By Kizzy Katawonga, Uganda:
Almost two years ago, I lost my voice and I’ve been silent ever since. I’m not talking about my amazing tenor with which I serenade my wife. No.
I’m talking about my “Voice” as a writer.
The Voice is a writer's unique way of seeing the world and how they express that through the written word.
Well, like I said, I lost mine. Actually I’m not sure I ever really had it.
I started my journey as a writer years ago with a free WordPress blog that was all about success in business and wealth attainment.
After a short while, I lost steam. Here I was waxing philosophical about wealth and success and yet my life was far from wealthy and successful!
I had two failed businesses, I was neck deep in debts, couldn't pay my bills, didn't have a clue what I was supposed to be doing every day I walked out of the house.
I felt like a fraud.
One of the core success principals I used to talk about was Integrity; I really do try to be a man of integrity but the things I was writing about were not the things I was living out.
So I quit writing.
Quitting helped clarify for me the next step in my writing journey. Writing about wealth and success didn't quite ring true for me because it was simply the fruit and not the root.
Wealth and Success aren't things you earn but things you attract by the quality of person you are.
I needed to deal with the quality of person; the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that ultimately lead to success and wealth because that's where my own struggle was.
A huge percentage of people believe that life just happens to you, you get lucky or unlucky and that determines whether you end up wealthy or poor, happy or depressed, blissfully married or abused and lonely.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Life is merely a reflection of who you are on the inside. Your thoughts, determine your actions which determine your results.
And the results I was getting at the time in my life were abysmal; nowhere near the wealth and success that I kept rambling about.
I realized that the quality of my person was the problem and that was likely the problem for a lot of other people too. How else do you explain why some people with all the odds against them, born in abject poverty, abused, disabled were able to excel in life whereas some of us with all the opportunity and resource in the world were languishing or mediocre at best?
As I pondered these things, my new “voice” began to develop. I started talking about wealth and success from a different, more holistic perspective other than just financial.
I always had a desire to help men be their God given best as husbands, fathers, workers and leaders. I believe when men are their best, families, communities, economies and nations are so much better off.
I knew that was my path. So I rebranded my blog to the Apprentice: Lessons for men in life, love, work and faith.
Now I was in the zone. I was speaking about things I could honestly relate with on a regular basis: Marriage, relationships, faith, character, the struggles of identity and purpose.
Things were going great for a time. I was happy. I got exposure in different sites and magazines and my own series here on the Reader's Café.
But then, my life was still unrepresentative of the things I was preaching.
I was struggling with life in every way; I wasn't the husband or father I kept talking about, my identity was in shambles, I was depressed and increasingly anti-social, my work life was a mess.
I felt like I had no moral authority to tell other men how to live when I still was living a pretty messed up life myself.
Here I was, looked at as the man-whisperer, the agony uncle, the guru on all things men, so why was my own life such a mess?
Once again, I decided to quit; at least until I got my head on straight or God appeared to me in a burning bush – which for the record, He hasn't.
So for the last two years, the Apprentice has been silent. Searching for my new voice.
Have I found it? Heck no. Well, not quite.
But my amazing editor here at the Café tells me I should write anyway; that there is no such thing as a voice and people need to hear what I have to say.
I'm flattered but I disagree with her on all but one thing; I should write because it will help others know that they are not alone. The theme of the Reader's Café.
To share our stories and journeys in words that will help others have hope, believe and push on. Idealistic I know but it appeals to the romantic in me.
So I will go on writing, voice or none. No longer as one with the answers but as one searching for them.
I've learnt a lot of things over the last two years of silence and the most important of those is humility; not thinking you know it all or have a right to tell other people that you know it all.
I have now truly become an apprentice of life. Learning, failing and sharing it all as I go along. Hoping that in there, I will eventually find my voice and it will help others learn and grow into everything they too dream of.
I am yours truly, the Apprentice.
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