“Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” ~ Stephen Covey
I remember this story about a nightingale who was the most beautiful and sought-after bird in the whole kingdom. Its voice was so melodious that fishermen and maids stopped whatever they were doing and listened intently to the nightingale’s song.
One day, the kingdom’s emperor hears about the nightingale, and he becomes incensed at knowing that a simple bird can usurp him with its amazing voice.
Stung in his pride, he asks his first lord to go and fetch the bird so he can see for himself what is it about its voice that is so special.
The first lord fearfully scourges the land wide to find the nightingale himself, for the Emperor threatens to have him trampled to death if he fails. At last, he finds the bird deep in the forest, ad he tells the nightingale that the emperor is requesting its presence.
The nightingale agrees, and shows up at court.
The emperor sheds moving tears upon hearing the bird’s singing voice; this gesture greatly touches the nightingale’s heart.
Wanting to hear the bird sing some more for himself, the emperor builds him a golden cage and gives him servants. Servants attach the bird’s left leg to them as they care for him.
One day, the emperor receives a present. It is a mechanical nightingale adorned with diamonds and sparkling jewels. The mechanical bird pleases him greatly, for it seems to sing perfectly every note at the emperor’s wimp.
Feeling the emperor’s attention drawn elsewhere, the nightingale sees his chance to be free once again and he returns to live in the forest.
Some time later, the mechanical nightingale breaks down. Sad and depressed, the emperor becomes greatly ill.
On his death bed, he remembers the nightingale who once soothed his aching heart. Crying, he prays for its return with all his heart. The nightingale hears his plea and comes in the middle of the night, sitting on a branch outside his bedroom window.
The emperor is so grateful to hear the bird’s voice again that he asks the nightingale to never leave his side again.
The nightingale agrees on one condition: being free. In return, it will visit with the emperor and sing its love song.
Let me ask you,
What do you believe is the nightingale’s story about?
I’d like to offer you the following suggestion:
What if the nightingale represents our inner child?
If that’s the case,
Who or what does the emperor represent?
I believe the emperor represents our ego, that thing that tries to cage everything beautiful in and around us.
Here are three tips to find your inner voice and inspire others:
Let go of the desire to please others. The first lord is deeply afraid to displease the emperor. People pleasers are like first lords who are afraid of rejection. Seek your own approval beyond the emperor called ego.
Let go of comparison. The only thing that compares is the ego. We are beyond that.
Embrace gratitude. The emperor feels solace in the companionship of the nightingale and the hearing of its melodious song. Our inner child offers us solace if we are willing to allow ourselves to hear its love song. In this place of solace, it then becomes easy to inspire others.
I trust you have found value in this article.
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Your EQ coach,