A while ago, I experienced a profound bit of wisdom. It dealt with how I can unknowingly have an impact on other people.
I was watching an episode of Oprah’s Master Class with Alicia Keys in which Keys tells an inspiration story. As Keys tells it, a woman came up to her before a concert and requested the singer perform “Unbreakable.” Alicia Keys, not wanting to spoil the improvisational feel of the concert, playfully responded, “I don’t know….I guess we’ll find out.” After a whimsical back and forth the woman persisted, finally coming clean with her motive. The woman had recently fought a battle with cancer and to cope, played “Unbreakable” everyday during Chemo, WILLING her way through the pain. Thanks to modern medicine and the power of music, the woman was cancer free.
In that moment, Alicia Keys had an epiphany about the strength of words and her responsibility to use them for good. In my opinion, harnessing the power of your voice begins with believing in your ideas. However, it is not just a matter of believing that you are a good person but making conscious decisions to bring joy to other people.
The first “Key” is to implement positive language. Speak words that uplift and empower! “Yes,” “I can,” “I will,” “When.” Words have power and power effects change. As the Bible says, “We will eat the fruit of our words.” Alternatively, stop using words that create a negative mindset: “If,” “Probably,” “Maybe,” “No.” “I can’t.” Joel Olsteen succinctly puts it, “With our words we can either bless our futures or curse our futures.” That is why It is important to never doubt the power of your voice; there is no telling how it will affect the life of someone else.
The second “Key” is to Aspire Higher! While I am a fervent supporter of our armed forces, the Army has it wrong. You mustn’t “Be All You Can Be” because a belief that your abilities have a ceiling breeds apathy. I am insanely guilty of this! “I’m as strong as I’ll be so no need to push it on the weights.” “I’ve done all I can with this blog/band/project, I guess I’m just destined for this level.”
Instead, “Always Strive To Be Better!” You are never your best. As Matthew McConaughey illustrated in his Oscar speech, if you strive to be your own hero, your mindset will become sharper and more determined as you continuously chase your goal. (posted below is the Academy Award acceptance speech for reference and inspiration. Pardon the poor quality.)
The gift of knowing yourself is the double-edged sword. It is obviously important to understand your gifts and potential but you must also put in the work to THINK outside your perspective and REACH outside your comfort zone.
What holds us back isn’t the inability to accomplish a goal, it is the belief that we are unable to succeed. It is like driving down an empty, open road but coming to a “Limited Access” sign. Only when we tear down the meaningless signs are we free to explore new directions and opportunities.
~ Breathe This Life ~