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I am 100% convinced that within each of us there is the potential for greatness. We are unique and in our talents and gift lies the seed for a purposeful life. Like you I sometimes felt that I am not enough, that I need to be in in a certain way or do certain things to be truly respected. These days I realize that both you and me are always totally enough and even more: We are great just through our being. Ironically it is this greatness that we are terribly afraid of as Nelson Mandela says:
This innate greatness longs to express itself. It longs to be shaped and to come to live in ever more creative forms. That admittedly is not easy. We need to take huge efforts, build up discipline, have the courage to stand up and master the challenges life throws at us. Yet, Mandela continues in the same speech: "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine " So I ask you: What brings you to shine? What is your innate greatness and how will you forge it?
Greatness and Humility necessarily go together. They are two sides of the same coin. We may all be humbled by the vastness of life. So many have lived before us and many are still to come. We are part of this story and there is so much to learn. As Socrates said: "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." There is never a point in live where we can say that the process finished and that we have arrived. That would not only be arrogant, but would also deprive us of the joy to keep on expanding and growing. The couple of greatness and humility also finds its way in this Chinese metaphor:
So, I really encourage all of us to step forward and show up in our greatness while being humble. This plays out on the individual level, but as my writings cover the art of collective evolution as well I share some learning on great collaboration.
I participated in and joyfully witnessed how people come together and build up a deep sense of trust and a shared purpose. Together we strive into a direction that gives us meaning and where we use our creativity to solve challenges together. Everybody's gifts are needed and welcomed. When we work in a great team, engage in great communities and collaborate in great networks or social movements we come alive. We joyfully contribute to something greater then ourselves. Not only do we feel a deep sense of belonging, but we also get great work done. We innovate side by side and the fruits of our efforts are abundant. We raise our voices together to address a challenge none of us could deal with alone. So the question I raise for your reflection is: "How will your greatness flow into the thrilling journey of getting things done together?"
As always I am building a bridge to practice. The questions I posed above are a starting point:
Dive deep into your unique gifts and contribution. Once you grasp what you are passionate about keep learning about it and experiment with some practical projects.
On the way you will face obstacles and the nagging voice at the back of your head that tells you that it is not possible anyways. Build the courage to move beyond that fear and see how greatness will unfold a bit more every day.
Let´s allow ourselves to shine. We have so much to offer and it would be a shame if we do not go for it.
I wish all of us an awesome and challenging time to rock life in a great and humble way, both on our individual journeys and when we get together in great collaborations!