"Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. Don't ignore that longing to make a difference."
Stephen R. Covey
You probably know about Dr. Stephen R. Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." (It's a good one. You should read it if you haven't already.) But did you also know that he wrote a book on "The 8th Habit"? The 8th habit is finding and using your voice and then inspiring others to use theirs.
Are you wondering what I mean by voice? Good question. It's not whether you can sing or not. It's this definition by Dr. Covey.
“When you engage in a work that taps your talent and fuels your passion -- that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet -- therein lies your voice, your calling, your soul's code.”
Does that sound big and overwhelming? I know it can for me at times. It seems so amorphous somehow. Great need? Drawn by conscience? What are you talking about, man?! Other times, I totally get it.
Maybe you sometimes wonder if you have anything to say. Or you might feel that it's not worth speaking up because no one ever listens? (Pretty much every mom trying to get their kids to do chores - just sayin'.....) Or maybe you're not sure HOW or WHERE or WHEN to speak up. Or maybe you are hesitant to speak up because you're worried you'll be criticized. (And you're right - you will. Do it anyway.)
I'll have tips for you here. Tips on writing for traditional media, on blogging, on using video, on public speaking, on dealing with trolls and on amplifying your voice.
For now, though, just get started. To find your voice, you must use your voice. The more you practice the better you will become.
Can you start today? One little exercise: practice writing a 200-word letter to the editor on a topic - any topic - that you are passionate about.
I'd love to see what you come up with.