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“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings
We all strive for greatness. Some make it all the way, while others fall short like second base.
Some can see past the clouded paths, while others are too afraid to cross.
We all have dreams and part of achieving greatness is reaching our dreams, reaching the life we were born to
live. But why does it seem like most people aren’t going after their dreams, and instead, settle for unfulfilling lives?
I became obsessed with studying people that have achieved greatness, not just celebrities, but people from all types of industries. My obsession started when I found myself feeling stuck and doing work that wasn’t aligned with my soul or my personality. At the age of 21 I was able to accomplish my dream of becoming a professional dancer for the Miami Heat, but only after a short year, I quit and began to do work that didn’t fulfill me.
Reflecting back on my life I asked myself– if all I ever wanted to do was dance, why did I quit? At that time I wasn’t as conscious as I am now and I built so many different “valid” excuses as to why I had to quit and due to my shallowness, I failed to look at the root of the problem. The truth is, I was scared, I didn’t feel as if I was good enough to be on a professional team. Unlike the other girls, I didn’t have professional training. I taught myself how to dance through YouTube videos in my room since my parents didn’t have the resources to pay for dance classes. Instead of propelling forward and practicing my techniques, I became discouraged and quit.
The Differentiating Attitude of Greatness
Just like myself, I am sure there are so many people out there that saw, “not good enough” or “fears” as a sign to quit. So many people tell themselves ” I’m no good at this so this must not be for me.” But the truth is that many people who accomplished greatness were told in their faces they didn’t have what it takes, and what made all the difference, was the way they reacted to that.
Take Oprah, she was told by a T.V. producer that she was “unfit for Television News”, look at her now! Oprah is now her own damn producer. So, what did Oprah do that most people don’t? She was relentless, she saw “not good enough” as “ok, let me work even harder now.”
Perseverance is a key element in achieving greatness. But, how do we persevere when things get tough? When we have fears? When we are “not good enough [yet]?”
COURAGE, not so much confidence, but COURAGE. What Oprah had was the courage to keep going. I can guarantee there were times that she didn’t know what she was doing, but she continued to do, do, do! As the saying goes– practice makes perfect. Going at it day after day is what will propel you to living the life of your dreams. So, if you have a dream bigger than what you think you can accomplish I want to encourage you to have the courage to do it anyway and keep at it!
Keep At it Until You’re Great
Once you have built the courage to follow your dreams and pursue greatness, remember to save some courage to face patience. For many people patience is scary. Make patience your best friend because to achieve greatness you must put in years of hard work, lots of focus, saying no to fancy vacations and bottle poppin’ with your friends. Greatness can sometimes take 10-50 years to accomplish, sometimes it may take a lifetime. No matter how long it takes never stop, keep going, love the f***ing process.
Reminder: Don’t ever quit at becoming the person you were born to be.