Einstein said that brilliance is about knowing what questions to ask versus having all the answers.
Why are mental health issues on the rise across America? Why have suicide rates in the U.S. increased substantially over the past two decades to become the 10th-leading cause of death? Why are we seeking to legalize marijuana when excessive alcohol use results in roughly 88,000 deaths per year? Why are today’s college students more anxious and depressed than any other generation in history? Why is opioid abuse on the rise?
These are tough questions. Yet asking why can become the seeds to greatness!
Greatness in terms of discovering new medical breakthroughs and improving wellness; greatness in launching new business ventures; greatness in preserving our environment; greatness in discovering ways to enhance quality of life for everyone and greatness in building the social and economic vitality of our communities.
Greatness begins in each and every one of us. It begins with asking the question why about something that we feel strongly about. To find out what you feel strongly about and discover your greatness, consider the following:
- What annoys you? While Joseph Campbell encourages us to follow our bliss, I have found in working with hundreds of clients over the years as a success coach, that pursuing what irks you fuels more energy and desire to succeed. For example, one client who had suffered years of abuse as a child grew up to become a successful lawyer and child advocate. Author, Philip Wylie, wrote a book about being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as an adult and how helpful it can be as a result of his own personal life experiences. In both of these examples, they took an issue that they faced in their own life and created a solution for others who face the same.
- Raise your consciousness. In every minute of every day, there are opportunities to be seized and messages that can help us tune in better to our authentic selves – IF we can see and hear them. Use your phone to set an alarm for four times each day to step back, breathe and take in your surroundings as well as check in on what you’re thinking and feeling at that moment.
- Trust your intuition. We all possess intuitive powers and always have – men and women. However, many of us have been socialized to not believe this or to view it as somehow less than trustworthy. Not only is this untrue, but there is scientific evidence that our intuition can be spot on in terms of helping us to make good choices and to connect with what we’re truly passionate about it – to connect with our greatness.
- Act now. When you think about it, we are never totally prepared. Whether it’s a job interview, exam, first date, or new job, we simply can’t know it all in advance. The same is true in the pursuit of greatness. It’s the pursuit itself that brings about profound and transformative change. For example, it is the process of working on a cure for cancer that is continually improving treatments that result in better quality of life and longer life. If scientists waited until they felt they knew everything they needed to know before acting, we might never have these breakthroughs. The same is true for all of us. It’s not whether we know everything we need to know, have experienced what we need to have experienced, or developed just the right skills. It’s simply taking one step at a time to pursue something you believe strongly in that starts the journey. Along the way, you’ll learn more, experience more, develop more skills, and even engage others in sharing your goals.
- Stand on the shoulders of those that come before you. This simply means researching who has pursued breakthroughs in areas that interest you. Who has made a positive impact? How did they do this? What can you learn from them? These and other questions can help you to get to where you want to be a lot faster and with a lot more results.
In summary, finding your greatness starts within. It starts with asking yourself what you feel strongly about. From here, your ability to raise your awareness and hone your intuition becomes a strong ally in your journey. A journey that starts today and builds on the successes of the great leaders that have come before you.