Deb Sofield


The one thing that you have

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“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.”–Neil Gaiman

I meet a lot of people in my work and travels and, as I have grown in my own life through so many life experiences, I have over time developed a 6th sense (as it were) to see past the façade of who many people want you to think they are, to the underneath of that person and their inside. Not the outside show, but the true self. I don’t see it right away in everyone I meet, but within a few minutes or over time it just seems to settle on me, the difference of who they really are and who they want you to think they are. I have no special magical gift for this, it’s just a hunch that proves right more times than not.

And what I find so interesting is that many times (not all the time but many times), the person underneath or the “real person” really is an amazing mix of talent, silliness, fun and wisdom, and what is odd is that either they don’t see it or they don’t believe they have it. So I guess it’s good that I can see it and explain to them what is there.

I hope you have a friend that can see past your outward self to your inward soul and can and will nourish you to be your best. Some of you will find that comfort in your faith, others will find it in the true love of family and friends and some will find it in the everyday successes of life, and I think that is great. I came across this quote (by Neil Gaiman) for my theme today, The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.

Today I want to remind you that you have permission to write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can. And I encourage you to do so, because it is good for your heart, your soul and your mind…and your life and the legacy you’ll leave behind.

Living up to the potential of your voice, your mind, your story and your vision will allow you to develop your best self—who you really are.

Now let me add, if others don’t see that in you, don’t worry—it’s not for them to see and judge, so do not let their words and comments affect you, for they mean nothing since their comments are more telling about their life than yours.

With the reminder that you are one in 7 billion, let me remind you again,

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.

Knowing that you are called to greatness in whatever that calling may be; what will do you today, tomorrow, this week or this month about your calling?

Let me remind you of the three traps that will hold you back if you don’t unloose yourself from the judgment of others and walk in your own path.

Yes, here I go again, you should consider cleaning up your personal self. Let’s look in the mirror. Would you like to date you? Would you be comfortable taking a 1st date in that dirty car, or go home to your overstuffed house that is filled with things that you will never need? Hmmm, something to think about.

Now let me call out your mentally made-up peculiar issues that you keep rolling around in your head because you like to think you’re different. For the record, you’re not. You’re just using your pain as a crutch so you have an excuse to tell and show others that you’re damaged, hurt, broken and sad, but in your mind it’s okay because you have been hurt, you have been left alone, you have been done wrong by others. My goodness, you could write a county music song with all your pain and troubles that you let fester in your mind.

And now I’m going to step on your last nerve and question the emotional baggage that you seem to enjoy carrying around, because you refuse to forgive those who have hurt you, said unkind words, broken your heart and found someone else to make miserable. Instead of being glad that you’re now free, you’ve decided to cling to that hurt to remind you of how bad your life used to be. Remember? Remember how they questioned everything you did, everyone you spoke to; even went so far as to check the mileage in your car to make sure you didn’t go anywhere you weren’t supposed to by their demands? Ah, how could you forget the misery you lived through only to cling to the emotional hurt?

For a moment, let’s set aside your personal, mental and emotional issues and reflect on what you look like to others. It’s a hard thing to do, because so many people think, if they don’t look at it, it’s not there, but it is, and all those things that make you unlovely to others (because you’ve gotten sloppy in your life) is simply a sad reflection of you choosing not to be your best self. Yes, it is a choice and you (and only you) can change that. You know, one of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it’s guilt, anger, love, loss or betrayal, change is never easy. We fight to hold on, and we fight to let go. Don’t give up the fight to be your best self.

You see, my friend, The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. And do you know what is the most interesting thing about the real you? It’s that you were put here for a purpose, and it is your job to figure out why and how to leave this spinning planet a better place than where you found yourself living in your small corner.

I spend a lot of time helping people find their voice and then teach them to use it for good. Because your voice is your signature, it’s your calling card—it’s who you are. Did you know the one thing most people miss when a loved one has gone on is the sound of their voice? For some it is a personal scent—maybe your mother’s perfume, or your dad’s cologne or just that musty smell that comes with a life well-lived and worn with grace. And it’s not just the sound or smell, but the well-worn sayings about life and love and hopefully laughter that relights the memory of loved ones who have passed.

I am always curious how people’s minds work. I have a dear friend who is my traveling buddy, and we’re perfect as travelers because I don’t like to spend time reading guide books. I prefer to walk the streets and shop and eat and look and sit and drink coffee and watch people walk by. And I’m thrilled to find an antique store or bookshop, and maybe a shoe shop; certainly a grocery store (my favorite thing to do on vacation), maybe a meat or fish market, whereas my friend, Nancy, reads up on the things we “should see” while we’re in a town and makes reservations for plays and concerts and fine dining. Our minds work differently and we’re both better for it.

When I think about my clients, I encourage them to tell me a story about their life—a success or failure that was a turning point to finding themselves in their career or the place where they are today—their story, as the line from my theme today would say. Everyone has a story, and I’ll add that the good thing is you get to write the ending. Maybe you didn’t get much of a chance to write your beginning, but at any given moment you get to choose on how your story will end. I am trusting that it will be a humdinger of a great life well-lived with joy and gratitude, wonder and excitement, joy and peace.

So now that your voice, your mind, your story are revealed, let me finish with a thought about your vision. Your vision is what will lead you to your final destination. Your vision of yourself your—true self—will be what sustains you in good times and bad. Your vision is what sets your boundaries of what you will and will not do. Ah, friend, remember to guard your vision to see only what is good, and do not turn from the lighted path into the darkness. With all you have, stay on the well-lighted path for success.

Your vision is what sets you apart from others who only see what is right before them. I have an after dinner talk where I ask my audience if they can see beyond the darkness of the current reality, or do they only see what is in front of them. True leaders can see beyond the current darkness to better days ahead, and they don’t let those who are blinded by disbelief sway them from their path leading to success.

What is your vision for your life? What is your vision for your job and your family and your future? Remember, the one thing that you have that nobody else has is your vision. Remember the difference between a dream and a vision is having the audacity to act upon it for your amazing life. Because The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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