Pursuing the Greatness Within
Many of us take the start of a new year as an opportunity to consider where we've been, where we are, and where we'd like to go. We think of success as a destination. But what if it's less about a place than a person? What if success is about something we already have--our own inner potential?
I like to call this pursuing the greatness within. By greatness I don't mean awards on the wall, things that other people give to us, although those are meaningful in a different way. In this blog, I'm referring to what happens when we place the onus on ourselves.
The pursuit of greatness is not a matter of destiny. It's a matter of choice. Each of us decides whether we'll work to discover and share our unique greatness. Pursuing greatness leads to living a life of significance. As Henry David Thoreau said, “One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something.”
Many of us are still working to discover, develop and share what that something is. Some of us may not even have begun to try. Our greatness may be untapped, underdeveloped and hidden.
Whether you're already on that journey or are just starting, take a moment to deepen your conviction to pursue greatness without fear. Don't be shy about sharing that greatness with the world. Pursuing the greatness within yourself is one of life’s key purposes.
The following four steps can help you discover and foster the unique greatness you have within yourself.
1. Believe in what you're capable of.
Steve Jobs said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do.” Believing comes before doing. Before you can accomplish great things, you need to believe you are capable of doing them.
2. Be intentional with your life.
In order to pursue and share your unique greatness, you have to be intentional in how you lead your life. Intention leads to effective action and a life with significance. As John Maxwell wrote, “Intentional living is the bridge that leads you to a life that matters.” A life worth living is a life worth living well.
3. Constantly reinvent yourself.
Many of us look at our life and our current achievements, and we assume that's all we're capable of doing. It can happen unconsciously. We enjoy our accomplishments so much we don't look beyond them. But that can seriously limit our potential. And the result is a life that's … well, ordinary.
Jim Rohn challenges us to reinvent ourselves. He wrote, “When the end comes for you, let it find you conquering a new mountain. Not sliding down an old one.”
4. Be passionate and persistent in your pursuit.
It's too easy to focus on things we think are not possible. What if we switch that thinking? Instead of thinking about what we can't do, why don't we think of what we can? That's what it means to be passionate and persistent in your pursuit. Believe big even when you start small.
Being persistent is the greatest challenge there is. You have to welcome change no matter how difficult it might be. It helps to surround yourself with people who are also pursuing their greatness within.
Focus on your potential, not your limitations. If you do, instead of seeing problems, you'll see possibilities. Look at the world around you. Think about how your contribution could leave the world a better place.
Call to Action:
1. Ask yourself how the world has been made different because you were born?
2. What do you dream of doing, yet haven't accomplished?
3. How can you apply the greatness within yourself to make a difference?
“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
It starts with you. You've got this!