Sometimes it takes others to recognize our greatness. You have heard before that we are our worst critics; this is true. Think back to something that you didn’t accomplish and how hard you were on yourself. During these times, it is can be a little challenging to accentuate the positives. There is a very good reason why you failed and while you are wallowing in your sorrow, the lesson that should be learned may never be learned. The greatness you possess is sometimes clouded by the judgment you pass on yourself based on your recent loss. Dust yourself off and try again.
Growing up I did not realize that I had innate leadership abilities. During the close of my junior year in High School, my English teacher Ms. Grice approached me prior at the end of the class and said, “Joe, I need to see you after class”. Naturally, I assumed I had done something wrong because I’ll admit, I was a little bit of a trouble maker who certainly did not know nor cared what the future held. Seconds before the bell rung, Ms. Grice’s eyes were fixated on mine as she gestures for me to walk towards her. Unsure about the subject of our meeting, with bated breath I was ready to hear my crime and accept my punishment. Ms. Grice looks at me and says, “Young man, you have a gift. A gift of connecting with people. Every time you say something, your peers listen. You need to put that to good use and not waste it.” The good use Ms. Grice was referring to was running for Senior Class President; a position I had absolutely no interest in seeking.
The subsequent weeks felt like years as I participated in a battle that I had never entered before against a machine I knew nothing about. Sun Tzu would object to my approach on what I considered a war, namely because it is important that you fully understand your enemy if you are going to win the war. Ok, my opponents were not the enemy and this was not a real war yet I was determined to claim victory. The morning announcements concluded with the results of the election and I appropriately sat in Ms. Grice’s class as we all waited. Minutes later my name was announced as the winner. I walked over to Ms. Grice; the well of her eyes began to fill with tears as she reached out to hug me. She said, “I knew you could do it if you only tried. I’m so proud of you.” Thus began my journey of understanding my gifts and maximizing their uses for the good of the order.
While it may take others to recognize our greatness, we must also strive to recognize the greatness in others; especially if they don’t see it in themselves. Ms. Grice helped discover something in me that I had no clue existed. Just like she did for me, I have continued to pay it forward, helping others realize the greatness they innately possess.
As your eyes read these words; your greatness is being manifested.
To The Top!
How different would your life be if everything was perfect? What if you were working the job you’ve always wanted, had a healthy and happy family and lived in your dream home? What if your greatest worry was simply waking up the next morning? What if all of this was true? Could your life be what you’ve always dreamt it could be? Is it really that farfetched? In many people’s minds, this is not a reality that they will ever know. Simply because they haven’t discovered the thing that makes all of the aforementioned possible; that thing called vision.
Vision means having an unusual competence in discernment or perception; intelligent foresight. Being visionary forces you to focus on the future. Your head & shoulders can only face one direction at a time; you cannot look forward if you are constantly looking backwards. While the past may serve and should serve only as a reference guide, most people use the past to dictate their present and not their future. Most people make the critical error of allowing their past to control many of the outcomes in their lives by spending time focused on something you can never change; the past. Visionaries use the past as a road-map to eliminate the possibilities of running into the same obstacles over and over again. When the obstacle won’t move, you must.
If you cannot see or visualize how great you can become, it will be nearly impossible to live up to your full potential. While it is very important to focus on and have the ability to drill down to details, it is imperative that you learn to develop the skill of visualizing everything from a bird’s eye view. Being a visionary means having the ability to see that which is not there yet maintain the belief that it will appear one day. When we intently focus on something, just like magic, it seems to magically appear in our lives. If you want to start living a more fulfilling life, you must create a mental picture of what that life specifically looks like. While some claim to have the ability to see the future, you certainly have the ability to see and create the future you want to see in your life starting today. Open your eyes and witness the possibilities.
Having a vision is critical to your success; if you can’t see where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
To The Top!
Where you start isn’t always where you’ll end up. Don’t be afraid to pay your dues in order to reap the rewards of your efforts. We live in a society today where most people want what they aren’t willing to work for. Even more overvalue their contribution to any given organization or corporation. I researched top executives who started out at the very bottom of the barrel and built their way up the proverbial corporate ladder. Here are a few of their stories.
Wally Amos started working in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency before he developed his world-renown chocolate chip cookie recipe. He attended the Food Trades Vocational High School and was inspired by his aunt’s homemade cookies. Famous Amos cookies can be found everywhere in the world.
Sidney Weinberg didn’t have an Ivy League education and didn’t come from a wealthy family but he lead investment giant Goldman Sachs for almost forty years. He started out as a janitor’s assistant, earning $3 per week brushing hats and wiping mud off from the firm partners’ shoes before he was promoted to mailroom clerk.
This Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox began her career as a mechanical engineering intern and worked her way up. As an African-American female in the corporate world the odds were stacked against her but Ursula M. Burns was not afraid of hard work. She leads more than 140,000 employees of Xerox who serve clients in more than 160 countries.
These are a few examples of how hard work pays off and proves that you don’t have to be ashamed to start from the bottom. If you are able to visualize the future, where you are today becomes less important than where you could be tomorrow. Maintain the understanding that your future is only as bright as your vision for it. Nothing worth having ever came easily so start where you are and work your way TO THE TOP!
To The Top!
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