I had a client the other day who told me about her success as public speaker and how people want to book her for more events. She was experiencing apprehension because she was told by someone that she should not be vain. The fear of being perceived as vain was now however sabotaging not only her success as a public speaker but also the message she has to share with the world. When we shine our light we create space for others to do the same but it is not without risk to ourselves. Vulnerability rather than vanity should be the measure, knowing full well the risk of exposing ourselves to judgement and criticism, but being courageous enough to speak our truth anyway.
We are all messengers to the world, sometimes with words but often times without them. Last night while I was pondering our conversation, I realized how important it is to know what our message is and to not be deterred from bringing in to the world.
Yes, the message is more important than the messenger, but realistically the two cannot be separated. You are the message. How we think, how we talk, how we conduct ourselves, how we handle conflict and disappointment is all part of the message we live.
Sometimes our message changes as we grow and develop and that is great but usually we were born with the message deeply embedded in our spirit and DNA. Experiences, disappointments, victories and learnings only add depth and value to the message we were born to share.
I used to spend many July and December holidays with my uncle on a farm in the Kalahari and my uncle had a wonderful message. Everything in his life was about being a good steward. He managed his farm with such foresight that he always had one or 2 camps resting to ensure sustainable food for his sheep. He managed his finances in the same way. Always saving for a rainy day. He also had an open hand for his workers and people in need. Supporting his extended family when possible. He understood the principle of sowing and reaping well. He never talked about it but spending so much time with him I could see how important it was to take care of what you have and to make sure you can provide for tomorrow. He is still enjoying the fruits of his labour today in his retirement.
My mother also had a message to share with the world. She sometimes said that if you cry you cry alone but if you laugh everybody laughs with you. She was a positive, fun, and courageous person who many people counted on and is still being missed today.
My father’s message to the world was a life of integrity. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. He was dependable and resolute and his family was his first priority.
I listened to a message on Youtube the other day from Jordan Peterson to the world. It is worth watching. His message to the world is to take responsibility for your own life. His book “12 rules for life” is about owning your calling, your message and your purpose. Being selfless liberates us from ourselves. I think it is a message for our time.
We all have a message to share with the world.
What is your message?