“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin
“Over the years your bodies become walking autobiographies, telling friends and strangers alike of the minor and major stresses of your lives.” – Marilyn Ferguson
“A minute’s success pays the failure of years.” – Robert Browning
“Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times the difficult years end up being the greatest years of your whole entire life, if you survive them.” – Brittany Murphy
“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” – Maria Edgeworth
“The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don’t blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the President. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis
“The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men around to his opinion twenty years later.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Any fine morning, a power saw can fell a tree that took a thousand years to grow.” – Edwin Teale
Someone out there needs to hear your story. Unfortunately, that does not mean your story is worthy of becoming a bestselling novel that gets optioned into a summer blockbuster movie. That’s what keeps most people from putting the words to paper to preserve their stories in their purest forms (from their most recent memories) for the world to share and future generations to savor. Because most of the world won’t put forth the effort to share them, and the future generations will probably not care.
But there is someone out there that needs to hear your story. Your particular story. They may not be famous or influential, but the words that spin a tale of your life, with fear and faults, and successes and celebrations, are destined to be told to someone, or a few some ones.
As I work to help people ‘master their message,’ formulating their stories to present to mass audiences, I look at my own life and my own story, and the frustration that more people don’t seem as interested in my life as I happen to be. I have an interesting life. More real than any B-list actor trying to keep their fame alive and mortgage paid by living an semi-scripted life on a TV reality show. Yet few people care about the details of my life, and fewer want to hear me tell it to them as a way to be entertained on a Friday night.
My story may not be the greatest ever told, but I intend to make sure it is told with as much splendor as can be mustered every time my daughter hears it. And every time I get the chance to share a few tales of my past experience, I give a performance as clear and concise as possible. Because I have learned on thing from listening to so many stories in my lifetime, and now training others to share their stories over the past decade. You never know what tidbit of information or what sound bite of advice is going to resonate in other people. You never know what small shred of your story someone else will actually remember. I know I am surprised by the bits as pieces of stories I have heard that I actually retain.
So save your complains about a lack of an audience. There is an audience. There is always an audience. Craft your words. Master your message. Tell your story to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. Keep telling your story as they stand up and walk away. Someone will listen. And someone needs to hear it.
Researching some titles for a new podcast I may or may not ever get around to actually producing, I googled (do you use lower case for Google as a verb) upon an old blog from 2011 that brought out other ideas I may or may not ever get around to actually acting on as well. It fits in on one of the theme that I keep gravitating towards in the past six months, so I’m re-sharing it here. Plus, that leaves one less post I have to write this week…
Pop Quiz: Who would you be more willing to accept a message or courage and perseverance from?
1. Being Successful In Business From:
a) Fortune 500 CEO
b) Silicon Valley Startup CEO
2. Being A Champion From:
a) Michael Jordan
b) LeBron James
3. The Power Of Faith From:
a) Mega Church Pastor
b) Struggling Alcoholic
4. What To Teach Your Children From:
a) A First Time Mother To Be
b) A Mother Of Five
5. The Meaning Of Life From:
a) An Elderly Man At His First Day In A Nursing Home
b) A Five-Year-Old Boy At His First Day In School
This is a trick question, as there is no right answer as to who you could take advice from. Assuming both of your choices are giving a similar message, it’s all based on who you personally resonate with (and want to here the message come from).
Let’s use the choices in question number 3 for example. We have a hypothetical pastor of a mega church with a flock of thousands locally, and maybe millions through television and the internet. We pair him up with someone we’re listing as a struggling alcoholic, a general anybody from anywhere. Both are speaking on the use of faith.
The preacher can tell you about God and the power that comes from Him. He (the preacher) will tell you that He (God) wants you to be prosperous, and that faith in Him will help Him show you the way to your own prosperity on Earth, and much later in Heaven.
Our hypothetical alcoholic could preach the exact same sermon, and should be just as correct as the preacher, if you believe the words as spoken by the preacher. Chances are the alcoholic will talk short of God bringing you everlasting salvation and long on God being a day-to-day presence, available to lean on for everything, and more than willing to help you do the things you need to just get by.
Bottom line, two people can offer up the same message, but you may perceive the message as more viable from one person over another.
Remember this next time you’re watching Dr. Phil and he says something profound . . . only to be reminded by your spouse they have been saying the very same thing that you’ve been ignoring for years.
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” – George Bernard Shaw
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Sir Winston Churchill
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln
“If you can’t take responsibility for your own well-being, you will never take control over it.” – Jennifer Hudson
“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller Jr.
“You can delegate authority, but not responsibility.” – Stephen W. Comiskey
“To decide, to be at the level of choice, is to take responsibility for your life and to be in control of your life.” – Abbie M. Dale
“When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship.” – Dick Gregory