It's time to raise your voice

Roy Harryman cpr blog raise your voice

Live dangerously by being your authentic self.

By ROY HARRYMAN

Beyond the constant noise and distraction of life there's a faint sound trying to cut through.

It's easy to ignore it, to suppress it, to say it's not practical. Not realistic.

Maybe when you retire or things aren't quite as economically risky.

What is this whisper? 

It's your original voice. That voice is your unique style. Your particular MO. The quirkiness of your personality. Your sense of humor, however subtle it may be.

Somewhere along the line, you decided to bottle it up.

Why would we suppress such a beautiful thing? Because standing out is dangerous.

Your original voice makes itself known in just about everything: your work, parenting, hobbies, friendships and projects of personal passion. There really is no one like you. 

If we settle for a vanilla, don't-rock-the-boat life, no one will get upset. We won't feel stupid. We won't fail.

But here's the problem with not raising your voice: You're not being authentically you. The gift you have to give to the world is wrapped up tightly and shoved in the closet for fear that someone won't like it. And of course, no one will ever receive it.

No one ever did anything great predicated on a strategy that “everyone will like it.” Run for president, and no matter what, 39 percent of the folks won't vote for you (that's the percentage Barry Goldwater got against LBJ in 1964).

Wow! Imagine losing 4 of 10 customers. That would feel devastating. But Lyndon B. Johnson achieved the biggest electoral blowout of all time with 61 percent of the vote that year.

It's the way cult bands survive and thrive. They may not get radio play, but they've got a core of rabid fans who anxiously await every release. Bands such as King Crimson. Never heard of them?

Their music brings great joy to a select few but doesn't do much for the vast majority. In fact, a member of that band, Trey Gunn, inspired this post with his talk on “Original Voice” (warning: language occasionally veers into PG13 mode).

Better to know you brought great joy to a few pursuing your passion than in settling for a pile of cash making jingles about waffles (unless your passionate about waffle jingles – then go for it).

What's more memorable and impactful? A cover version or an original?

Be yourself. Be distinctive. Ignore everyone else. Make a difference.

Is there any other way?