Every Tuesday I look forward to 1 recurring event: the weekly Toastmasters meeting. Late in the day, I pack my things at work and head on to what everyone knows are my weekly cult meetings. So let's get the cat out of the bag... Why do I love these events?
Let's start with the beginning. Toastmasters is a public speaking community. It is also a great place for networking and developing leadership skills. It is not a crash course into any of those topics. It is not a place that turns you into a great public speaker. It is a community where you get to practice everything communication and learn to weave that into your daily life. It is essentially an enjoyable gym for social skills.
That is the gist if my experience. That is what I now appreciate. That is exactly what I needed and I didn't know I wanted when I joined. Even though I knew I wanted in from day one, the knowledge that I needed my first year of Toastmasters developed in color over many, many, many months.
But from enjoying my time here, enjoying the practice, and learning various things all the way to calling them "cult meetings" is a long journey. Even though the phrasing is used as a joke there's some truth to this so called obsession.
The way I see it, two main factors are at play. Community and identity. I love the people and I call myself a Toastmaster. The former is the why, the reason I keep going. The latter is the metric. The way I know I should keep doing this, for as long as I call myself a Toastmaster, I should be there.
Whatever your hobby may be, I hope you're sharing it with the right people. I hope you not only participate, but name yourself as a member. I hope you too, eventually call it a cult meeting.