We've learned a lot from Stephen Covey's seminal self-help book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and have written some on it (still working to incorporate his ideas). The 8th Habit, written 8 years before his death, discusses how to find and express your voice and also to help others do the same in a 21st-century world.
There are two paths, Covey suggests, that we can choose in life. There is the path to mediocrity and the path to greatness. Depending on your perception, you can either find your voice or lose your voice. That which is most unique to you, that one voice that is solely yours to find and share can either be stoked and encouraged or it can be snuffed out and trampled on depending on what stimuli you allow drive your life.
One's voice may be suppressed, wrapped tightly underneath many layers of suffering from being immersed in disempowering social groups, workplaces, families, etc. It's hard to see, but Covey urges that, if we are to achieve and inspire greatness, we must look past the bullshit and make the tough decision to envision the truth and light that lies deep inside of all of us.
"Seeing people through the lens of their potential and their best actions, rather than through the lens of their current behavior or weaknesses, generates positive energy and reaches out and embraces others."
My takeaway is this: You know how like, people are assholes? It's hard to deal with. But, if we can understand that at some point or another that we're all assholes, it makes it a lot easier to see that under all the asshole-ness, there's limitless potential. We've gotta forgive ourselves and everybody else and hold the vision of what we are destined to be in focus rather than allowing the dissatisfying current version of who we are hold us back.
You da best,