Changes to the world, big and small
You see it all the time in movies. The main character believes they are destined for great things. They are positive that there is more to their life than just going to school or getting through the day to day of their job. Sitting in the audience, we know this too. Our hero will invariably end up saving the world.
This kind of story is popular and enduring because is resonates so deeply with the way most of us feel. We too have something unique to contribute to society at large. Although most of us won’t save the world, each of us has the opportunity to do things to change one small part. To redefine our surroundings. To make the experience of life a little better for ourselves and/or others. Inspirational writer and motivational speaker Alan Cohen tells you, if you sense there is more out there, you are right. There is.
Varying degrees of more out there
Depending on your circumstances more out there may be as big as reaching for the top job in the company or as modest as department leader. How much more is not relevant. What is relevant is deciding to pay attention to the inner voice encouraging you on and then striving for it – whatever that is.
Remember who is writing your story
As the main character of your life story, you have to remember, you are both the protagonist and the writer. Having a feeling you could do/be more or hearing a voice inside your head telling you as much will do nothing to move you forward without follow through. This story of yours isn’t going to write itself. So pick up your pen and strive for it!
Many of us wish we were better. Better at our jobs, or better with certain skills. The surprising thing is, most of the time, we actually are better then we think we are. How often have you thought “I can’t do this” before you’ve even tried. How often have you seen a job ad and said “I’m not qualified” and didn’t even bother to applying? How often in your work day have you thought “This will be good enough” so that you could go home? Negativity keeps you from reaching your potential.
Zig Ziglar was a salesman. He worked at a number of different companies as a sales person and eventually became Vice-President at the Automotive Performance company. Throughout his career he wrote numerous books about sales and selling and worked as a motivational speaker. Even after an injury reduced his short-term memory, Zig Ziglar continued to speak publicly and write books until his passing in 2012.
His books include “See You at the Top”, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets to Closing the Sale”, “Over the Top”, and “Success for Dummies”. With a following of millions, he was quoted often. Forbes put together a list of some of his best quotes.
Thinking positively is the first step in unlocking your potential. You are stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for. Keeping a positive attitude is essential to believing you can do the job ahead of you. If you have a negative attitude you’re unlikely to push yourself harder and further to see where your limit is. Don’t let negativity bring you down. Be positive and use the abilities you have to their fullest potential.
Safety is the killer of exploration
We all like being safe. We all enjoy being comfortable. However safety and comfort aren’t always good things. If you’re currently in a job you don’t mind, even if you don’t like it all that much, you can still take comfort in being safely employed. That comfort and safety might just be keeping you from exploring other opportunities.
If you work and live in a city you know well, your knowledge about that city might hold you back from exploring a new one and checking out other options because your lack of knowledge about the new city scares you.
The shallow end vs. the deep
The shallow end of the pool is a safe place to play and splash around. There’s no worry about keeping your head above water because it is always just above water. The ocean though, is a vast and unexplored wonder full of obstacles and unexplored territory. It can be a little daunting to swim out from the safety of the shallow water into the unknown abyss of the ocean. However, as this quote from Christopher Reeve says, if you want to grow, it’s a choice you’ll have to make sooner or later.
Find yourself by losing yourself
For all of the unknowns in the ocean, one thing is certain: the best way to find yourself and find your own way is to explore. The shallow end is safe because it doesn’t challenge you and it doesn’t offer much opportunity. The possibility of failure is much higher out in the ocean, but so is the chance for great success. The shallow end of the pool is filled with what ifs, while the ocean holds the answers.
Safety and comfort can keep us stagnant, happy in our current role or position when there are greater possibilities out there. So make the choice to leave the shallow end of the pool and swim to the deeper waters out in the ocean.
Endless interviews can wear away at your self esteem. Here are a few tips to keep your self esteem at full steam.
The sum of many small things coming together to create something great
Some of the greatest things done in the world are often seen as the actions of one person who seized an opportunity. When the news of a great deed spreads, there is usually one person who is the face of it. This can make the rest of us feel like we’re inadequate. It leaves us thinking we could never be like that. Like a person who could accomplish such great things. However, this quote from Vincent Van Gogh shows us that great things are rarely the action of one person, but rather the sum of many small things coming together, creating something great.
Collaboration leads to success
Our society usually celebrates the outcome more than the planning. We tend to ignore all the work and time that was put into a project by many to achieve that outcome. However almost all great things are the product of many people, working together to create something. If you want to set out and do something great, you have to start by realizing you can’t do it alone.
Another great quote on this subject comes from Margaret Mead, she says “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
When you’re sitting behind your desk thinking that there’s no way someone like you could change the world, think about these two quotes. People like you are usually the ones that do change the world; but rarely on their own. Focus on doing the small things as best you can. Work with others who are doing the same. Bring those things together and before you know it, you may have the makings of something great on your hands.
Every Monday we share the experiences of inspiring people or find inspiring quotes to bring motivation to the beginning of the week. Eventually our favorite quote was bound to come up. We’re happy to say this is that week.
Edge of the light
This short quote is actually the encapsulation of a very long story. The story of a person who has been toiling away at something for a very long time without success. Now they have reached the point where they feel like they’ve done all they can do. They’re at the top of their personal mountain. Looking off the edge they face a decision. Turn around and go back down the mountain in defeat. Or step off into the unknown and trust something will come of it. (They will learn something that will help them go on. They will meet someone who will help them. Circumstances from all their previous work will coalesce into the outcome they were working toward. An unknown something will happen.)
Or maybe it is the story of someone who has a desire to try a new thing, but they have absolutely no idea regarding how to start. They too are at the top of the mountain of their desire, faced with the same decision. Forget the whole thing, turn around and go back the way they came without giving it a shot. Or step off the cliff and trust there will be something solid to stand on, or they will be taught to fly.
Hard work, persistence, belief
When a person works hard at something with persistence and a strong belief in what they are doing, life has a way of reflecting that effort back in the form of achievement. Eventually. Your timetable and the timetable of your life may not have the same timelines. Often they don’t. However, if you keep going, even if you aren’t sure where your efforts are going to take you, you will get where you need to be. Step off the mountain. Trust your life.
There are times when you find yourself in a pretty good situation. You’re in a job you don’t hate. The pay is good. The hours are good. You really have nothing to complain about. You have benefits, adequate vacation time.
The problem is, you know you’re capable of more. You always expected a more from yourself. For some people it’s a no brainer. Comfort and predictability win. The deal is done. However if you’re no longer comfortable being comfortable then it’s time to get moving.
Complacency is the enemy of greatness
Fear is often sited as the reason people don’t pursue their dreams and fear is definitely part of it. It’s easy to identify fear. What if I don’t succeed? What if I’m not good enough? Valid questions.
Complacency is a little harder to get our heads around. I’m pretty comfortable right now. I’ll just put off my ambitions till tomorrow. They’re not going anywhere. If you have ambitions comfort and complacency are as much your enemies as fear. They will encourage you to stay where you are for just a little longer.
When a little longer turns into forever
The thing is, left unchecked a little longer will get longer and longer and will often stretch into forever. The longer you put off change, the harder it gets to make. If you want to make a change the time to start is today. Not tomorrow or next week.
Identify one concrete thing you can do today to get the ball rolling and do it. Tomorrow do another thing. With daily effort change will build its own momentum. Do that thing even if you are worried about failure because even if you don’t succeed at least you tried. You don’t want to come to the end of your life wondering – what if? Do you best today and when tomorrow comes you will know your life was as good as it could be. By that standard it was great.