What is the difference between a voice and noise? Everything and you!

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This morning I reflect on how two years ago I was sitting with a morning cup of tea (much like right now) and how I launched a book the night before. With the help of some dedicated friends, this provided me something very special. Oh what a night that was! The book launch was an amazing night where I was surrounded by those who came out to support me and knew what I had done. My voice was heard as I was overwhelmed in such a positive way. This was a book that came to be out of the ideas and thought that I had but no experience in writing. I made it a journey and one that I could have walked away from but once I committed to the fact I needed to write and share. Now, the book has been out there for a couple of years but also, a leadership speaker series called Here-2-There, a blog, writing speaking and other related ideas have emerged. The book launch was my awakening.

When I think of my book, I think about those who either have it all figured out and set in their ways so they don’t want to try anything new or struggling to make sense of the world and unsure of the path and don’t want to try anything new for fear of failure. There are times where you scratch your head wondering if what you are doing is even going to matter in the future or makes sense. Either way, you are on a journey but where does it lead to? We want to know or figure it out so we can rest our mind that it is leading to something worthwhile. Frustrated, we might quit because it does not matter to us or we don’t know the impact it can have on us. There is a voice within us and noise all around us and it is a challenge. Sometimes there are signs or signals that are right in front of us but we don’t even pay attention to them because it does not align with what we want to be doing or feel we should be doing. There is s difference between knowing what we want to be doing and what we should be doing. Then there are those around us who tell us or steer us in a direction. There is a difference between a voice and noise.

The difference between a voice and noise is simple. A voice is yours. It is that little voice inside of you that helps you navigate through life and that voice is there to help you uncover your purpose and journey. Noise on the other hand, are the distractions and people around us that try and do the same thing but they impose as opposed to support. Look around you, are you guiding yourself or are others doing it for you? There are voices around you too and these are the people who will support your voice. The other difference between a voice and noise is that if someone ‘asks’ you questions and that helps you to think more, then that is a voice, if someone ‘tells’ you what to do, then that is noise. You must look for the voices and those voices will help to remove the noise.

Years ago, I never saw myself as a writer or blogger. I did not even have any writing experience so why even consider it? Well, there were signs I could not ignore. I told stories but never considered putting pen to paper and write. I had done was written my thoughts down into one or two page document and these sat and accumulated over time. There were no plans or ideas on what to do with them; however, something changed. In October 2011, I did a TEDxSFU talk ( and it altered and shifted my life in such a huge way. I came up with my talk about storytelling, Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary . This was my first real sign to becoming a writer because now I had to have that conversation with myself and allow that voice to emerge. I thought to myself that I tell stories and perhaps I should share what I do and that became my talk. I did not know how this would connect my speaking voice to my written word. Then in 2012, my TEDxSFU talk carried me all year long as I was confronted by the reality that I was turning 50 so I thought about documenting based on the extraordinary in the ordinary so I came up with an online blog/journal on turning 50. This went very well and then April 2013, after all this, I had a constant writing place with my current blog –

Along the way, I thought about taking my TEDx talk and sharing the storytelling piece with others and decided to write a book on the topic. Now this was going to be a task because I have never taken on such a challenge, I had no professional experience in the area, no academic courses in writing or a base to work from. That did not stop me and I started to collect my thoughts and pulling things together. Before I knew it, in April 2014, I had a book and it was now published.

The reason I share this is because there are so many people I encounter who have shied away from pursuing a challenge because of the fear of being judged or failure. The noise does not allow them to be who they are. For me, that was a real fear but the bigger fear was to not do this. By not writing my book, I have denied myself and the world the sharing of my stories. You will come across signs or situations and then you can either face them with that voice or to walk away from what might be because of the noise and you don’t feel that you can; however, by trying, what have you got to lose? For me, it has been a huge step in a direction I never contemplated. Now as a writer, author and blogger, I am able to share and enjoy having a voice.

What is your journey? What is in front of you or has been in front of you that you thought of pursuing but have not attempted for any number of reasons? The hardest part is not the ‘doing part’ but rather ‘committing’ to something. Once you commit to doing something, then the rest falls into place. What is that little voice inside of you saying that you know is there but you have not heard? Silence the noise and listen to the voice! If you don’t, you are denying the world something that it needs…YOU!

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