Greatness is not given, it is chosen.
Becoming great is gritty. It's also a gift.
We are all designed to be great, to create legacy, to impact others in ways that truly matter. Greatness is in us, we just have to cultivate it, choose it, create it, let it blossom.
Every one of us has the capacity to be great, great on our own terms. The ways we can distract ourselves from what truly matters keeps greatness and the rewards it offers at arm's length distance. This world is full of distractions and denial. Convenience strips away character all too often. Greatness is inconvenient and it's what we all seek. Being great, feeling great, having a sense of integrity and purpose and impact, it is chosen.
Making choices that lead to personal fulfillment, provide for others and are meaningful are not often easy. The convenient choices are mediocre at best; they don't leave people with more value than before they started.
Why does anyone want to achieve greatness?
Why do you want to be great?
Greatness is chosen in quiet moments where no one will give us credit. We must have our own compelling reason to overcome the resistance of convenience, old programming and fear in order to build our character. This is where greatness is cultivated and grows into giants.
What we value defines what greatness is for each of us. Once we identify what matters to us, we can create a road map with simple stops along the way to choose, create and achieve what we desire. Greatness is not about getting credit for anything, it is really rooted in serving others and defying ordinary or easy.
Defining greatness for ourselves will reveal what we value. This is a benchmark of living mindfully and on purpose.
How do we become great? It's actually quite simple, though far from easy. While it might look unique for each of us, here are some guidelines for how we can start creating greatness in ourselves from the inside out.
1. Choose how we spend our time. From work to hobbies, daily habits to what we do when no one is watching, how we spend our time reflects what we value. Are the things that are bringing us closer to growth outweighing the mindless distractions and dramatic interactions? This is the most valuable aspect of our lives, how we utilize the time we have. Maybe sitting in silence in the sunshine is a way to start spending time more meaningfully, instead of being on our phones or scrolling facebook.
2. Choose who we spend our time with. This includes who we interact with, the relationships we invest in, what we allow into our sacred inner space. Jim Rohn said "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." This shook me when I first heard it... did I like who I was? Was I contributing to other people being less than they wanted to be? What a call to level up! If we become like the people we spend the most time with, think about who we surround ourselves with. This goes for books and music, TV and social media, friends and family, intimate partners and teachers. We can be built up or put down by our interactions. Seek out people we want to be like, who we enjoy, who challenge us and compel us to stretch our comfort zones, learn more, give more and grow. When there aren't people like this physically around, creating space for them to enter in can be uncomfortable. Choose this... this is greatness tucked in discomfort. Read more books, listen to podcasts, join a virtual mastermind. Getting creative during the in between times is part of leveling up.
3. Commit to the process of becoming great. Making decisions holds tremendous power. Defining what it is to be great, envisioning how it feels and the ways it impacts others is a sure fire way to start choosing things that lead to a bigger sense of meaning. To be great requires choosing great. Decisions come from commitments. Where can we commit to take action or make adaptations today? Is there something simple that is sucking the dreams out of us instead of infusing them into us? How can committing to our highest selves happen now, even if there's doubt or shame or a lot to learn? Decide. Simply decide to be willing and think about how it will feel to start embodying this. There's magic in this. Try it.
4. Model others who we admire. Think of someone who inspires. This person is an example to follow. Look at how they walk, how they pay attention to others, what they stand for, why they inspire us. Are they getting out of their comfort zone regularly? Do they offer support to others? Where have they overcome difficulties? What attitude or mindsets do they exhibit? Genius is in following others who have results we desire. This is not about becoming them, its about learning from their experience to achieve what we desire. Mentorship is the X factor of success.
5. Believe. Believing in ourselves is so important. However small the belief is now, nurture it. Letting ourselves dream about how stepping into our purpose and cultivating, then sharing the gifts only we have, makes them blossom. When dreams are felt, imagined, allowed to grow, we become more committed to creating them. The beauty in dreaming is that there is no ceiling unless we create one, or keep building the ones others have handed down to us. Our greatness is ours, unique and needed by the world.
6. Expect resistance. Then embrace it. Discomfort is a sign of growth. Greatness requires us to grow. We have to grow out of the beliefs that have kept us playing small, being in a victim mindset, holding resentments, choosing abuse over abundance. We get to grow beyond the places that have hurt us, held us captive, hindered our ability to create in the ways we are capable of. Resistance is the initiation of becoming great. Expect it. Embrace it. Reframe that it means something is wrong, affirm that resistance means something is right! We are growing into greatness with every choice to stare doubt, fear, naysayers or impatience in the face and fuel our dreams, values and hope instead.
7. Be intentional about mindset. Perspective and attitude pain our world. Who we become comes from what we believe. Challenging the default of negativity, selfishness, victimhood, small focus takes times. Greatness is not overnight, it is over time. Focusing on what is true, seeing the full spectrum of our experience, leads to wisdom and maturity. Yes, there is pain and discouragement. There is also opportunity and resilience. How do we want to live? How we live comes from what we believe. Digging up the mindsets that trip us up, keep us stuck, blame others and stay in denial will make us great... long before its obvious to ourselves or anyone else. Reframe disappointment into seeing the lessons learned, feeling the emotions and choosing what we want to take away from it. This is not a one time deal, it has to be repeated again and again. Intentionality will not be appealing, do it anyway.
8. Ask for help. We all need support and it's here for us! In becoming more mindful of who we spend time with, we can trust that it's safe to be vulnerable and seek accountability, perspective, support and a pep talk when we need it. There is no such thing as a self made success story. We are all in this together. A rising tide raises all ships. Choose to be in the rising tide and ask for help when it's needed, offer it when others seek it. Learning to receive is part of what makes us great; humility and receptivity are endearing qualities that make us human. Vulnerable and strong, we ask for help and receive it because becoming great is so important that we do whatever it takes.
9. Notice the growth. Then celebrate it. Greatness is not a destination to get too. It's a process of becoming, of learning, of giving, or growing. Seeing where growth is happening and how we are changing matters. Giving ourselves applause, quiet kudos, gratitude for doing the hard thing because we care about our character - this is greatness in action. Growth is gritty. It's also such a gift. Savor it. Simple moments can be so rewarding. Notice them. Then keep creating them.
We are all designed to be great.
Taking stock of our lives will be a wake up. Consider this a gift, an invitation to choose again what we want and how we will move toward greatness. What do we have to release? Where will be bring more focus? How amazing will it feel to prove to ourselves that we are worthy of being great, whether others notice or not?
Whether we feel like it or not, much is required to be great. Intentionality, discipline, honesty, integrity, trust, generosity, going against the grain. Normal is convenient. Greatness is earned.
Giving up what we want now for what we want most is a staple in the greatness game. Accept responsibility for the choices only we can make and results they lead to. Act into positivity, productivity, authenticity, discipline and greatness.
Become then get. Being who we want to be through our daily routine leads to receiving what we desire. Try it. Prove me wrong. Prove this theory right. What is there to lose, really?
Get gritty. Become great. The world needs the true you.
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas