motivational mondays – how great you are

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It has been 7 weeks and 6 days since I quit my job.

It has been 7 weeks and 6 days since I took my first true direction-changing choice with my life. For 25 years, my life was predetermined. I rolled with it. I did everything that was expected: I went to school and I got good grades; I went to work and stored money for college; I went to college and stored knowledge for work; I got internships, I networked, I got a job, and I made friends. Challenges were met and overcome along the way, but they were challenges laid before me by a system I entered into because it was normal. Because it was expected.

I have now done what is unexpected. And in that, I have incidentally inspired.

incidental inspiration

I say this with no pride. It has been a song sung to me for the past 7 weeks and 6 days, and it is a heartening song, one I did not expect to hear in such abundance, if at all. After I quit, I had more than a dozen friends and family members tell me they wish they could do what I did. I had no less than a few tell me they were probably going to quit their jobs soon to pursue the life they want to live. I had no intention to persuade, and yet I’ve influenced, albeit incidentally.

It is amazing to me how we inspire one another by simply doing what we love. History is wrought by people who have provided that beacon of light for so many. How many musicians have been inspired by Johnny Cash, by Aretha Franklin, by Charlie Parker? How many authors have been inspired by Ernest Hemingway, by J.R.R. Tolkien, by Ray Bradbury? How many businessmen and women have been inspired by Warren Buffet, by Henry Ford, by Edward Bernays?

What did all of these people do that made them so inspirational? Simple. What they loved.

My cousin asked me the other night if I could ever go back into public relations.

“Could you ever see yourself being a marketer again?” he asked. “Would you ever go back into PR?”

“No.” My immediate response.

He smiled at how self-assured I sounded. “Why do you say that?”

I hesitated, searching for the proper explanation. “I know it sounds kind of stupid, but I know…I just know…that I have to be a writer. I can’t let myself get distracted mentally, ya know?”

He shook his head and seemed to get a little irritated. “That pisses me off that you say it like that.”

I was a little taken aback. “Why?” I asked.

“It doesn’t sound stupid that you know what you want to do with your life,” he said. “That’s awesome. There’s so many people that wish they could do what you’ve already done. Look at a lot of the people who’ve made it big. They all did what you did. They made some big decision and took the plunge. They risked it all. That’s what you’re doing.”

That was just plain cool to hear.

how great you are

When was the last time you told yourself how great you were? When was the last time you did something with supreme passion or an ideal sense of direction, knowing it was right and good? When was the last time you put in the hours to be great? The last time you dedicated yourself to something so completely that all else became a blur?

Was it earlier today? A week ago? Five years ago? Have you ever, truly?

Ask yourself this question very seriously, and visualize your answer. Visualize what it was you did that propelled you along the path to greatness. Whether you’re there yet or not, it doesn’t matter. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Do this thing. I did it. I’m doing it. Do I have anything published? No (and I don’t count this blog haha). But that doesn’t matter. I’m doing what I love and I’ve been more content these past 7 weeks and 6 days than I have been in 7  years.

We can all be great. We all have the potential. But our repeated actions day in and day out must demonstrate that fact. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

So ask yourself this: “How great can I be?”

And in the meantime, imma show you how great I am.

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