Article first published on www.linked2leadership.com
If we want to create a great life, we must first create the greatness in ourselves. Greatness is usually coined in terms of success, but what if winning isn’t everything? What if “simply making the effort to win” is the path to greatness?
Often, the focus on results and their rewards are the things we rely upon to provide us with life lessons. This is because we’ve come to believe that ”the great lessons of life” are the things seen, felt, heard, and experienced outside of one’s self.
- From the time we were in grade school, we are taught that the best answers in life come from books or from someone else’s head.
- To emphasize a point, we often quote a leader who lived a great life—it gives heft to our argument.
- By association, we are also great thinkers, or so the thinking goes.
These examples of great results are overt and outside of ourselves. They are awake in the public domain.
But what if a secret to a great life could regularly be found somewhere else? What if many wonderful treasures are buried inside of us, just waiting to be recognized?
To really tap the goldmine of wealth, what the world really needs to hear are those ideas inside your head!
The World of YouTube
Good ideas do not need to be huge; they just need to be yours.
The founders of YouTube started out with a easy way to share videos on-line. It was a simple idea but a short ime later they sold their company to Google for $1.6 billion and “Time” magazine named their idea the Invention of the Year.
To live a great life is this:
Never ask, “Can I do this?” Instead ask, “How can I do this?”
Dreams or Nightmares?
I spent a great deal of my early life lacking confidence in my ability to make my dreams come true. And then there was always that exhortation from adults to do this:
“Quit dreaming . . . be practical!”
It wasn’t until I was an adult before I realized that there will always be someone to remind us we can’t, or shouldn’t, or won’t.
As I became more personally empowered, I began to understand that I can, should, and will.
Getting through the FBI Academy as a new agent presented many challenges for me. I found push ups and the six-mile run to be very difficult. But these were requirements and failure to show excellence in all areas could mean being washed out from the Academy.
If I didn’t take responsibility for my own dreams right then and there, I’d never see them come true.
Grab Your Great Life
Here are the best-practices that empowered me to overcome the obstacles I faced so I could live the great life I dreamed about:
1) Examine the labels you give yourself
The labels that others give you don’t matter as much as the ones you give yourself. Those that are self-imposed are boundaries that can limit where you move. Subconsciously, you may not let yourself cross them.
“Not an athlete“ was a label quickly given to me in the first few days of the Academy. I trained but made little progress. I gradually came to understand that not only had my classmates given me this label, but that I had accepted it, too. As long as I kept it, I wouldn’t be able to move beyond the self-imposed boundaries.
Once I peeled back the label, I found an inner strength that translated to physical strength as well.
2) Empower from the inside
Empowerment is an attitude that is quiet and tranquil.
It’s not noisy and fragmented. Empowerment comes by having a steady purpose—a goal. I knew I would attain it when I finally believed it—I needed to believe I could become an FBI agent. Then my goals and purpose came into sharper focus.
3) Drive back the fear
Not only did I have difficulty with push ups and the 6 mile run, I couldn’t swim and had a fear of heights. Jumping off a twenty-foot diving board was another one of the requirements to graduate from the Academy. Never have I felt fear as acutely as I felt looking down from the top of the diving board.
What propelled me to take the jump? I wanted the badge more than I feared the water. I decided I wanted it more than I was afraid of it.
A great life happens when you follow that voice that only you can hear. Once you hear it, and follow it, your life will become a wonderful adventure—Your Best Adventure!
What leadership labels have you accepted from others? What labels do you give yourself? How do you empower yourself to achieve your goals?
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