Virtually everyone has dreams and desires within them that they would like to achieve, but many question whether they have the ability to achieve those dreams and desires. They lack the self-confidence in themselves and their abilities to believe that their dreams and desires are achievable. They often think that their dreams and desires are just wishful fantasies that can’t be realistically achieved. In order to achieve your dreams and desires, you must realize that you have the capability to achieve them, you have the greatness within you to achieve those dreams and desires.
Everyone is capable of achieving great things and accomplishments, but many times in our society, we are held back by one or more obstacles that prevent us from realizing this capability. The obstacles can vary; one such obstacle is that we are instilled with a limiting belief when we are very young that we can only achieve so much in our lives. It can be if we come from a poor family with very limited means and resources that we can’t get enough education and/or enough opportunity to raise ourselves out of poverty and into a higher wealth status. Our family has been poor for so long and our opportunities so limited that we just come to “accept the fact” that we can’t break out of that status and must continue to maintain that status.
Another obstacle is that our family has had many people enter into a specific field, and due to pressure from family members, we may feel that we have to enter that specific field as well, even though our true talents and greatness may lie within another field or occupation. If all of the members of a family have entered the military, a family member who doesn’t feel it is the best fit for him/her may still attempt to follow in his/her family’s footsteps and attempt to make a career in the military because other members of the family have done so successfully. To do otherwise may be considered an offense to the family or be looked upon as turning one’s back on the family, even though that person’s best talents and greatness lie in a career outside of the military.
It is obstacles such as these that often prevent people from finding the real greatness within them, that leads them to choose paths that they manage to do well enough, but that really don’t fulfill or satisfy them as another career path or life could do for them. That is unfortunate, as our true greatness will lead us to skills and career paths that both fulfill us in terms of what we want to do with our lives and being able to make the greatest difference in the world that we can. Fortunately, we don’t have to be bound by these obstacles, and we definitely shouldn’t if we want to find our true greatness and achieve the most success and accomplishments in our lives.
As human beings, we are most capable of doing our best work when we do something that inspires us, that truly motivates us to do our best work. Too often in our society today, many people just go through the motions of the tasks required by their occupation, just to obtain a paycheck in order to pay their bills, support their families, and keep a roof over their heads. In truth, many of those people are NOT satisfied by their current occupations, but they tolerate them and put up with them because they are skilled enough at the positions for the businesses to keep them, the salaries paid are high enough to maintain a decent or better quality of living, and the situation is better than having no work at all. However, in truth, many people are not satisfied, and they are not tapping into the greatness within them because they haven’t found their true calling and the occupation or tasks where their best skills and passions lie.
Therefore, it is important that we take the time and effort to try many activities and challenges in our lives to find out where our true skills and interest lie. This is often easiest to do in school and why many incoming college freshmen take their time to try many courses in an effort to determine what they are interested in and what they are good at. This is often why they do not declare a major until the end of their sophomore years (though some intensive career choices, such as business or medical degrees, can require them to declare by the end of their freshman year). However, if you are not a student (i.e. are older than a student), that doesn’t mean you can’t take on new challenges and activities to see if your best skills and your greatest interests lie elsewhere than what you are currently doing with your life.
For instance, you can volunteer for various charities that involve tasks and challenges that are outside of your “comfort zone,” what you are most used to doing. For example, if you are involved in the business world, such as an accountant, marketer, or chief executive officer (CEO), volunteering to help homeless people will likely involve different skills and attributes than you’d normally do in your everyday occupation. For instance, you may be cooking food, carrying supplies, and building homes, tasks you would not do in accounting, marketing, or business management. Volunteering can help to add new skills to your profile, plus it can give you insight into you as a person and help you find out if you can make a greater impact on our world in another way, find your true greatness within you and use it to help the world, and yourself as well.
Many people are afraid to go outside of their comfort zones and push themselves to do other things. One reason why is because they just don’t like feeling uncomfortable; as human beings, we like comfort and we like things that are familiar. We just have a tendency to avoid unfamiliar situations, partly out of natural instinct, and partly out of fear of the unknown. Another reason is that we are afraid that we will perform poorly at these new tasks and challenges we sign up or volunteer for, and as human beings, we are often fearful of performing poorly at tasks, partly because we are afraid we’ll get replaced by someone better in a work environment, and partly because we just don’t like performing poorly at something, as this brings down our self-esteem and self-confidence. A third reason is that, if we are performing poorly in front of others, we fear we may receive ridicule and/or criticism by them because we performed poorly in front of them.
To find your greatness, you need to overcome these fears and hesitations. It’s natural to feel these tendencies; even some of those who have done great achievements and accomplishments (i.e. found their greatness) have admitted they’ve felt butterflies or apprehension over trying something new, performing in front of other people, and/or just doing something different from what they are accustomed to doing. However, they found the courage and desire to overcome these fears and push themselves to do these different tasks and activities in order to expand their skill set, learn more about themselves, and determine where their true greatness lies. The key point is that, you can also do this; it is not limited to the successful or famous, as they were in a similar situation as you are now, just looking for their calling or greatness to help enrich their lives and enable them to provide the most value to the world.
