Listen. Stop right now, close your eyes and listen. Go ahead. Take just 10 seconds. Good.
I’m sitting in my courtyard behind my house, and just as I closed my eyes to take in the sounds, my neighbor started up her lawnmower. It’s really loud (as lawnmowers are), but even through that, if I train my ears, I can hear the birds chirping. I can hear the squirrels running around my grape arbor overhead. I can just discern the faint trickle of a nearby water feature. Though I can’t actually hear it, I can imagine the sound that the leaves are making as the light morning breeze gently caresses them (sometimes you have to read between the lines and use your imagination).
What did you hear?
With so many sounds and voices competing for our attention, we must choose how to tune our ears and make decisions about what we will listen to.
I’m a 50-something menopausal woman and there are voices out there telling me I should be slowing down, settling in, that my best days are over. But there are also those who are ahead of me on this journey of life, and they’re telling me that great things are ahead.
There are voices saying I’m not clever enough or driven enough or tech-savvy enough to accomplish my goals. And yet there are living examples of people who have bucked the naysayers and reached their dreams anyway.
Who should I listen to? I get to choose.
Maybe you’re listening to the voice that says:
- “You always give up.”
- “You’re all talk and no do.”
- “You’re too much of a dreamer.”
- “One person can’t really make a difference in the world.”
- “That’s a waste of your time.”
Or perhaps you’re training yourself to hear the call:
- “This is within your grasp.”
- “You have good thoughts and can enlist others to help you accomplish your dreams.”
- “Anything new starts with an idea.”
- “One person can make a big difference in the lives of many.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., William Wilberforce, Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, Louis Pasteur, and, saving the most impactful for the last, Jesus Christ) In fact, why not head to the library to pick up some inspiring biographies while you’re running your errands tomorrow?
- “Time is not wasted in trying to make the world a better place.”
Choose who and what you will listen to. Carefully cultivate your mental garden. The thoughts you put in will bear fruit, for ill or for better.
Though the lawnmower be loud (it still is as I type this), train your ear to listen to that still, small voice that says, “You can.”
What voices are you choosing to listen to?