Your whispered life isn’t changing anything.

Sure, you’ve had some great moments – made friends, had good experiences, took a few vacations, had memorable days and nights – but many of us haven’t gained momentum.

Growing up, I often heard about women and men who “didn’t ask for much,” were “so sweet, they’d never hurt a fly,” and “never complained.” They were pillars in the community, staples at Sunday worship services, and treasured by all.

A number of these great people, however, were suffering in silence. Some were known for being abused by respected spouses. Others had health problems that needed treatment, but they refused to slow down or seem “selfish” for the rest. Last, a remaining few faced HR nightmares in the workplace, but kept quiet because they wanted to keep their jobs or said it “didn’t matter” because they were “still getting paid.”

But it did matter. Not for a moment can I ridicule anyone I referenced for their choices because I don’t know all of the facts. What I can do now is take the thought that struck like lightning as I watched a recent Bishop TD Jakes sermon and encourage you to do differently.

Your answer isn’t in your silence. It’s in the screaming. 

Yes, there are tremendous benefits to having quiet time in prayer or meditation. Of course, stillness to listen and get the right answers on a daily basis is critical. The problem comes in when the instructions we receive aren’t followed with wise action.

The person that you desire to become needs your voice, not you playing the victim anymore.

The career change you’ve studied for and received new certifications/another degree in but haven’t applied your skill set yet needs your initiative, not inertia, to kick off a new beginning.

The ailment you won’t seek treatment for or even pray about needs you to be proactive and not placate yourself with your favorite foods or alcohol to numb the truth.

I could type on for paragraphs, but my point’s been made. The world isn’t changed by whispers. It is shaken by shouts like public demands for justice, equality, and freedom. Why should our individual lives be any different?

Make this The Year of You. No, I’m not encouraging overindulgence in material things or for you to ignore all responsibility. I’m saying make this the year that you follow through on all the things you want and, frankly, need to do differently.

As the late author and speaker Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish it were easier – wish you were better.” Life isn’t a Little League team; everyone isn’t simply getting a trophy for showing up. If you use the gifts that have been graciously given to you and remain teachable about new ways to improve, only God knows the contributions you can make to mankind, no matter how big the impact.

Make some strategic noise this year. Your future self will thank you for it.


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