You need to remember that no one is good at every activity that they do; most people need time to master a new skill or learn a new activity effectively. Therefore, you should not feel as if you are out-of-place or deficient because you try something new; in fact, you should be commended for doing something unusual and out of your ordinary routine because many people don’t even bother to do so (and why they often don’t find their greatness).
Additionally, if people would happen to ridicule or criticize you for trying and learning a new skill, that reflects poorly upon them, not you. You’re trying to better yourself to have a more enriching life and to make a better contribution to the world, both of which should be commended. It is likely that most people will welcome your effort to learn something new and to improve yourself rather than ridicule and criticize you for attempting to learn something new and not doing well with it at first.
It is said in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers that to become an expert at something, you need to spend a minimum of 10,000 hours (i.e. 20-hour days over a period of 10 years) of focus and practice on that topic. Very few people will reach that status, so this is another reason why you should not allow the criticism of a few people to deter you from trying something new, as it’s quite possible that those people are not “experts” themselves according to that definition. Additionally, even “experts” by that definition do not know everything, as they can always learn something new about their field of study as well, so these facts should reassure you in your effort to try new challenges and activities in an effort to expand your skill set, increase your knowledge of yourself and your abilities, and find the greatness within you.
By trying new activities and tasks, you should get a better understanding of who you are as a person and what drives or inspires you to increase your effort to do the very best work that you can do. First, you should learn your strengths and weaknesses of what you do well and what you struggle with. This will give you a better indication of what tasks/occupations you want to work with to achieve your inner greatness. Second, you will learn more about what inspires you to achieve greatness. What causes or goals do you want to achieve with your skill set that will drive you to go those extra steps to achieve them? This will also lead you to find out what you should be doing to achieve your inner greatness that will lead to a more fulfilling life and lead to greater contributions to the world.
Third, you will learn how to deal with adversity and setbacks by trying new activities and challenges. Life is often full of them; by dealing with adversity and setbacks during a new challenge or activity, you will learn the skills and attributes needed to handle more challenging setbacks in life, such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or even the loss of your home due to some disaster (fire, tornado, hurricane, flooding, etc.). When you willing put yourself out there to try to do something new and don’t do it very well, you have to deal with the unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation of not doing something well when you normally do your usual tasks well. This says much about your character and your willingness to improve your skill set and your effort to find your inner greatness, what you were truly meant to do to make the greatest positive contributions to this world.
Also keep in mind that no one is born great; they have to work at it in order to bring out that greatness within them. While some people figure out what they are most capable of doing and like doing at a young age, many people don’t really figure out what they are best at and most like doing until they are older. This is why many people in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s change professions and embark on a new “path” in life, looking to find a happier, more satisfying way of life that brings more positive contributions to their world. Many times, this is due to some activity they’ve been involved with on the side, such as volunteering for a cause such as the environment, or volunteering in their hometown and enjoying conversing with people and helping out those in need, etc.
This is why it’s important to always expand your horizons and take on new tasks and activities- you never know when one such task or activity will open up your eyes to a new path in your life that can lead to greater enrichment for you and lead to you making greater contributions to the world. It can lead to you finding your true inner greatness that is within you, just waiting to be discovered and utilized to the fullest extent possible.
Therefore, all people have greatness within themselves, but it is often difficult to find out what that greatness is and how it will manifest itself to where it makes the greatest contributions to our world. Many times, it’s due to limitations we ourselves and/or our society put on us, such as not believing we can change our status in the world or not wanting to do something different than what other family members have done. It’s also due to our own fear of trying new activities and tasks, partly because we don’t like to do something unfamiliar to us out of fear of embarrassment of not doing it well, plus the fear of being ridiculed by others because we didn’t do that new task well.
In truth, when we allow ourselves to be bound to our lives out of fear and avoid trying new tasks/challenges, we are limiting our own greatness because we’ll never know where our true talents lie and where our greatest passions and interests are. We may do our current tasks and occupations well enough to get a paycheck, support our families, and put a roof over our heads, but those tasks and occupations may not give us the emotional and mental satisfaction we really want out of life, plus they may not give us the opportunity to show the greatness we truly have within ourselves, including the opportunity to provide our best contributions to the world.
This is why we must always strive to try new activities and tasks in an effort to expand our skill set, to learn from the failures and difficulties of undergoing the new activity/task, to learn where our strengths and interests lie, and to grow as a person. No person knows everything; even experts in a field of study don’t know everything about it. To truly reach our greatness and our maximum potential as a human being, we must always be willing to grow, try new activities/tasks, and learn from the experiences we encounter, including the mistakes we make. Just doing the same mundane, usual tasks we always do will limit our potential and greatness as an individual, as we’ll never know whether we were capable of doing another task or occupation better, making better contributions to the world, and receiving the richest fulfillment from our work.