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5 Lessons to Live, Lead, & Communicate

Martin Luther King, Jr. left us a legacy. He not only taught us through what he said, but also what he did. He is an example of a leader with exceptional character; his words were backed by significant action. He taught us how to live intentionally and make our words mean something. If you truly believe that the health of your community, state and nation is being suppressed, we must speak up in the face of the injustice.

It is very easy to voice your opinion on the wrongs done by the health fraternities, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, but it’s quite different to actually act on it. In King’s case of civil rights, we are glad he spoke up and then acted. His words, actions and courage still inspire millions of people today.

We must engage the people in this movement, not rely on law makers. We are the voice and we have the collective power to change and influence policy. Everyone in the community must become involved. Do you think King’s success was because he was a pastor? Do you think the civil rights movement would have been successful if he only spoke to other pastors or other leaders? It was successful because he engaged entire communities; every man woman and child. They started to believe in something.

To create the change all of us desire, we must not only voice our opinions, but also act on them. We can’t rely on others to do it for us. If you find yourself thinking, dreaming and waking in the middle of the night, you are the leader in this movement. We must become leaders, regardless of your title. If you think you can make a difference, you’re right. Your community needs you, your nation needs you.

We are all better for his words, actions and legacy.

Always Speak with Conviction

Words are unheard when you speak wavering, weak words. We all notice when your message lacks conviction. Often words from your mouth are unheard, it’s words from your heart that are heard. When you stand for something and believe “whole heartedly” is when someone will open their ears and start to use their hands and feet in action.

MLK never spoke without conviction. He inspired, regardless of the pain and difficulty of championing a movement. He understood that change requires boldness. To be bold, you will have to say something hard and against the status quo. Would we not be better for your words too?

Everything is Intertwined

Everything is inter-connected. It may seem like we are in an inescapable network, but everything affects each other. When we start to make positive change, we are closer to the end goal. We must make it personal. What makes you passionate about the healthcare injustices occurring today? Is it your infant receiving poisonous vaccines that are being pushed by corrupt governmental agencies? Is it the cost of healthcare insurance and how they have no interest in your health, just money? Is it that your child and his/her friends are overweight, developing diabetes and heart disease because of the governmental influence on our school lunch programs? The injustices happening are not a 1,000 miles away, its 1 foot away and we are accepting it as status quo.

Until we realize this, we are not living to our fullest potential. Instead, we are aimlessly and irresponsibly wandering blindfolded in a world of landmines. Until we start telling our stories, we are not telling truth. The only possible way of learning the truth is to experience the truth. The truth is more honest stories that call, lead, motivate and inspire us into a deeper reality.

Speaking Truth is Always Dangerous

There is never safety or comfort in speaking the truth. When you are committed to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done, you may even get in trouble. Will you protect your child at all costs? If you see a building on fire, do you think or act? The difference is often life or death. We can’t sit back and wait for the fire department to come if someone is screaming help me from the window. That is exactly what our overweight, diabetic, prescription taking children are doing, help me!

You’re the one who has to decide. Will you be the difference maker? Could you be the match that starts the fuse of change in your community? It’s not up to anyone else. If these words are finding you, your heart is beating faster, palms are sweating and your mind is racing. It’s you!

If you don’t speak, the cost is going to be far greater. In the end, we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Never Try to be Popular

One of the most dangerous goals in life is to strive for the popular vote. The popular vote is where the followers, the sheep reside. Our healthcare delivery system has lead us astray while we were watching football on Sunday. Today’s leaders compromise morals and values to get one step up on their competitors. It’s a fear driven, money hungry, power grasping system that doesn’t have you in its best interest.

Countless leaders have taught us that people often don’t know what they want or need until you show it to them. Being healthy, on no drugs and taking self-responsibility for your health is not popular and you can’t assume your friends even know what you’re talking about. You have to be a leader through action, not just words. Words fall on deaf ears.

Convince Yourself First

King spoke about the importance of believing in yourself first. If you do not believe in yourself, no one else will either. If we doubt ourselves, the battle is lost. Our emotions create our thoughts and actions. If you are convicted, inter-connect everything, speak truth and forget the popularity vote, you have created an identity. This identity is for the self-less advancement of your community. It’s because you have something burning inside of you. You have the burden of the travesties occurring. You are solution, convince yourself. It starts with you, it is up to you and we can help.

Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard


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