My teacher once asked our class how lead singer of U2, Bono, had become so influential while his voice was less than average. We couldn’t answer. I love U2 and I love Bono’s voice, but he isn’t exactly Sarah McLauchlan or Eva Cassidy.

The answer our teacher offered was simply that he sings with conviction. He has something to say and his music becomes the medium in which to say it. Take for example Sunday Bloody Sunday which recounts the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Broken bottles under children’s feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end street
But I won’t heed the battle call
It puts my back up
Puts my back up against the wall

How long?
How long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
Cause tonight, we can be as one

Our teacher went on to say that artists who sing well sell albums, artists who sing with conviction sell biographies. The reason for this is that people are moved by convictions, not melody. Artists in this latter category are remembered beyond their generation and often change culture.

The same rule applies beyond the world of music. Those who have convictions change culture.

How The Dictionary Defines Convictions

Firmly held beliefs or opinions

Convictions are more than an idea, they’re a world view or value that you are willing to live or die for. They are not chosen or cheap, but are often developed through injustice, hardships or pain that we have experienced. We in turn become violent about our beliefs and use whatever medium we have to catapult our convictions into the world around us. Facebook, Twitter, and social media often reflect this.

With so many people fighting for the spotlight I sometimes wonder if they have anything of worth to say? Anything they would be willing to die for?

Fame has become based on skills and gifting and as such has become extremely cheap. The world can replace such people, what it cannot replace is the Martin Luther King Junior’s, the Mother Theresa’s and the Bono’s. People who stood up for something and changed culture as a result.

When you have something to say that your willing to die for, people will listen. Even if they don’t agree, they will listen. I think the primary reason is that we are all looking to live for something with a passion.

I have walked my own journey on this path.

In a bid to become a better writer I have thrown much time into developing my skills (which I do not regret), yet what I must not overlook is that it’s not well written literature that sells. Nor is my goal to sell literature. My goal is to influence people with my convictions. Writing, for me, has become a tool in which to do that. To impart values and deeply rooted opinions in the hope that people will experience inspiration, faith and Jesus.

Many of us seek to influence in some form or another, but just aren’t sure what we stand for. It’s not an easy process to discover your convictions, but essential if you seek to walk the road to influence.

I feel the question must be asked, “what are your convictions?” Without any you are just drifting through life adopting the cause of other people. You’ll never have your own to fight for and will wind up fighting for someone else’s values. As my teacher said, “the goal is to influence culture, not tickle ears”.

People are waiting to hear your voice.


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