I’m not a singer.

Occasionally, I pretend to be when I bomb my friend Carrie’s voicemail with a screechy-version of “Firework” by Katy Perry. (Insert moment of gratitude that I don’t have YOUR phone number.)

Outside of singing to myself in the carTheVoice__Logo_Hand, or brief attempts in church, I don’t sing,

But I LOVE The Voice.

I love watching the contestants take big risks to pursue their dreams. I am inspired by the naked desire they have to do whatever it takes to make it big doing something they love.

The saying “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” is a popular catch phrase for magnets and paperweights.

I think a better version of this saying would be “What do you love to do so much that you  don’t care if you fail?”

What I admire in the contestants is the desire to take a risk, put themselves out there, even if the chances of it paying off are really low.

Watching The Voice has taught me a few life lessons about risk-taking. Here are a few of the important things I have learned:

 

5 Life Lessons I Have Learned From “The Voice”:

1. Opportunities are meant to be enjoyed.

Last season, the contestant who won was a 16 year old girl named Danielle who had never sung before more than a handful of people before trying out The Voice. She was amazing to watch, not just because of her vocal performances, but because of the genuine joy and happiness she radiated during each performance. She put her heart into enjoying each performance, rather than worrying about how she was going to do. And it made her unstoppable. Joy is magnetic. Do what you love and love what you do. Then good things happen 🙂

2. Pay attention to the advice of people more knowledgeable than you.

Like most people, I love praise and I fear criticism. I used to think criticism was a verbal description of my failings as a person. (I know…kind of dramatic….but honest.) I have learned to see constructive criticism in a different way after watching The Voice. The coaches give no-bullshit, direct feedback. The contestants who seem to do the best are the ones who accept the feedback without getting sideways about the fact their initial practice wasn’t perfect.

There are times when criticism can be mean and hurtful. But when given by someone you trust and who knows their stuff, it can propel you faster than you expect toward the performance (or outcome) of your dreams.

3. Big risks offer big rewards.

There’s a contestant this year who tried out last year and didn’t get picked by any of the coaches. He took the feedback the coaches offered about why they weren’t inspired by his performance, got more lessons and came back again this year.  ALL FOUR COACHES PICKED HIM. Totally awesome.

It takes raw courage to try out the first time in front of 4 superstars and a live audience (and millions of viewers) and know that you either succeed or fail in the time span of about 2 minutes. But it takes a special kind of determination to face a second possible defeat and come back again anyway.   I love that this guy was rewarded for his hard work and determination to try out again.

4. Losing doesn’t feel as bad as not trying.

The Voice is in its 5th season. Hundreds of singers have tried out. I have never heard anyone who didn’t make it say they were sorry they tried out. Not one. To be certain, they are disappointed it didn’t work out.  However, taking a risk and failing feels MUCH better than not trying at all.

5. Sharing your talent creates joy (for you and for others) even when you aren’t the best.

We are not all meant to be famous. We are not all meant to be the best. But we are all meant to share our talents. One of my favorite quotes is:

“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” ~ Henry Van Dyke

 

Taking risks and sharing our talents is what helps others to know us better and creates meaningful connections in our lives.

What talents will you share with others today?