I intend my annual New Year’s letter this year to be a bit different than it has been in the past. It will be a less philosophical/conceptual letter and more a Vocal Awareness blueprint that I will lay out in bullet point as a map for taking the Journey.

Personally, as I approach my 68th birthday and I look back in awe at the arc of my life, I am stunned by the privilege I have been given—first and foremost, the privilege of being a teacher. I certainly did not understand or know this when I first began but I know it now. Whether I am referencing myself and what I need to learn, sharing life lessons with my life partner, raising our children or interacting with them as adults, I am always Arthur and who I am is a Teacher.

I share this perspective because each and every one of us every day is always learning. I am proposing that when we live in the 6th Ritual of Vocal Awareness—Pay Attention/Deeper Listening—we create the opportunity for being open and consciously attune ourselves to always learning.

In the last chapter of my latest book, Vocal Leadership: 7 Minutes a Day to Communication Mastery, I introduce a vision for what I call the Human Achievement Movement. Throughout the book I speak from the perspective that we cannot lead others without first leading and embodying excellence for ourselves. In Vocal Awareness this principle is what I call “spiritual pragmatism.” It is not enough to didactically or unconsciously go through the motions of our daily lives when the possibilities are so much greater and the consequences of doing so are so dire. Everything we do whether we are conscious of it or not involves mind/body/spirit.

As I mature, I have discovered that the same obstacles in behavior patterns may be part of what I do, but they are not who I am. They are simply behaviors. I still make mistakes every day, sometimes glaring ones that are difficult to deal with—we all do—apparently, a part of being human. What we learn and how we deal with it is the opportunity that emanates from these experiences.

In Vocal Awareness our process is called the Work. An element within that is steadfast patience and a commitment to embody the best of ourselves—to forgive when necessary—to claim when appropriate.

No one else will know our intrapersonal conversations. No one else will ever have our experience. Even in our most intimate relationships, on one level people may only know what we tell them but on another, they will know energetically because everything is vibrational/energetic.

So now a selection of Vocal Awareness principles and foundational words that contribute to the blueprint for the Journey that I spoke of in the beginning:

  • Integrity
  • Forgiveness
  • Strength
  • Courage
  • See challenges—not obstacles.
  • Balance
  • Simplicity
  • Lead by example.
  • Work hard but with respect of Self.
  • Discipline
  • Structure does not impinge; it liberates.
  • Know even when you do not believe.
  • We are not our behaviors.
  • Patience
  • Passion
  • Fortitude
  • Voice is Power.
  • When you own your Voice, you own who you are.
  • Claim your Self—with humility.
  • Rigorous
  • Surrender/Serve/Soar
  • It is not enough to have goals, there must always be a Vision and a Game Plan.
  • The three T’s: Timing/Talent/Tenacity—Tenacity being the most important

The last chapter of Vocal Leadership closes with the following paragraph:
“In turn, please use this book to create a new paradigm for yourself and everyone you touch. Be like the rock that, when thrown into the pond doesn’t merely make a splash and then sink to the bottom. Instead that splash, large or small, sends concentric rings across the pond impacting everything they come in contact with. Through this Work, just as the rings energetically extend across the surface of the pond, you, too, have the opportunity to make an impact. It is inevitable. Seize it! If one person can make a difference, imagine what millions together can do.”

This Journey is all we have. We are here to make a difference.


Arthur Samuel Joseph M.A., founder and chairman of the Vocal Awareness Institute, today is widely-recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the human voice. A renowned teacher/mentor, Mr. Joseph’s mission is to Change the World through Voice. His trademarked, proprietary voice and leadership training program, Vocal Awareness,™ is designed to teach Communication Mastery through a disciplined regimen of highly- specific techniques designed to cultivate an embodied and enhanced leadership presence, as well as personal presence, through body language techniques, vocal warm-ups, and storytelling skills. What emerges is an integrative and integral communication style. read more