Coach Ryan's Corner: Your Voice Can Move Mountains

“This is the time of Jed Bartlet, old friend. You’re gonna open your mouth and lift houses off the ground. Whole houses, clear off the ground.” – Leo McGarry (The West Wing – In the Shadow of Two Gunmen – part II)


There are a lot of life lessons in The West Wing. I could have chosen any – especially from season 2. In my mind, those are the 22 best episodes of any TV show I’ve ever seen.

Who says that TV can’t be smart and literate anymore? (It’s been off the air since 2006…I’m just sayin’.)

For a little context, this was in a flashback between Leo and Bartlet when Jed was running for president. Leo was trying to instill Bartlet with a bolt of confidence.

He was trying to show his old friend that his voice carried the weight of the world. He could open his mouth and move mountains.

I recently learned a hugely powerful lesson about myself. And this scene is the one that really brought it home.

I was exchanging emails with someone about someone else (no names, gotta keep this vague.) And I made a petty joke about the person I’m writing the email about. And the person to whom I wrote the email called me out on it.

I’ve always used my sense of humor as a crutch. Self-deprecation has been how I got (or so I thought) people to like me. If I could get people to laugh at me, then I’d be liked and appreciated.

While this call out triggered me, I treated it as an opportunity to take a look at something within myself. I treated it as an opportunity to grow.

Ah, who am I kidding? I was kicking and screaming!

But as I was getting complete around this, it hit me.

My voice is important. I’m no longer simply a face in the crowd. My voice is read every week on the Good Men Project – a worldwide platform. My books have a following. My clients hang onto my words. My voice has weight and gravitas in my relationships.

My voice is important. When I empower my voice and the things I say, I could lift houses off the ground. I could move mountains.

And I’ve got something to share with you. You ready?

Come closer…move your phone closer…your computer screen…ready?

I’m serious, can you take this? Can you handle this?

You have the power to move mountains in your life. With only your word, you have the power to move mountains. All you have to do is light your fire and spray it with diesel and kerosene!

Be a king! Be a queen! Go move some houses!


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Let’s inspire each other. Let’s encourage each other. Let’s lift each other up.