They sound strangely like those scary Nuns with rulers that were supposed to be teaching in every Catholic school in the land. While I did attend Catholic school for a very brief time, all of my Nuns sounded like angels and carried words of encouragement and support. There were no rulers anywhere in sight. So I'm not sure why they sound that way.
But I hear those fictional Nuns. Their voices are full of doubt, laughing at my ridiculous ideas, daring me to abandon my silly dreams of creating as I see fit, promising me a road to success that is paved with safe, secure, more conformist approaches. They try to make me feel guilty about taking pleasure in whacky ideas, in finding unconventional ways to make conventional points.
But they fail. Often.
They sang an especially mournful tune the day I decided to create a board game to teach CPAs how to provide consulting services. They roared in opposition wihen I thought about teaching accounting to winery people using a lemonade stand. They fired up the organ and brought in the harps the day I passed out fake money and made people swap dollars to understand budgeting. They prayed hard on their glittering rosaries (saying at least 10 Hail Mary's and 40 Our Fathers) the day I started creating a coloring book to communicate customer service concepts. They gathered in increasing numbers to convince me that I should change my mind about adding humor to whitepaper after whitepaper. You should have heard them talk about Jimmy's Whimmy business and the one about Goldilocks.
Tthere's a flickering flame that resides deep in my heart and it keeps me going. It's passion, it's joy, it's the thrill of connecting. I have felt the rare sense of excitement when I teach a group of people and a concept takes hold. I have heard people respond to my writings on sales tax, on payroll, on various technology subjects. I know people benefit from my whacky approach to boring subjects, and so I trudge on. I have heard people laughing and it is the best feeling in the world.
It has taken years. But now, I listen only to that inner voice - the one with the southern accent and the grits obsession. The one who is inspired by the humor in everything.
The point, and there is one, is that you need not listen to those voices that try to hold you back. Don't let them win. Eternal misery only results from a lifetime of listening to other people and ignoring your own tiny voice.
The world needs to hear your voice.
And be nice to Nuns.