“Courage does not roar. It does not need to.”
I read this truth a few weeks ago in an article by Nilofer Merchant. The post recounted an “aha” moment for Ms. Merchant when she heard herself saying something out loud for the first time — something that spoke her true heart. Something she hadn’t articulated before, but instantly knew was spoken in her own unmistakeable voice.
The moment she described has been festering in me since then.
The article was titled “Courage Does Not Roar.” That’s what caught my attention. For the last two years I’ve been haphazardly thinking about courage. I’ve made a practice during part of my blogging foray to choose a “theme word” each year. The word is something I want to define or learn or allow to characterize my life and thinking over the course of a 12-month period, and I try to explore it in words and thoughts through EyeJunkie posts. The word for 2010 & 2011 was “courage.”
This article appeared on my radar just as I was trying to decide on a theme word for 2012 — or even if I wanted a theme word. My thoughts have seemed so scattered lately, that I’m wasn’t sure I was really able to determine a year-long focus. I mean, that would require focus.
In the sphere of remarkable people and living, Ms. Merchant wrote of “courage” as being less about bravery and more about clarity. Boy, that really struck a chord. One I couldn’t get out of my head.
To be able to hear the sound of our own voices with clarity sure simplifies things. It makes choices and decisions much more obvious. It makes the worthwhile investments of our time and energy much easier to find.
These days, I hear a lot about finding “my own truth.” And while I don’t necessarily belief “truth” is that much of a moving target, I am also firmly convinced that we each carry a truth about ourselves inside of us. We each carry our own voice able to speak to what really matters to us, what brings us joy, what reflects our deepest desires, what acknowledges our purpose, what confirms the value we want to collect in our lives. That voice of truth deep in my soul helps me discern what I know, without question, is right in my own individual life.
The problem is that it’s so easy to allow that truth to be drowned out.
“Courage does not roar. It does not need to. The truer that voice, the louder it will sound, and the farther it will reach. That’s why I believe great innovators pay attention to the thoughts that come from their heart. They honor their truth. Because that knowledge will lead you forward. It will give you courage. It will make you brave. And perhaps, it will lead you to be more remarkable than you are.”
As these thoughts began to resonate more clearly over the Christmas holiday, I found myself actually excited about this theme word concept again. MY word was clear.
It’s what I want to pursue in 2012. My own unmistakeable one — resolving to find it, speak it, know it, share it in new ways. And in old ways so familiar to me that I’ve perhaps become deaf to them.
Finding my voice where it’s been lost.
Listening to my voice where it’s been drowned out or squelched.
Knowing my voice where confusion has overshadowed clarity.
Speaking my own voice into decisions and choices and habits.
Hearing my voice come through in the defining moments,
Lending my voice to those who can’t speak.
Sharing my voice on issues and ideas that matter to me.
VOICE is a noun. And a verb.
It’s being. And doing.
2012 is the time to voice my life.
There is no other time like now.
And, I’m ready.