There are so many voices informing, persuading, debating, educating, debunking, fact finding, accrediting, discrediting, proving, demanding, objectifying, and theorizing. These voices are on old media, new media, social media, visual media, audio media, media in print, and digitally unprinted media direct to your Iphone slim. Secondhand media from your co-worker and thirdhand media from the guy you think's name is Tim. Media at work, media at home, and media as you roam wherever you roam- the train, the plane, and even the treadmill at the gym.
The Dr. Seuss style introduction might be a bit much, but that's how it can feel sometimes in an age where information is instantaneous. The over saturation of information is no doubt a contributing factor to the drastic rise of anxiety among the general population. There's a temptation to retreat, and shut out the world to keep one's sanity. This temptation is not itself bad, but behaviors that follow it can be- such as over indulging in bad food, inactivity, drinking, and other behaviors that have no long term benefit. So how do we thrive with all the voices without feeling the need to escape the whole world? We find our own voice.
Finding your voice doesn't mean adding to the noise but rather separating yourself from it. Just like health is its own security, so is distinguishing yourself from the noise of the world. Feeling confident with where you are at and what motivates you. I'll use my recent experience as an example.
Last Winter, I was waking up at 4:30 AM to tackle mornings, get some activity and do some reading. I started getting into it, but soon found it difficult to stay consistent. I had been able to do this before and after a week or two, it wasn't an issue to stick with it, but something had changed and I couldn't pinpoint what. Fast forward to the past few weeks, again I've been waking up early but from day 1 I found it easy. And now I know why.
During the Winter, I was waking up early and my motivation was "Today will be a good day because I woke up early and had a productive morning. I'll be a better person.". I was focused on an intangible, vague result. What changed from the Winter until now? I found my voice, I took an honest look at myself and who I wanted to be throughout my whole day. I visualized who I wanted to be a week from now, a month from now, and a year from now. I remembered how getting up early used to mean a cup of hot coffee, time to set myself up, a boxing session, and then a long walk to breathe in fresh air- given the long walk was from commuting to work in an English city with no car. So the first morning, that's exactly what I did. I realized how much less I was walking, and how good it felt to get so much blood flowing before the day began. I found this stored energy like a long lost friend waiting for me to come home. Three days in, I was hooked on mornings again, excited for them and no longer needed an alarm to wake me up.
To bring this back full circle, I found my voice, and in turn, found my fire- not just motivation, but the passion and discipline to get up early. The noise of the world doesn't weigh as heavy on a focused mind and the feeling that you need to shut out the world isn't necessary when you are confident of your place in it. So next time you shut out the world, take time with yourself and find your voice, when you do, the world will be waiting for you with open arms.