Accepting ourselves completely, striving to become better, and living by example are practical ways to win at the game of life. We must not aim for perfection, which can be tormenting and is not obtainable. Let’s shoot for the stars and live an extraordinary life full of goal achievement and vitality. There is greatness in each of you, not yet realized.
Steve Jobs once said during a Stanford graduation ceremony, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”¹⁶ Do what you think you can’t do, in order to actualize your true potential. Failing twice as much can get us to our destination much quicker. Being paralyzed by thinking about all the things that could go wrong leads us to nomad’s land. Start now, even without knowing everything. Learn, grow, and become better as you do more. Serve others and fulfill their desires by building the culture around and within your life. Making other people your number one priority, secondary to your family of course, pays massive dividends. Make sure your returns are in the black, not the red. Too much giving without reciprocal gifts can leave us empty and unfulfilled. Harmonious balance is a must. That is a path leading toward greatness, which you can achieve.
As kids, many of us probably experienced extremely painful growth spurts in our extremities. Similarly, growth pains through discomfort on the road to greatness makes us bigger, better, and stronger individuals. Be a creative problem solver by focusing on solutions. How about doing what’s uncomfortable today, thus leading to an extremely comfortable tomorrow? The temporary discomfort will dissipate into something that is a natural comfortable part of who we are. This encompasses skill, relationship, and growth building. Give that speech, ask him or her out, do the seemingly impossible. A good time to do something was yesterday, while the best time is today.
Get out of Loserville by running in the opposite direction away from bad influences. For heaven’s sake, stop making excuses and blaming others, which only hinders potential progress. Reasoning with logical rationale will not help us acquire our dreams and unleash greatness within. Real problems, such as the price of gas, cost of food, taxes, not being lent money, etcetera, are still excuses. Ask yourself, “Why am I not where I desire to be in life?” To remain blunt, the only accurate answer is, you. Remember, when we point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at us. Don’t fall victim to foolish mentality by being average or mediocre when you can become great.
During a Kari Jobe concert a man spoke about a young boy he observed while on a missionary trip. The child kept tiptoeing up to a volunteer missionary lady and saying, “Hola,” with a great big universal smile spanning from ear-to-ear while giving her monstrous hugs. The boy would hold the woman tight in his arms, while grinning extremely wide, day in and day out. He said, “Hola,” hugged her, smiled enormously large, and darted away. The boy’s behavior began to seem peculiar. Later, the volunteer missionary man found out through a translator that the boy had been bounced from one home to another, over and over, throughout his young life. From the ages of four through twelve, the boy fought to stay alive, while transiently living alone on perilous streets in isolated regions of South America. Finally, the young boy found a home where he became loved unconditionally and consistently, which gave him stability and hope.
“…Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV). Nourishing our mind, body, spirit, and soul with truths and life-giving principles keeps our cups plentiful. Worry does not add life, peace, joy, health, wealth, love, or any good thing to anyone. Stop being anxious and let it go. Be grateful for everything, use it advantageously for good, and drive on. The road toward sunrises and sunsets are but one beautiful ride. Replace fault-finding with good-finding and change pessimism to optimism, therefore transforming your life.
“I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLV). Moreover, the pain and suffering that child endured and overcame instilled strength, courage, resilience, and compassion into the depths of his soul. The boy cried when the volunteer lady had to leave because she reminded him of his new mom whom loved and cared for him dearly. The boy was immensely grateful.
Furthermore, through World Vision, a 13 year-old boy from Ghana in need of sanitary water, food, shelter, education, and hope is being sponsored. I am not asking anyone for donations to this cause, although start someplace by giving a portion of your money, time, talents, gifts, skills or abilities to a mission, vision, and purpose you believe to be worthy. Ideally, 80% or more of your monetary donation should go strictly toward the helpful cause and not to overhead, such as administration and marketing costs. Investigate and choose accordingly. Giving not only shows that we care, but creates an abundance mindset that we have more than enough. The character built through giving is infinitely more valuable than the act itself.
“Don’t be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7 NIV). God knows our heart’s genuine intentions, therefore let’s purify our love with sincere wholesome purpose. We truly do reap what we sow, thus sow seeds of greatness, today.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant” (Robert Louis Stevenson). The art of living is sowing seeds of greatness, much more so than reaping. Let serving and giving be pivotal maps that direct decision-making. The byproducts of giving and helping others think, grow, and become their best is cosmically of greater value than monetary gains.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 19:11 NIV). Education cannot be taken away or taxed upon. Never stop acquiring, developing, and strengthening the intangibles in your life. Persistently being truthful, kind, caring, loving, humble, accepting, and authentic, among many other intangible character traits are worthy of our time and deliberate efforts. Becoming the best version of ourselves opens gateways to greatness that no man, woman or child, or even heaven or hell can shut.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope” (Martin Luther King Jr.). While I breathe, I hope” (South Carolina license plate). Doing more for others gives hope, possibly changing an eternal trajectory of the heart toward greatness.
“What we do in life echoes for eternity” (Gladiator movie). Do the things that need to be done, courageously and humbly. Be so full of good that anything taken from you will not deplete your overflowing cup of goodness. Dare to be different, which is beautiful. You owe yourself and the world the best of you. Don’t strive to be ordinary, but extraordinary, reaching for your full potential.
“Thousands of candles can be lightened from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” (Buddha). Never underestimate the vast glory and power of a soul on fire. One person has the influence and ability to change the world, sending ripples of greatness, inspiration, and love that bolsters the human condition worldwide.
Having our cup half-full versus overflowing is not as important as what is in the cup. We must keep our cups upright with PMAs, while remaining open-minded and cooperative with ourselves, others, and the universe to even be able to accept wonderful donations of immeasurable magnitude into our cups. Fill yourself up with goodness, therefore greatness. Work to feel alive and don’t live to work by exchanging invaluable time doing something you’d rather not do with your one and only life. Find what you are truly passionate about that aligns with your values and principles, pursuing that ardent desire with a relentless and limitless can-do attitude. Eradicate fear, doubt, and unbelief by replacing it with gratitude, definitive purpose, and utter belief in your gifts, abilities, talents, and skills. Accept all of you–both good and bad. Use all of you to live your purpose with each breath of your being. Don’t forget to aspire for your unique purpose. Forget about what the world thinks regarding fame, money, and popularity. Those are byproducts of living you. You are and have an incredible gift, which can make the world a better place. Do you by being you–all of you. Create the best version of yourself so you can bet on you and achieve wonderful aspirations, while trusting yourself with your life.
Know your customs and why they are performed. Ask yourself, “Why do I think, believe or behave this way?” While in infancy we would learn ten different languages with ease if the people surrounding us spoke ten different languages consistently. If we grew up in an indigenous tribe that walked around naked, making their own weapons to hunt food, than conformity of that culture becomes normal. We tend to develop the same accents of the people around us growing up. Decide who you want to be and why. Don’t follow the herd mentality any longer. Unleash your unique one of a kind incredible greatness out into the universe, today.