in movies with Brad Pitt and Steve Martin, Glenn had a special message for everyone. It all started with a fish.
He told the story of a small goldfish he met during a hotel stay. Rather than view the tiny creature as decoration, he considered him-or what he assumed to be a “him”-his roommate. Glenn noticed that the fish swam in a small circle, the size of his fish bowl over and over again. He thought of how different their lives were, Glenn traveling all over the country and this fish, never swimming past the small glass bowl. So, he took matters into his own hands and took the fish swimming in the bathtub the next night. At first, the little fish was still, not knowing where he was or what to do. After some time though, he began to swim…he swam in a circle the exact same size of his fish bowl over and over again. Glenn wanted the fish to explore new horizons so with a flick of his wrist, he nudged the little fish a little further out. The goldfish, frightened and confused began swimming again only this time, he knew there was more.
For the rest of Glenn’s almost two week stay, he took the little fish swimming every night. The fish grew bolder and bolder, swimming further each time. On their last night together, Glenn was saddened at the thought of the little goldfish never swimming further than his glass bowl again. He was sure the fish would never have another roommate like him…so he took the fish with him. He now lives in an aquarium even larger than the bathtub.
Aren’t we an awful lot like that fish? We are afraid of leaving our comfort zone. The thought of swimming out further than the size of our bowl scares us. Why? If we only took a leap of faith, we’d see that there is so much more out there to experience than we allow ourselves to enjoy. In order to reach our full potential though, there’s one thing we have to do…follow our whispers.
Glenn was really big on this one and with good reason.
“Have you ever walked into a room and just got this feeling?” he asked. “A feeling that said ‘I don’t belong here’?” A few people in the audience slowly nodded or sheepishly raised their hands. “That’s a whisper.”
A whisper is that inner voice that tells you when something is wrong or that you should walk a different way. Whispers give you good ideas and put you in contact with the right people. It’s important to listen to them. If you don’t you’ll get so off track, you won’t know how to recognize them anymore. Whether you believe that these whispers are God, fate speaking to you, or just coincidental gut feelings, they’re there for a reason. All you have to do is listen. They’ll take you out of your fishbowl.
Not one person left that night not feeling inspired and determined. It was the perfect start to what was a wonderful conference.
It didn’t hurt of course that Glenn is the voice actor for Call of Duty. I’d never seen men squeal in as much excitement as when he began addressing the crowd in his Call of Duty voice. That however, is another story for another day.