The Voice – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Voice…not that one, but the voice in our heads.

In case you have not yet accepted the reality of our situation, let me reinforce a simple truth, life continues to get more complicated and uncertain. Whether in the home, workplace, or community, the rate of change, across so many mediums, is staggering to think about. These changes can bring about some of our biggest fears and some of our biggest hopes.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I happen to have separate conversations with a few close childhood friends. In addition to reconnecting on some wonderful memories, we all came to a similar conclusion after 50+ years of living that “I did not think it would be this difficult.” It being life, family, work, and making it all come together just like we had hoped it would.

Sure, many things in prior generations were just simply “swept under the rug” and not discussed. It seems like now we are all a little more willing to open up and put our lives “on the table,” but regardless, life is continuing to get more complicated.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, it is important that we have some healthy guardrails in place to train and guide The Voice we all have inside our head.

We all have The Voice that comes out at various moments to either cheer us on, remind us of our shortcomings, spitefully tell us “see I told you so” or encourage us to look forward with hope or with fear.

Here are few ideas to help ensure we establish some healthy guardrails to hear more of the encouraging side of our Voice and less of the discouraging side of our Voice:

  • The Gap: We become what we think about…more often than not. We still have ultimate control over those thoughts in the gap between our situation and our response. If we can pause and fill that gap with principled thoughts around hope, sacrifice, and courage, we can respond more effectively to the situations we face.
  • Perspective: We are on a journey that inevitably will have some ups and downs. Keeping a perspective that the passage of time is our best counselor will help us remain on track towards our goal of maintaining peace of mind through the valleys and the mountain top experiences of our lives.
  • Reality: We can’t effectively address all our challenges alone. Being intentional about building healthy relationships and taking a risk to be vulnerable in opening up about ourselves to build those relationships will foster a support structure that will help us withstand life’s challenges.
  • Step by Step: Focus on moving forward one day at a time. Yes, it is important to have a long-term game plan that seeks to achieve peace, purpose, and positive impact. However, in the often dark valleys of our journey, just putting one foot in front of the other and taking life day by day is the most effective way to carry-on.

As we focus on maintaining some healthy guardrails to support The Voice inside our own heads, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to reach our full potential and have a positive impact on those we care about most.