The Sunday Mail
The voices that you have been listening to have taken you to where you are. To change your life, change the voices you are listening to. Life is an echo of voices. Some of the voices have meaning, others are useless. Some are positive, others are negative. Some are confident, others are doubt-inducing. Some a healing, others are reeling voices. Let the voices thunder, but choice the voices to pay heed to.
Some voices suggest that it is too late, you are too old, you do not have what it take, you are too young, you do not have the credentials, simply suggest that you pass. Mute the voices of doubt, and cancel the noise from negative voices. Whatever voice you choose to listen to determines what you do. Do the right thing, do not listen to the negative and damning voices. Choose the voices to mute and the ones that you amplify. You are not the voices you hear, but you choose what to do with the voices. Take responsibility and take charge.
Refuse to be programmed by stray voices that do not know your trajectory and dream. Refuse to be conditioned by the negative insincere voice. Refuse to let the course of your life be determined by the negative fearful and vision-less voices of other people. Audit the voices you hear and be mindful. You are not a rubbish dump for people to dumb their bitter, angry, fearful and defeated voices.
Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was a highly talented American jazz, blues, soul and gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, organist, and pianist. In 1970 he released an album entitled: “Everything is Everything.” Within this album was a special song entitled, “Voices Inside.” Part of the lyrics of the song read:
“Let’s get down now
I hear voices, I see people
I hear voices of many people
I hear voices, I see people
I hear voices of many people
Sayin’ everything is everything”
Like Donny Hathaway, you also see people and hear voices of many people. Instead of letting negative voices take you down, choose to listen to the voices that take you up.
Stop chasing voices and looking for voices — of the dead, or the living. You have your voices that speak to you. Let them speak, but choose to listen to the right voices that take you forward.
There are people real and imaginary that speak whatever they care or dare. That is not the problem. What is important are the voices that you take to heart in your life, business or industry.
The voices you pay attention to affect and influence what you do. Choice the right voices to listen to. Stop listening to clueless voices that leave you despondent.
The voice of the crowd
If you follow the voice of the crowd you will forever be unsettled, changing and confused. Instead of following the crowd, set your goals and pursue them; letting the crow follow you instead.
If you subject all your dreams to the voices of the crowd you will be drowned in negative opinions and may never do anything that is bold, courageous, victorious or disruptive. Listen to the shaping voices of faith, strategy, and hope that is fuelled by a knowing vision.
Aesop wrote many fables as teaching tools. My favourite one is entitled, “The Man, The Boy and the Donkey.” In this fable, a Man and his Son were once going with their Donkey to market.
As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”
The man thought that that was a practical voice to listen to.
So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. Soon they passed a group of men, one of whom raised his voice as said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides on the Donkey.” The man listen again to that voice that seemed reasonable and culturally relevant.
So the Man to save his pride as a parent ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself.
But they had not gone far when they passed two women, one of whom raised her voice and said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along, while he is on the donkey.” He was smitten by this knowing the voice and decided to listen and heed.
The now Man did not know what to do, so at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey.
By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them.
Voices will always speak, spurred by the moment, but clueless about your vision.
The Man stopped and asked what they were raising their voice for and scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours — you and your hulking son?” That voice appeared reasonable, concerned about the welfare of the animal and good sense. The Man obliged.
The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. People will say what they will, but you have to do your own thinking.
The voices were speaking and they had listened hard and wanted to factor all opinions. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their shoulders.
They went along amid the laughing voices of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole.
In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet tied together it was drowned. So also was Man and his Boy’s mission.
A old man had been following the Man and the Boy, watching in amazement as the Man listen to all the voices he met. At last the old man spoke up and said: “That will teach you that in trying to please all, you will please no one.”
In trying to please everyone you will veer off your mission and do nothing in the end. The same unreasonable voices then turn an unreasonably criticise you for being useless.
In trying to listen to every voice you may end up doing nothing, just confused and trying to please everyone. Choose carefully the voices you listen to and keep you eyes firmly set on where you are going to. Keep asking: “Quo Vadis?”
The voice of fear
Fear has a loud and terrifying voice, but fear not! If you have defined your goal and path, choose to listen to the voice of faith and not fear. The gallery of mass opinion is never the seat of vision or any enterprise.
Those who follow the voice of the crowd are rarely followed by the crowd. Feed your faith and mute the voice of fear and unreason.
The Eternal One’s voice continues to ring through the ages: “Fear not, be bold and very courageous.”
Most fears never happen, they are a waste of emotion. Yet, if you ask for the impossible, very often you get the best possible. Do not let the fearful voices around you tempt you to abandon your dreams and park your vision.
Listen to the voice of faith and the unlimited possibilities before you. Look up, not down.
The voice of the past
Whatever happened in the past, park it in the past and not in your future. Do not let the mistakes of the past continue to speak to you and
Let the failures of the past be just that — a history lesson. Learn from them but do not canonise the voices of the failures, abuses and misses of the past.
Do not be imprisoned and debilitated by the past.
Do not let victims of the voices of the past partner you and strengthen your resolve to be a complaining bitter activist.
Do not join the choir of those that are so terrified of the past that they fear the challenges of growth and doing real work therefore choose to do nothing more than voice baseless opinions. The future is pregnant will possibilities. Listen to the right voices that are going somewhere.
The voice of bitterness
The voice of bitterness has high pitched sounds. Bitterness is unfulfilled revenge.
It something that you are holding tightly from your past, painful replay and agonisingly nurse. Bitterness speaks and has a coarse venomous voice.
You know a bitter voice when you meet one or listen. Bitter voices cannot be pleased by anything and they will not listen to anything else.
Afflicted by bitterness choose the right path and the only one that matters — forgive and let go.
Bitterness is known to be the cause of many diseases and many ills. Stop harbouring disease in your body, mind and organisation by holding on to the ills of the past.
The voice of bitterness is a two edged razor. It cuts you, while you look for an opportunity to cut others. Bitterness is the root of all violence and abuse.
Stop the voice of bitterness before it harms you.
The voice of bitterness is a maddening and terrible cancer.
Inflamed with the voice of bitterness you cannot think strategically or build sustainably. The voice of bitterness is a terrible master, if you allow it to take root.
Cut lose, choose to forgive and let go. Time does not heal bitterness, it is bold forgiving action that does.
The little voice within
There is a little voice inside you. The voice is silent, small but firm. Faced with daunting challenges and a chorus of voices shouting around you, it is that little voice that keeps you anchored and moving forward.
Tired, exhausted, the little voice gives you courage to wake up everyday to do the right thing and to pursue greatness with vigour.
Instead of listening to the deafening and negative voices that confuse, and drown your reason, retreat to the silent voice within that still says: “You will make it and you will be great.” It is never too late to raise the volume of the right voice and mute the negative echo of voices.
Be anchored and purse great things.
Committed to your greatness.
© 2018, Milton Kamwendo
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and executive coach. He is a cutting strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. His life purpose is to inspire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com.