I absolutely love quotes. Every now and again one jumps out at me and won’t let me go like this one from Mr. Lois. This quote was hidden on the 110th page of the “On Passion” section of this month’s edition of Forbes magazine. Being an entrepreneur, I immediately thought about how this related to potential new business owners, but the more I thought about it, this quote is for every living human being. If I’ve learned one thing going into my twelfth year of being in business for myself, it’s that everyone isn’t made to be an entrepreneur. However, everyone was put here on Earth for a purpose and the sad reality is many people don’t even bother to discover what their purpose is, much less fulfill it. Many people wander through life settling for a mediocre existence, not because they weren’t born for something greater. More often times than not, it’s because of one simple yet powerful emotion, fear.
What is it that we are afraid of anyway? For some it may be failure, for others it may be success, but why is that? Is it because we are afraid of what others might think or say? If we all just accepted the reality that all of us are human and we all have something to be fearful of wouldn’t that be enough to motivate us pass the fears of others’ opinions? Maybe that’s not it. Perhaps it is the responsibility that comes along with being great that people fear.
In my line of work I get to talk to people every day about what we call a “WHY”. It can be an acronym for What Has You. Simply put, if you could have it your way and time and money were no issue, what would you be doing and who would you help? Frequently in those same conversations I hear the excuses people give themselves for why they can’t be great. They say they want more but they don’t have enough time or energy or resources to go after it. But is that the truth? Could it be that we are instead choosing to believe the lies our fears are telling us? I’ve come to the conclusion that it is the latter. Because if that were the case, if it really were a lack of time or resources or even opportunity, those who have come from literally nothing to go on and be a great success would not have been able to do it. I live for the success stories of people who literally had no other option but to win because it helps me take all my excuses off the table for why I can’t achieve my own greatness.
Going back to responsibility, I believe our job and responsibility as human beings is to first seek and understand God’s purpose for our lives and then live boldly in that purpose. Some of us have a purpose that is larger in scope than others but I refuse to believe that any of us were put here on this Earth to just survive. I get it. I once believed that I was more comfortable and safe collecting a paycheck every two weeks from a job I didn’t like in lieu of being in pursuit of my WHY. Then I had a mindset shift. I asked myself what if it’s even more dangerous to get to the end of life, which could be at any moment, and realize we didn’t do all we could to be great?
Here’s another pertinent quote: “Action cures fear.” Go out there and slay the dragons of mediocrity today by taking action towards your greatness.
[…] It felt good up there. As I was singing I started to wonder, why has it really been that long since I last performed? I offered up a bunch of excuses in my head, but after contemplating more on that after the performance, the only thing that made any sense for me was fear. Have you ever noticed, in general the older we get, the more fear we have? The fear of being judged, rejected and perhaps most of all, failing is so powerful. I wonder how many unrealized dreams, including my own, have been stopped by that one powerful emotion (See Why Won’t We Be Great). […]