What if you came to the end of your life only to realize you never lived it; that you never attained your fullest potential because you spent your life trying to be someone else other than you?
How would that make you feel?
Most of us spend a lot of time trying to be someone or something else while neglecting to focus on who we really are.
There is so much potential in each and every one of us that if we can only focus on it; and try our best to be the best version of us, we can achieve greatness beyond our wildest dreams.
However, the tragedy with most people is that they spend most of their lives trying to be someone or something they are not. This quest for significance drives people to try on every fad that comes up.
There are those who want to be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, etc.
Because others have attained dizzying greatness in their field, we equate our own success and greatness to their own; and so we live a life of comparison and competition; trying at every turn to be like so and so.
At the core of this quest is the fact that every human being is wired for greatness.
You and I were meant to achieve significance and greatness. However, this greatness cannot be attained by just modeling others’ success.
The problem with modeling others who have gone before you is that at best you can only succeed at becoming their shadow version. You may do your best to be like Bill Gates; but at the end of the day, your achievements will only be a shadow version of Bill Gates’ achievements.
I know what you may be thinking: that you won’t mind being any version of Bill Gates!
But what if you were wired to do something different? To be someone different? To be you?
There is a sweet old song by a lady called Charlene that says: I have been to paradise, but I have never been to me.
The first time I heard this song I thought to myself; what a tragedy to live another’s life only to realize you never lived your own.
The happiest people in the world are not those who are trying to live like so and so, but those who are busy living the life that God created for them. These people understand that happiness is not in the quantity of stuff they accumulate, but in the quality of life they have.
How to attain true greatness
1. Know you
Who are you, really?
To begin your journey to greatness, you need to discover who you really are. What are your values? What do you hold dear?
If you were to be dissected (God forbid), what components will be arraigned on the table of your life?
Every day we meet with people that seek to know, for whatever reasons, how we are. The question how are you is thrown at us many times in a day.
However, a majority of people are not interested in who you really are; but you must be. If you don’t know who you really are, how would you live the life that you were meant to live?
Before you commence your journey to greatness, take time to focus on finding out who you are; what makes you tick.
2. Locate you
Now that you know who you are, the next question is to ask yourself: where am I?
The journey to greatness starts somewhere.
You need to find where you are in relation to where you should be. You may discover that where you currently are is not where you should be. If this is the case, you need to retrace your steps to where you lost the way and get back on track.
To establish whether you are on location or lost, look at the environment around you. Is it conducive or supportive to your goals?
Are the people, places and resources around you helping you to achieve your goals; or are they sabotaging you?
3. Do you
Now that you know who you are and where you are, you must discipline yourself to only do you. As you pursue your dreams, stay true to who you really are. Avoid the temptation to mirror the lives of others no matter how enticing they may appear.
Let’s avoid the tragedy of Solomon, the wise guy in the Bible who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. After pursuing every conceivable passion that caught his fancy; as he came to the end of his life, he realized that all that he had achieved in his earthly life was like a chasing of the wind – vanity. One can detect a grim sense of regret at the realization that he spent most of his life pursuing vanities when all he needed to do was to “fear God and obey His commandments” (Ecc 12:13).
Remember you have only one life to live in this world. How you live it is entirely up to you. But it will be a disaster for you to come to the end of your days only to realize that, like Solomon, you never unwrapped your life?
Cheers to you!!